Monday, September 13, 2010

Nightmare of Timothy -- The End?

I'd been waiting for [little big boss] or [useless boss] to email me about the situation all day. Just as I was about to email them and ask what the status was, I found an email from [useless boss] labeled simply "Timothy." It says, in a nutshell, that he'd been transferred to another [capstone number] course and that I shouldn't see him anymore. She also said we "could talk about the other students disrupting my course" sometime tomorrow.

While she seemed really upbeat and I'm sure as hell glad that I don't have to deal with him anymore, I know there will probably be some fallout from all of this, especially if whatever he wrote on that piece of paper was especially incendiary. I will probably get a lecture tomorrow about how to "correctly" confront students (again, like I'm new at this) and perhaps one of them will come watch my class this semester instead of next. There's also the issue of him winning in a sense -- he can't bother me anymore but he got into another course rather than just being dropped and he can terrorize that GTA just as he has me.

Thank you all for your support and great tips. The number for Campus Police is now in my cell just in case I need it and I plan on bringing it to class rather than leaving it in my purse. I also know now to start documenting as soon as something starts rather than waiting -- just in case another Timothy (one in a thousand, literally) shows his ugly side.

As for the comment made about Borderline Personality Disorder, Timothy certainly doesn't suffer from that. I know quite a bit about mental illnesses, including this one in particular, and BPD gets a really bad rap. Look to the DSM-IV for actual criteria on what the illness consists of.


  1. Good news, May! In my own experience this sort of student is more and more common in our classrooms. I think your story allowed all of us to consider what we'd do in a similar situation. Thanks.


  2. Alas, Babylon!

    How irriating! But I'm glad there was a somewhat acceptable resolution to the issue.
    Although, I always to wish to hear that the offending student got his or her a** kicked out of uni and that a note is placed on his or her transcript telling potential employers what a complete jack the student is and that if they want a good and respectful employee they should look not at this fool but at gang banger solitary at the nearest federal prison. No such luck yet...

  3. Crazy Math Prof: I would've just been happy with having to forfeit some of his "hard earned money" because of being dropped this semester (as well as the annoyance of having to wait to retake it), but alas, neither of us get to see what we think he/they deserve.

  4. May, I hope it works out without any more problems for you.

  5. Oh, May, shall we take bets how long it will be before the other instructor finds you and asks for advice or an ear to bend about her problem student?

    Did you read about my phone-stalker student in the self-defense post? The following year, I confided about her to a colleague who informed me the student had also failed her class the same school year. Both times the student managed to somehow blame her instructors for her failure and get excused from taking a required class. So much for prerequisites!

    Thank goodness Timothy is out of your hair! Now you have to ensure his cronies don't go bonkers too.

  6. Depending on which GTA they stuck him with, it could be tomorrow or it could be never. If he gets one of the boys in the program they'll never have a problem with him because they simply don't give a shit about anything. The women or one of the new guys? I'll hear about it eventually.

    I missed your phone-stalker post. Yikes, that's fucking scary. I mean in the annoying stalker sense, not in the "I'm actually scared they'll come and find me" sense. It's crazy, but our uni prints the GTA's info (phone, ADDRESS, etc) just like they do the rest of the students. Luckily, none of my students have realized this. Either that or they get my parents' voicemail and realize that I'm never going to get it. One of the many plusses of living three hours away.

    Really there's just the two girls left now, one who is considerably less loud than the other. Both seem to pay attention and disrupt less than Timothy anyway, so we'll see if there's still a problem after he's gone.

    That is, if he's gone. As of this moment he's still on my roster. If he shows up tomorrow and tries to cause trouble I'm just sending him away. Fuck it, I've spent all weekend fretting over the whole ordeal rather than doing my work. More than enough time spent on that particular situation.

  7. May, I wish I knew what grad program you were in so I could tell my aspiring undergrads to avoid it. Every time you post about the conditions of your labor I have to go lie down with the smelling salts.

  8. I had a Timothy once. called security to have him removed from the classroom. He complained to the Dean and got moved to another section. A week later, he passed me in the hall all smiles and gave me a "Hi, Professor Rolodex!" as if nothing had happened. Truly bizarre.


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