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, October 10, 2006

Correction: I Love Other Grad Students

Today something happened that made me feel SO vindicated and happy that I then became unhappy because I realized only a truly hateful person would be happy about it. And then I felt bad that I actually didn't care that much about being a truly hateful person because I was just so damn happy.

My class with the most self-absorbed person in the universe was today. As it turns out, the class I'm teaching ends earlier than I thought so I am able to switch my schedule around for Her Royal Pain in My Ass. As soon as I walked in the classroom it was the first thing she asked me. Then she said, "Phew. Thanks."

But guess what? Another doctoral student walked in and said, "Um, Fouffy, I teach a class at that time." And Fouffy was clearly alarmed. Nothing was going to deter her from the world's best schedule - not no how, not nobody (reference, anyone?). Of course immediately Fouffy suggested the other doctoral student - let's call her Suzi - contact the program coordinator and so that Suzi could teach a different section of the same class. I mean, come on! Now she's not just running our lives, but she's affecting the schedule of an entire department??!! Suzi replied, "Fouffy, I'm really sorry, but I'm actually the only person who teaches that class this semester - there's no one I can switch sections with." And immediately, Fouffy was on the case, ticking off names of professors who might be willing to teach Suzi's class. Dr. Petite One? No, that's not her area of specialization. Dr. Full-Time? No, she's already teaching 5 sections. Dr. . . um, what about, Dr. and all you could hear was the sound of straws, slipping out of Fouffy's hands as Suzi looked legitimately concerned about a solution for this "problem."

And lo and behold, one of the few enigmas in our program, one of those "strong silent types," opened his mouth. We all stared at him in shock because we weren't completely convinced he did speak. And he said (just typing it makes me quiver with joy!): "No. I'm not changing my schedule again for selfish reasons."

Fouffy was stumped. I get the feeling people don't usually say no to her. I also get the feeling people don't tell her that she needs to stop demanding special treatment because she is, after all, just another human being like the rest of us schmucks. "What do you mean, selfish reasons?" she asked, completely taken aback.

Now, I thought Strong Silent Guy was calling her selfish, which was enough to make me just narrowly miss piddling myself with vindictive glee (and urine - that also comes out, too). SSG said, "You know, I drive almost an hour and a half to come here" - which, by the way, is exactly how far Fouffy has to drive - "and this semester, I tried to be a nice guy and I rearranged my schedule even though it meant me coming out here three days a week instead of two. But it's really starting to get to me, and I just can't drive out here three days a week next semester, so sorry - call me selfish - but I'm not switching my schedule around."

And then our professor walked in and started class but let me just tell you - it was the BEST! FREAKING! CLASS! EVER!!! I don't know what the hell we talked about and I have no idea what happened, but damn, was it a good afternoon!



Blogger Cara said...

Hee hee haw! I hope you can hear my cackle from afar, because that. Is. Fabulous. Snort.

October 10, 2006 10:59 PM  
Blogger Alyndabear said...

Applause to the Strong, Silent Guy!

October 11, 2006 1:45 AM  
Anonymous BeckaJo said...

Yay! Props for Silent Guy. Although it would have rocked had he actually been calling Fouffy selfish. How insane and entitled can one person be? Yikes!

October 11, 2006 8:04 AM  
Blogger Art Nerd Lauren said...

Wizard of Oz?

Oh, I love SSG. I love love love when people have the balls to say what I'm thinking. Though I wish and secretly hope he was talking about her being selfish :)

October 11, 2006 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Reference=Wizard of Oz.

October 11, 2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger The "Mind" said...

A-freaking-men! I just love it when the SSG's of the world speak up.

October 11, 2006 9:49 AM  
Blogger desiree said...

Oh man, I want to hug Mr. Silent for you. Thank GOB someone stepped in and shut fouffy up. I am doing a happy dance at my desk for you.

October 11, 2006 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read this blog for a long time without commenting, but here goes:
Let me tell you one of the most fundamental but grossly underused secrets of life – people get away with what you LET them get away with.
Period. Fouffy will whine and wheedle and connive as long and as successfully as you or anyone else lets her. Just like your students and the department chair and any of the other people in your life that you seem to give an allowance for as wide as the Grand Canyon.
While you sit there miserable and put out and replaying rants in your head like film reels.
You mental well being is as important as theirs is – start taking responsibility for it.

October 11, 2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Well, anonymous, I think you make some excellent points. Of course, having read my blog for a long time, you know I couldn't leave this alone. I will give you that (for sure) my students and others do as much as they can get away with. My department chair? How does one let one's boss' boss "get away with stuff"? When my chair tells me I WILL let a student take a final days (and hours) late, how exactly, do I not let him "get away with that"? Are you in the habit (and maybe you are) of telling your boss, "I'm just not going to do that" when s/he makes a request of you? If you do, and you've managed to stay employed, I have to say, you've found the right company and the right boss and I'd never, ever leave if I were you. And - yes - I do rant a lot - in fact, much of what I use this blog for is a catharsis of sorts. But (believe it or not) it does make me feel better to post these rants and while I appreciate your concern about my mental health, if you're looking for sunshine and roses, you've come to the wrong blog.

October 11, 2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

Ok, just this WEEK I said "not nobody, not no-how". It's the scarecrow before he was the scarecrow, right?
SSG reminds me of my husband, who is slow to boil and appears to be very placid and nice to all that don't really know any better. I think he WAS calling Fouffy selfish, but was able to cover it by calling himself selfish first. At any rate, YAY, SSG!
Oh, and anonymous? Needs to get a real name.

October 11, 2006 7:31 PM  

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