I have to ask: what the fuck is up with students who insist on shaking my hand? I haven't had this before, but now, every single snowflake who shows up to tell me she hasn't done the work yet, or he is going to miss class, or is sorry for being late 6 times in a row, sticks out a grubby paw before getting to the gist of the interaction.
I've already had one cold already this semester, and I bet it was from one of these creepy hand-touchers.
I guess it's suppose to make you guys buds or something, and then they're banking on it being harder for you to mete out the smack down they deserve. That'd be my only guess.ReplyDelete
I've noticed the same thing, and two possible responses occur to me:ReplyDelete
(1) "That's OK, I trust you're not carrying any archaic weaponry."
(2) Keep a stash of sterile, nitrile gloves in pocket or desk drawer. When faced with a student's hand, make an ostentatious and deliberate show of donning the glove. Then, shake hands firmly and warmly to indicate you mean it.
In lieu of showing respect by actually doing the work I assign and showing up on time, they fall back on easier methods, like calling me "sir" and shaking hands.ReplyDelete
When this happens (student shaking hands), I feel an urgent need for a bottle of hand sanitizer (and I never use the stuff).ReplyDelete
Ok, maybe this is just me, but I find it very strange that you'd object to a simple and widely-accepted gesture of politeness and respect. If your germ-phobia is that extreme, just use some sanitizer after the student has left your office. Aren't we always complaining that the 'flakes are lacking in basic civility? Just assume that the gesture is polite, not designed to disarm you and get you to ease up on them (even if it is). Why give in to the paranoia that dominates modern student-faculty relations? I mean, they probably are following you, but it will be better for all if you try to ignore it.ReplyDelete
You must teach at a Bible college. In 18 years of teaching I have never once had a handshake offered. Arms thrown around me for hugs, students trying to get in my lap, yes. But not a handshake.ReplyDelete
The timing of this post is too funny. I was just discussing my disdain for handshaking with one of my classes yesterday. I. Hate. Touching. Other. People. The day I was the feature speaker at a prison graduation and had to shake ALL of the "graduates'" hands still haunts me.ReplyDelete
I noticed this much more when I moved from Upstate NY Rustbelt U to Big Southern State U. I actually kind of appreciate it, because it gives me time to try to memorize the kid's name (Sammy Sweaty Paws) and it seems to convey respect. Granted, as Beaker Ben suggests, it may be a respect that comes in lieu of actually doing work and being on time.ReplyDelete
On a related sweaty paw... a study abroad joke. How do you know that college students have recently departed a rural village in a Third World country? You hear the snurfle of squeezed sanitizer bottles and catch a whiff of alcohol.
I practically ripped one kid a new asshole for sanitizing his hands IN FRONT OF the "charming little black children." Of course, I also watched George W. Bush wipe his hand on Bill Clinton's shirt after meeting someone in Haiti so...
In all honesty, I think that if I'm getting sick from them, I'm getting sick from handling their germy little essays and probably not from touching a few hands. But that's just me.
On the occasion that a sincere handshake is offered, usually in thanks for understanding something, I don't mind it. But the other 85% of the handshakes are designed to be ingratiating or ass kissing, and then I just feel dirty afterwards.ReplyDelete
Handshakes should be for pleased-to-meet-you-introductions or thanks-and-goodbye-for-a-long-time departures or sealing-the-deal business transactions - the latter is probably your students' intent. Maybe they are trying to convince themselves that you're okay with their flakiness because hey, you shook on it!ReplyDelete
I get handshakes from students every semester. If it's on the last day, I appreciate it. If it's on the first day, I also appreciate it. But in-between Day One and Last Day, hell no. Even if it's meant well, it's not necessary and I suspect they want special treatment because of it.ReplyDelete
We have a grad student in the physics department who tries to shake my hand every time we talk to each other, even if it's just an exchange of a few words. Physics isn't exactly a field that attracts the most socially adept, but this guy is a weirdo, even by our standards.ReplyDelete
I just put my right hand in my right pants pocket, whenever he tries to shake it.
Sudden increases in almost-but-not-quite adult behavior from snowflakes can sometimes be attributed to the activities of greek organizations. For a couple of semesters, I had a rash of male students showing up in office hours at the beginning of the semester to (yes) shake my hand and ask me some sort of question, usually one that wasn't directly covered on the syllabus, but wasn't all that intelligent either, and certainly didn't seem urgent. It turned out (when one of the students actually asked me to sign a piece of paper confirming the exchange) that one of the fraternities on campus was requiring its members to do this. It waned after a few semesters.ReplyDelete
If they are relatively young college students (18-20ish), the hand-shaking could quite probably be the result of an increasing trend in high-schools. Specifically, an increase in the idea that public school teachers need to build relationships with students in order to increase student success and "buy-in" to the educational system. One of the relationship-building groups (Capturing Kids' Hearts) promotes the idea of greeting each student individually and with a handshake when they enter class and again as they leave.ReplyDelete
The high school that I teach at paid for every single teacher and faculty member to attend the 3-day Capturing Kids' Hearts retreat one summer. I was fortunate enough to miss it due to a hurricane arriving in the area of the retreat a few days prior. The next summer, all of us unfortunates were supposed to attend a make-up retreat, but I conveniently didn't see the email until it was too late to register.