Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Fall of the House of Gorge

Well.  We had class again today.  In the basement.  Li'l Eddie even made an appearance and made off with not one, but two of our Bic pens (procured for specifically such a purpose).  This was an auspicious enough sign to satisfy any Roman general.

Like the Horde from the East, Al Gorge descended upon us once more.  Five minutes into the lecture he made a joke about something he said, laughed, and elbowed at nobody in particular to laugh along with him.  Because, obviously, nobody was sitting anywhere close to him.  The young lady he sat next to last class was not in attendance.  I choose to believe that she was just in emotional tatters from being in close proximity to this monster.

So our professor kind of just kept talking over this guy.  Which, honestly, good move.  The professor is quite good at what he does.  He's excellent at taking complex subjects and breaking them down into easy to digest morsels.  He also occasionally applies the Socratic method of teaching with incredibly results.  I'll try to record an example next time because it's really quite impressive.

He's just a generally very good professor who manages to strike that balance between professional and approachable.  You know, you wouldn't feel comfortable adding him on Facebook, but you'd feel comfortable adding him on LinkedIn.

And Al Gorge is just being a normal, loud asshole.  At one point we learn that he's an adult student (which isn't surprising; he looked a bit older) and that he is currently mid-career.

What does he do, you ask?  He didn't leave us wondering long.

"In my line of work." He said, to nobody in particular, "You can't be sayin'. yaknow, the product you're buyin's got some issues wid it."

NOBODY ASKS HIM WHAT HE DOES.  FUCKING NOBODY.  I want to stress that he is NOT answering ANYONE'S question during this class discussion (which he did at least enter into lawfully).

"I'm a used car salesman."

My friend (who's basically a brother to me at this point) and I just made eye contact.  That's all we needed to say to each other "Of COURSE!  Of COURSE you're a used car salesman.  What else could you possibly do for a living than sell, apparently defective, cars without informing the unsuspecting buyers of their problems?"  It's like our minds were the chorus in a Greek tragedy.

We went on about ten more minutes without interruption.  Al Gorge took notes.  He did.  He took them on a small notepad.  I'm really trying to figure out a way to say this without saying "Lol he's fat" but basically, he kind of... rested the note pad on the... promontory of his abdomen and wrote his notes on it in that position.  Rather than put it on his desk.  I'm positive the professor glanced at this pose at least once or twice.  I don't think he'd ever seen it before.  One of the benefits of someone being oblivious, though, is that they never notice if you're staring at them.  So I really took it all in.

We continued like this for some time.  Kind of settled into a rhythm.  Then halfway through (It's a two hour class) the same guy, the same fucking guy, shows up at the door.

Girl in the front row, "Professor."  It's hard to describe just how much emotion she got across with this one word.  It was exasperation, exhaustion, and foreboding/warning all in one word.  He followed her eyes to the door.  Al Gorge was already lumbering out of his seat.

"No!" The Professor shouted.  He moved to intercept food man.  On his way to the door, "Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope!"

My Professor LITERALLY "Nope'd" this guy.  When he got to the door he told him. "Leave and never return.  You shouldn't be able to get in here."

"But the food-"

"Never. Return."

He scurried off, glancing behind him to see if anyone wanted to buy the food.  Al Gorge was dumbfounded.  His forehead and lower lip were drenched in sweat (I think it was always like that, though).  He didn't even get a chance to say anything.

"You!  Get out of this classroom and spend the rest of the period thinking about the apology you're going to write to me and everyone in this class.  Expect an email from me later tonight."

Al Gorge left, speechless.  The professor had to catch his breath for a moment.  I felt like we should clap, but we didn't.  He's going to be back.  And I doubt he'll be a good student.  But at least we won't have to deal with his food-based antics.

Conan the Grammarian


  1. That was amazing. Good on your prof!
    I'm going to spend the next twenty minutes practicing the phrase "Leave, and Never Return" in the mirror. Just in case I get a chance to use it someday.

  2. Good for the professor! That sounded like the kind of pitch-perfect response that always occurs to me about four hours *after* I stumble through a mediocre interaction with a problem student.

  3. Wow. Such a pleasure to read. I want to applaud both the professor and you, for writing this with such spectacular aplomb.

  4. Demanding an apology written to the class? That's a bold move. I love it.

    I still think that the professor should have shared the food with the class.

    1. But then someone would have had to pay for it, and who was going to do that, once Al had been thrown out? Full points to the prof! And to Conan for his superlative reportage.

    2. I think the professor should have allowed Al to pay, then confiscated the food and made it available to the whole class. He could have done so by simply thanking Al for ordering food for his classmates and professor and telling him where to leave the food (obviously, not on Al's own desk).

    3. Monica, that's what I was thinking. As I understood the events, Al had ordered the food and paid for it beforehand.

      Regardless, the forces of civilization have pushed us back from the brink, ever so little.

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    5. If he got paid, that's different. However, last time, he handed money to the delivery guy. That's why I'm afraid it's the delivery guy who ended up penalized the most, since he did not get paid.

      Another solution would have been for the professor to pay for the food, which he didn't have to. He could have done it casually, as if he was the one who ordered, but without actually saying that he was. Then, he could have shared or not. It would have been his food after all.

    6. The food delivery guy was definitely nearly blameless. I'm sure that if our prof had had the time to sit down and think about what to do he would have arrived at these kinds of conclusions.

      But that's not really what was going on. I'm sure it was very much a caveman mentality given the circumstances.

      "There's a thing in my cave that shouldn't be in my cave. I need to hit it with my club."

      He's a nice guy.

      If I had to assign blame for the situation I'd say:

      Al Gorge: 60%
      Security: 30% (for letting a food guy through)
      Food Guy: 10% (Just for not having the common sense to not deliver to a classroom)

  5. So it's for reals. Wow.
    This may be the nudge (two handed shove? cross-check?) needed to re-track to appropriate behavior.

  6. Uh... so I just found out this morning (by way of a posterboard) that the professor in question has been teaching at our university for seventy years. It's clear that he's advanced in age but, like, that was shocking.

    He was teaching there while the University founder was still teaching there (at the risk of giving away my college, our co-founder taught til he was 97, died in his office grading).

    This explains why he always spoke of our founder so differently. Everyone just talks about him like this revered ancestral spirit. But he talks about him like his mentor. He probably was.

    Thanks for your nice comments.

  7. If there is a no food policy in the building, the professor couldn't really share it with the rest of the class.

    Well-written piece, youngling. My jaw literally dropped.

    1. Policy or not, if the student was able to get away with eating in class last time, I'm sure the professor could have taken away the food. He could have done it for the very reason that it is not allowed in the building, but he probably could have gotten away with just making it available to the whole class and thanking Al for his "generosity". It's his class after all. And I'm sure no more food would have been delivered to that classroom in the future at Al's expense.

  8. That header change is the greatest thing I've seen all week.

    1. All in good fun...suggested by a long time veteran more than a little chagrined that she's not posted forever...

      The RGM

    2. I figured. I like the picture. What I like about it is the pairing. A huge steak, chicken croquette, fucking strawberries, and coffee. It's a meal composed of four things, NONE of which go together. It's as crazy as eating a pomegranate, chili, and limoncello ice cream. Like, what are you doing, you monster?

    3. Does the header contain a possessive or a contraction?

    4. I think the "chicken croquette" is rather some kind of bread roll or pastry. It could be a potato, too, but I tend to see it as pastry.

    5. "Thats' nut's."

      I fell out of my chair laughing.

    6. Crabcake. It's Surf and Turf.

      Or, should I say, "Its' Surfin' Turf."

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  10. Bravo to the professor! That's the one thing about students who keep behaving egregiously badly, in the same way: even those of us who can't quite think what to do in the moment the first time can (and really have to) come up with a solution eventually.

  11. Here's an ending I was hoping for, when I first learned there would be another class.

    Delivery guy shows up. Without hesitation three students arise to barricade the door. One asks, "How much?" and upon being told, counts out some bills and hands them to the delivery guy.

    "Keep the change," zhe says, "and keep the food as some more tip --- give it to a homeless person on your way back to the shop if you want. And when you're back at the shop, tell your boss to never accept a delivery order for this building unless it comes from a recognizable faculty or staff office phone. Are we clear on this?"

    Looks of confusion then understanding from the delivery guy amidst sounds of protest from Al, who flaps helplessly behind the students at the door.

    "Sit down, Al," another one of the three turns and says. "Your right to dinner ends where it infringes on our right to the education we paid for. This is our classroom, not your fucking man-cave."

    1. I think if students had to get involved it would have entailed physical violence.

  12. Wow. College Misery gold. Thanks.