Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Friday, January 27, 2006

And it can always be worse!

One of my favorite people in the world happens to be a friend/colleague/mentor/professor-type woman. She is wise. And brilliant, witty and quick. She also has the temperament I wish I had. Even-keel, you might say. Unflappable. Patient. Understanding and non-judgmental. And she has, this semester, been "flapped." In one of her classes, she has, drum-roll please, a thumb-sucker. Thumbsucker does not twirl her hair while she sucks her thumb, but she does play with her ear. And my wonderful friend is really most rattled by the fact that she is rattled. She thought she had seen everything. And then. Not so much.

Believe me, I understand how people can wrestle with unsightly, unsanitary and annoying habits. Just ask my husband about my tendency to pick at my cuticles (without being aware of it) while we're watching TV. It's disgusting. I know this. And while I sometimes catch myself doing it while sitting through a particularly mind-numbing lecture, as soon as I catch myself, I sheepishly put my hands under my desk, or start frantically writing down whatever the instructor is saying (even if it's something like, "This weekend my daughter said . . ."). Also, I know that I crack my knuckles. This was another habit I didn't even know I had until a boss from my previous corporate life said (during a grand-old knuckle cracking spectacular) "That's disgusting. Don't ever do that in front of me again. It's just like passing gas (I kid you not, he said this!) - if you have to do it, go in the bathroom." Now, ironically, since he pointed this out (6 years ago) I am extremely skeeved out/irritated/nauseated by the sound of other people cracking their knuckles, all the while I am just itching to crack mine.

But. Thumbsucking? In college? And not just in your room, while you're trying to fall asleep and only completely freaking out your roommate, but in class?!?!?!?! My advisor mentioned something about SBH students in elementary education settings (Severe Behavioral Handicap), but later reminded me to remember the PFNs. Plain fuckin' nuts.


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