Bad students have this aggravating trick where they say something like, “Professor B is failing me because I don’t understand the difference between assonance and consonance!” And it sounds like Professor B is a monster, indeed. How can you fail a student for something like this in a survey of Spanish literature course?
And it’s true, the student in question doesn’t get assonance. Problem is, it’s the least of his troubles. Aside from assonance, he failed to understand all the rest of the material covered in the course because his Spanish is extremely poor. It’s so poor that he can’t say “His name is Cervantes.”
The worst part is that the student fully believes his own story. He is absolutely convinced that his only problem is assonance, and he’s unfairly persecuted. Any attempt to make him recognize that it’s a fact of objective reality that he made 127 language mistakes in an 8-page essay elicits nothing but a string of sullen complaints about the blasted assonance.
It’s the complete blindness to one’s own faults that bugs me. You make 127 mistakes in 8 pages. Seeing yourself as a victim in this situation takes the kind of obviousness that scares me.