Thursday, October 10, 2013
Surprisingly insipid snowflakery
"I'm not texting!" he said. "I'm using my phone to cheat on the quiz."
Well now. That was unexpected.
I've come to expect peculiar behavior from frantic freshmen, but this fall I have a crop of students who keep surprising me. I expect elaborate excuses to explain absence of homework, but I'm surprised by the student who offers no excuse at all:
"I didn't do it."
"Come on, can't you make up some implausible excuse?"
I expect students to groan and gripe the first few times I make them split up into groups, but I don't expect to still--six weeks into the semester--have to face down a football player who refuses to leave his seat to move to another part of the room with his group.
"I'm not moving," he says.
"Because I'm not."
No cajolery or wheedling will budge him from his spot, so finally I invite him to leave the class and be marked absent, whereupon he moves--glacially--to his group, puts his head down on the desk, and fails to engage in the group activity.
How did I end up with a room full of Bartlebys? Their disobedience isn't even civil. If they must defy me, the least they can do is be entertaining!