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 14, 2007

The Dumbest Conversation, Ever!

Mr. J. and I almost never fight. I don't say this to boast. I say this because he is an introvert and we are BOTH super-conflict avoidant. So perhaps we could do with a good air-clearing fight now and then.

Instead, we have some pretty dumb conversations. Have I mentioned that Minnie the Biting Wonderdog is terrifed of my triple hole punch? In what is perhaps the best example of ___ (some kind of) conditioning I have ever seen, it started simply enough. When I was printing out articles and organizing them to study for comps, I would get out the triple hole punch and start punching away, so I could put my articles in my handy-dandy studyin'-for-comps binder. Minnie does NOT like the noise of the triple hole punch, so after a punch or two, she'd run upstairs or find Mr. J. and hide behind/on/beside him. Over the past year, she has gotten so attuned to the warning signs of the imminent arrival of the triple hole punch that now she runs and hides when I open the drawer in which the triple hole punch lives.

Last week I was frantically trying to complete the take-home final from hell. If you've ever had a newly minted Ph.D. tenure track professor for class - a professor who happens to have his picture next to the word "overzealous" in the dictionary - you feel my pain. I'm guessing that there are published masters' theses shorter than this take-home final. It had "short answer" five-point (5 points! For pages' worth of writing!) questions like, "Explain the meaning of life," or "Support or refute the statement, 'In God We Trust.'" Related to health, of course, but you get the picture.

For whatever reason - the sparks flying out of my brain - me and my office were a little too intense for Minnie so she ran upstairs to find Mr. J. Later that evening, he came downstairs to find me (still) typing. "What did you do to poor Minnie?" he asked me. Never, EVER ask me what I "did to poor Minnie." How about spent like a BAZILLION dollars trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with her? I kept typing. "Nothing" I said, rather distractedly. "Well," Mr. J. replied, "You must have done something with the triple hole punch." During finals week, them's fightin' words (Don't ask why. Never ask crazed, sleep-depraved women why anything is the case). I stopped typing. "Look around. Do you even see the triple hole punch? I've been working on this take-home final." Mr. J. looked at me like I was the worst liar ever. Yet he tried to say kindly, "Well, perhaps you were simulating the use of the triple hole punch."

Simulating the use of the triple hole punch!?!?! How, exactly, does one do that!? And WHY in gob's name WOULD anyone simulate the use of the triple hole punch? It wasn't my miming class take-home final.

I stared at him open-mouthed for about 30 seconds. Then I said, "Does THIS" -frantically miming wailing away on a keyboard-"look anything like THIS?!?!" and then I mimed angrily punching holes in peer-reviewed journal articles. (Yes, I am THAT good of a mime. You could tell not just that I was using the triple-hole punch but also that it was to punch holes in peer-reviewed journal articles.)

He looked at me like I had officially gone insane and then took his Diet Pepsi back up to his office, while Minnie looked at me in fear and then raced after him like he was the dog version of the Pied Piper.

A typical "fight" in our household, ladies and gentlemen!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It wasn't my miming class take-home final."

You sure, cuz, I've heard that one is pretty difficult.

Fook mi!

That's some funny shit. And really, it's only funny because Pman and I fight the same way and it is so nice to know I'm not the only one trapped into an argument/heated discussion over something so stupid.

May 16, 2007 12:50 PM  
Blogger Art Nerd said...

Haha! I had an overzealous, anticipating-tenure-track-position (likely at a better school than my own) professor last semester. My only PhD B!! And I had the dreaded "design a dream exhibition" assignment. EXCEPT? We all had to design basically the same exhibition. I digress

Does it get you, just a little bit, that Minnie runs to him when you do something? That would get my proverbial dog-rescuing goat! You picked her!

May 16, 2007 9:16 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

That? Hilarious. I just want you to know that we're all enjoying your slow spiral into insanity immensely, Teacher Lady. I'm sure that makes you feel all warm and tingly.

May 17, 2007 2:19 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I'm not sure why this has me laughing so hard I'm gasping for air. Probably because it's finals for me, too, and I'm, dare I say it, punchy?
Also, sleep-depraved is a wonderful neologism.

May 17, 2007 7:55 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm chuckling over my Healthy Choice meal at my desk as I picture you "simulating the use of the triple hole punch." Ha!

Guess what, Teacher Lady? Me and the bf got us a doggie! We adopted him one month ago and so far he is a dream of a dog. Lab-Hound mix, 2 yrs old. We named him Tater because he's like a sack of potatoes. (That's his Indian name: Sackapotato.) :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

May 18, 2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger Saradevil said...

So, what DID you do to the dog? I just know it had to have something to do with the triple hole punch.

May 26, 2007 1:19 AM  
Blogger The Therapist said...

This is so funny. I can picture it so well. Poor little dog. Poor you, studying so hard and her being scared at the same time.

June 24, 2007 8:59 PM  

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