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.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Old School Bitch-fest

I once read somewhere that "any unhappiness is life is caused by our expectations of others." And I know for me, this is true. I also heard once, "If you expect someone to be grateful for something you do for him, you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place," or "You're doing it for the wrong reasons," or something like that.

And so today, it is an old school bitch-fest because I am SO over one of my students because I have expected him to be . . . grateful or at least say the words, "thank you" and he has not.

This is the student who came to me the third week of the semester because he was worried about the upcoming midterm. He hadn't yet received his check from his aunt, so he was unable to buy his textbooks. In a rare spasm of charitable behavior, I told him he could use my review copy until he got his check from his aunt. The next class, I loaned him the book, "Please guard this with your life," I said. He looked at me like I was the rudest person ever. "Why would you say that? Like I'm not going to take care of this book or something?"

On my planet, the appropriate thing is to say, "Certainly. And I'm so grateful you're able to help me out." I should have known. See, I didn't mean for him to not have to buy the textbook. It was a temporary solution. I keep one copy at my home and one copy at my office at school and that way I have one less thing to lug back and forth all semester long. So while I'm not exactly high and dry, it would be nice to have it back. The semester is almost over.

This is the same student who told me he would be much too ill to study for our midterm and he had a doctor's excuse, so I said fine. He then called me, the day before the midterm, rattled off his extensive class schedule for that day and then instructed me to call him that same day between 5:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. (remember him?)

He came to my office yesterday to take the make-up exam. About halfway through he said, "Do you have a tissue or something?" He had been sniffling away, but I had somehow managed to block it out while I graded some mental trainwrecks posing as papers. There were no tissues in the office, but there were some in the faculty restroom, so I went and got him some. Did he say thank you? No, of course not. And that's why I'm pissy. Because after all my previous evidence to indicate otherwise, I still expected him to have the manners God gave a goat.

And then he had the balls to openly sleep in class later. I'm surprised . . . why?

Duh. And I complain about students being stupid.

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Blogger Kimmy753 said...

Dang..that made me cringe just reading it! I am so with you (surprised? LOL)! I cannot STAND it when people do not say thank you. What kind of parent raises their kids to be like that? I don't get it. I make sure, that when one of my stepkids *forgets* to say thank you, I loudly claim 'you're welcome'. It usually embarasses them and brings me great pleasure at the same time (did I say that outloud?). Try that next time with Mr. Rude SnarfyNose Loserpants. If nothing else, it'll bring you great pleasure.

April 05, 2007 7:37 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

And then he'll probably complain when you give him a lousy grade.

April 05, 2007 7:48 AM  
Blogger Denever said...

If people act like children who have forgotten their manners, I say treat 'em like children who have forgotten their manners.

When I don't get a "thank you," I singsong, "You're welll-come" and lift my eyebrows encouragingly to mean "Did we forget to say something important just now?"

And if the "thank you" that follows is a little huffy, well, better for them to spend the rest of the day stewing over my correction than for me to spend the rest of the day stewing over not being thanked.

The "treat 'em like children" method works with all age groups, too. I once approached a row of white-haired seniors who were talking during a movie and said, "Are you kids going to quiet down so we can all enjoy the show, or do I need to go get the manager?"

The stunned looks made me so happy that I didn't even care when they started up again 20 minutes later.

April 05, 2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd said...

Know what gets me? When I walk in the room and say, "Hey, good morning everyone" or something like that, and am greeted by.... silence.

I usually answer myself, "Good morning, Professor X. You're looking gorgeous as ever this morning!" Makes them feel kind of jerky, and reminds them of my name, which they're always forgetting. wtf?

April 05, 2007 8:35 PM  
Blogger ProfessorDog said...

I made the mistake of lending a student a copy of the textbook this past summer. He, too, copped a tremendous attitude when I pointed out, 2/3 of the way through the semester, that I would like it back.

April 05, 2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I know that guy. Did he transfer from some no name community college in Michigan?

Next time go for a walk and leave the class unattended so they can cure him of his narcolepsy once and for all.

April 06, 2007 9:13 AM  
Blogger Mamacita said...

The next time he goes to sleep in your classroom, set your clock ahead two hours and all of you go out into the hall. Then send someone back in to wake the guy and say "Hey, man, are you still in here at this hour?" or something similar, and watch the show.

Um, I hear they're pretty good. Not that I would know.

April 06, 2007 2:43 PM  

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