Last hope for sanity
1.) Killing myself
2.) Killing my students
3.) Tearing out my hair while shrieking, "Oh, the humanity!"
4.) Quitting school
5.) Quitting my job
6.) Quitting my life
7.) Beating up people who use the words "its" and "it's" interchangeably.
I have been teaching at a large, public Midwestern research university for nearly two years now. I quit my real Corporate job (complete with real corporate paycheck, medical benefits and glorious 401K) to pursue my PhD and teach undergraduates. I thought I was leaving the rat race to join something better. Higher learning, the ivory tower, making the world a better place. Blah, blah, blah. Oh - and did I mention I decided of my own free will that my subject of choice would be human sexuality? What could be more interesting?
Two years (okay, barely one and a half, but it feels like two) later, and I have realized:
- I am not teaching college. I am teaching junior high.
- Writing is a lost art.
- Manners - no longer considered necessary in society.
- I am prissy, out of touch with reality and OLD at the age of 35.
- The questions students ask me about sex do not shock me (although their ignorance saddens me.) The questions students ask me about their grades, their abilities, and their assignments shock me.
- Did I mention I am OLD at the age of 35? When a student saunters up to me (the last week of the semester) and, instead of saying, "Excuse me, professor so-and-so," but "Yo, teacher lady," and I am appalled, this makes me old.
- Everything that a student experiences is somehow my fault (as the instructor). Student fails the final? My fault for not giving him the study guide 3 weeks in advance. Student gets crappy grade on paper because it is so poorly written it is nonsense? My fault for grading paper like it's an English class, which it's not. Student is traumatized and offended because we discuss homosexuality during our work with Chapter 10: Sexual Orientation? My fault. Student misses quiz because she broke up with boyfriend and couldn't attend class because class reminded her of boyfriend? My fault. Student gets in trouble for plagiarism because he copied article instead of writing his own paper? My fault because I was not quite clear on what I meant by "your own opinion."
I hope that this little vent-o-blog will help me spare my family and friends my outrage and angst, and perhaps bring some laughter to other bloggers and lurkers of the world. Because, if I can't laugh at this stuff, well, . . . see numbered list above.