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 13, 2006

Last hope for sanity

The purpose of this blog is to prevent me from doing one of the following:
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.

3 Comments:

Anonymous diaper pail said...

Absolutely hilarious!
Yo, teacher lady --- you should write a book! This is great material.

Totally enjoyed it.

Thanks!
Jkc

January 13, 2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Can I tell you, I am old and am only 26? I really think the shift came right after me. Or maybe it was the Catholic school teaching, those IHM nuns are sticklers for grammar.

Love this site, it's now on my daily to-check list. See that, I know the difference between its and it's.

Rock on teacher-lady.

January 27, 2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Lauren, this is AMAZING! I, too, am a lapsed Catholic school girl. Maybe it was all those hours of sitting in an itchy wool skirt - to get your physical discomfort off your mind you tried to distract yourself with what the nuns were saying? I know now that I am not alone in the world of mad grammarians!

January 27, 2006 1:44 PM  

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