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.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Not So Fast!

I have not seen the designated mess in quite some time. The last time I saw her was the day she came crashing into class to hand me a paper, while breathlessly telling me she couldn't stay (bad migraine) and that was it. Then I would oh-so-nervously check my online roster, holding my breath each time, praying, "Please, please, please, let her NOT be on the roster" and she has not been. She has mysteriously disappeared. Thank gob!!

Oh, did I celebrate. Hooray, hooray, hooray! Only fresh-smelling students in my class! For the most part, I don't have to hone my student-interrupting skills, which I hate to do. (Stinky Girl (aka "designated mess") also liked to make lengthy, lengthy comments - okay, comments is a misnomer - monologue is more like it - which ultimately had nothing to do with the class discussion for that day. You have no idea how vexing it is to watch your four hour class slip away from you because Stinky Girl is going on about subliminal messages in Disney films. Finally, an unsympathetic tenured professor gave me the unceremonious whack on the side of my head I needed and told me to (duh!) interrupt the damn girl and move. on.) It's really been lovely.

Until. Yesterday, I got an e-mail from a student in my fall section. He was asking me for the title of our textbook - preferably by ISBN number. Question: Why do students have NO problem e-mailing me with questions - all kinds of questions and favors: I can't get to the online study guide - can you print me a copy and bring it to class? What is the ISBN number for the text book? Can you write me a letter so I can get out of jury duty and hurry it up, please, because the letter was due yesterday, you stupid whore! And yet, their fingers all unfathomably wither up and snap off when it comes time to type, "Thank you." What's wrong with writing, "I got the letter you e-mailed to me and gave it to my parole officer and now I won't get re-arrested so THANK YOU." Hmm?!?! Would that be so damn difficult? But I digress. I guess if I were truly interested in being treated with some consideration, I would not have gone into education.

Anyway, Mr. ISBN student didn't say, "Hello, Teacher Lady. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Manners McMannersen and I'm a student in your fall Human Sexuality class." It was just, "I need the name of the textbook. Ideally, by ISBN. Later, Rudely McSniderton." So I decided I'd better check my fall roster, just in case this clown actually belonged in someone else's class this fall.

And what smacked me right between the eyes? Stinky Girl's name. There she is. Sitting there, stinking up the joint, on my fall roster.

And here I thought I had narrowly escaped. Sigh. I wonder if I'm allowed to bring scented candles to class - or would the fire marshal frown upon that, do you think?


Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Fire marshal can say nothing about the spraying of air fresheners. Or you could take a cue from my stinky roommate in college and febreeze her! Oh yeah, she febreezed her feet, her clothes, her stank-ass white girl dreadlocks, all in order to keep up appearances between her weekly shower. ew-wah! After a while, can't you smell yourself?

July 11, 2006 10:56 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

From the sounds of it, I'm not sure scented candles would be up to the task at hand. Maybe incense sticks in large quantities?

Subliminal messages in Disney films? Oy.

July 11, 2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger Dori said...

What about a seating plan? You can put her near a window/door/well ventilated area, far away from you.

July 11, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

You can do what some of my peers in college did to our very own Stinky Girl...leave a stick of deodorant on her desk.

Just a thought. Love your blog.

July 11, 2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Antique Mommy said...

I was on an airplane once where they made a smelly guy get off. How is it that some people have not heard of soap? Too bad that you can't do that in the classroom. How about assigned seating, with her seat being in the janitor's closet.

July 11, 2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Maybe one of these stuck to the underside of each desk will work?

Or maybe you'll get lucky and she'll drop out a second time, never to return. Hey, a girl can hope, can't she?

July 11, 2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger Fraulein N said...

Oh no, Rudely McSniderton did NOT close an email with "Later!! Please tell me you're exaggerating. (And if not, why am I surprised?)

As for Stinky Girl, I say spray some air freshener as needed. I'm sure the other students will appreciate it. You could also complain loudly about the stench without stating the cause of it. (Everybody already knows, anyway.) Maybe Stinky Girl will get the point.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? You could spray it in her FACE and she wouldn't get the point.

July 12, 2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

I have a feeling that even if SG shows up in the fall, she won't last.

July 12, 2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Oh, and I can't believe someone would be THAT rude as to not even say thank you. I'm tumbling over myself to thank one of my former instructors as I just asked her to be a reference on a job application I'm putting in at the college. She said she love to and I'm psyched...totally. I could never thank her enough and decided if I get the job, she's getting flowers.

Then again, I was in her first class ever at this college and we got her flowers the last day of class. She's a great lady/teacher. I'm telling you, get a bunch of older people in class and we are a bunch of saps. LOL!

July 12, 2006 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...


I like the idea of sticking a deodorant thingy under her desk.

July 12, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger DivineLavender said...

This is my first your blog. I work in Higher Education also. We be scared for our future, very frigheten indeed.

Great Post!

July 14, 2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous nonlinearpapa said...

Those emails requesting the ISBN always give me the impression that the student somehow imagines that I have committed this particular 10-digit number to memory.

I just give them the title and author and tell them they actually need the ISBN, they can look it up on Amazon like the rest of us.

July 22, 2006 12:53 PM  

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