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.

Monday, May 22, 2006

And I was Worried I Wouldn't Have Anything to Blog About!

It's official. I am old. 35 is the new 82. Mr. J. says that when you start saying, "When I was that age, I would have never done that!" you're officially old. So that's me. Teacher Granny.

Today was my first day working with the incoming freshmen. I have seen the future and I am afraid.

My job is to take the schedule - advised by the advisors and "built" by the undergraduate student assistants - and enter it into the computer. Please don't ask me why there are so many steps in the process in this day and age. Look away from the clunky antiquated process and focus, people!

So, I'm at one end of the room sitting at the computer. The soon-to-be-freshmen sit in chairs along the wall and wait for me to say, "I can help whoever is next."

One of the freshmen was just adorable. Very Katie Holmes pre-crazy cute. As soon as she sat down and opened her mouth, I was scared. Who knew the Anti-Christ would come in that form?

It started innocently enough, "Hi, how has your day been?" "It's been crazy. So much to do. Plus, I'm the first person in my family to go to college." Now I opened up my stupid, fat piehole. "Wow, that can be difficult. Just make sure you get enough support from the right administrators and people on campus - they can be really helpful." Katie/Satan said, "I'm not worried. I'm the kind of person who will do whatever I need to do to get what I want. No matter what."

I didn't say anything, but my face must have shown fear because she quickly corrected herself, "I - I - I don't mean anything really bad like that, I mean, like, I always turn my papers in late and stuff and my teachers say they don't take late papers, but for me, they do."

Aah, well, that explains these cheeky little bastards I've had to deal with all year, now doesn't it?

I couldn't keep my mouth shut. "As someone who is also an instructor on this campus," I said icily, "I highly recommend you break that habit. My syllabus is clear - for every day a paper is late, you lose one letter grade." She laughed. "Yeah, yeah. That's what my teachers say, too, but they don't mean it for me. I'm always their favorite." I wanted to say, "Yeah, you're their favorite because they don't want to watch you sprout horns and a tail." Instead I said, "Let's get your schedule done, shall we?"

Earlier this morning, I had been told that all the freshmen English classes were closed. Now even the "viable alternates" were filling up. When I entered Katie the Anti-Christ's schedule, I showed her the visual representation of it. She got exasperated and bratty very quickly. "What!??!? What?! The advisor wrote down Tuesday and Thursday for my English class! Why would she change it to Monday, Wednesday, Friday? God, why would she do that!? WHY!?!? People are so stupid!" She wasn't so much fast approaching a temper tantrum as she was a postal employee incident.

I clicked around in the system. "Well, it looks like the one your advisor picked had filled up and so the student assistant chose this alternative for you. It's the same class, and it still fits in your schedule." Get this:

She sighed heavily, started erasing the entry and said, "God! This place is like the Bureau of Motor Vehicles! Nobody can do anything right. Everybody has to do the same thing ten times before they figure it out."

She had been on campus for six hours, and already had an attitude. I sat there in silence. What should I have said? "Classes fill up, you arrogant little brat and it doesn't mean people are incompetent?" Or, "Maybe, if you were a bit more organized and weren't, like, the two thousandth person to be going through this program, you'd have more choices?" Or, finally, (because I have access to their high school transcripts and test scores - oh, the illicit thrills!) "Perhaps if you weren't such a moron, you could go to an Ivy League school instead of this B-list one. But sadly, for you, you're going here and will be surrounded by incompetent morons for at least the next four years. It will be like living at the DMV. How'd ya like them apples, sis-tah?"

Her schedule rolled off the printer. "Here you go, your first schedule. Good luck and maybe I'll see you in the fall" (all the while thinking, "Hopefully my eyes won't melt out of their sockets if I do".) Then she was back to being a normal 18-year-old girl. "Now I'm off to find out where I live. Yea!!! It's going to be so much fun. I'm so excited. Wheeee!!!!" and off she went, skipping and giggling.

gob help us all.

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Blogger Antique Mommy said...

Bless you and your immeasurable restraint. My smack down impulse is very very strong with twerps like that.

May 22, 2006 11:42 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

Yippee, I'm back to using a real computer! I got to read your last several posts on my blackberry while I was sitting in CVS waiting for my eye drops prescription yesterday and I was like "New website design?!? I NEED TO SEE THIS!" And this morning I finally have been able to! It's lovely AND hilarious! I love it - it's really fabulous! (Could I have any more exclamation points in this comment?? NO! I mean, YES!)

So is today your birthday? If so, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! As the universe's present to you, I hope you don't have to deal with any self-absorbed psycho teens today! (I know, highly unlikely, but we can wish, no?)

May 23, 2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

You know, there could be a definite advantage to helping enroll students. You can tell the total psychos that "Human Sexuality is already closed, let's pick another alternative". LOL!

Or, at the very least, you'll get a "free preview" of their psychosis and be prepared to deal with the ones you absolutely cannot keep out of your class.

May 23, 2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger Isabel said...

My first thought's one thing for her to think she's all that. It's quite another thing to actually admit it to others.


May 23, 2006 10:20 AM  
Blogger Isabel said...

I must add...that I can't stand Katie Holmes. I just watched "Batman Begins" last night during midnight feedings. She gives me the willies.

May 23, 2006 10:21 AM  
Blogger ColoradoCastaway said...

it's inappropriate sister, part deux!! You didn't honestly think we'd let you get away with not having someone like that to write about did you. She's a plant, we sent her to you so that we could all continue to be amused by your stories. Without your nemesis we were afraid we were gonna loose you forever. Now where did I put her address to send that check too...hhmmm? See how far she will go to get what she wants? Shes resorted to pimping herself out for Bloggers in need of laughs.

May 23, 2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Our school doesn't let freshmen register themselves, either. Just hope she drops out of your incompetant school before she gets to a mid level psych class. She seems a wee bit high strung.

You know, her attitude illustrates the consumer relationship that many students seem to have with their higher education providers. You? Are not a customer. I highly doubt you're paying. So knock it off with your customer service bullshit!

I don't know which school you're dealing with, but at my fine institution, it's the same. STATE SCHOOL, gah! I think they were better at my (private) undergrad school, to be honest!

May 23, 2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Kai said...

I agree with Antique Mommy....your restraint is commendable. I definitely would have shot her my patented over the glasses "Are you freaking kidding me" look. Bless you!

LOVE the new webdesign!!

May 23, 2006 2:00 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 23, 2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Thanks, folks. I have to confess - I have no restraint. What I have is a really slow brain. Over the years, I have learned it is better to stay quiet than to sputter and stammer, "Well, yeah? Well, you, um, you, well, yeah, your mother wears combat boots! So there!"

May 23, 2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Happy Birthday!
I have yet to learn restraint.
Oh, and my word verification is "xfesy", which I guess is what ravers take after they've done a few shots of Jaegermeister.(have I mentioned how much I love Balderdash? The word verification just feeds my sick affliction.)

May 23, 2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger Schietto Sister said...

Happy Birthday!

May 24, 2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jewels said...

It's o.k., really. Restraint, or slow brain syndrome, it gets the job done!

And, we get a great story out of it.

All is well.

Fab new design, I really love it.

May 25, 2006 5:26 PM  

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