One of the profs at my school - call her Bonnie - is a white woman who looks younger than she is (mid-30's). She told me that this morning after her large 100-level class, there was a line of students waiting to ask her questions. Most of the questions, of course, could be answered by some variation on RTFS. Bonnie answered them all politely and efficiently, even though she was in a rush to get across campus to teach her next class (and had thus informed the 100-level class).
The last student, however took things to a new low by asking Bonnie for a Band-Aid. Apparently, the student had stubbed a toe and was looking to the nearest mommy-like figure for help. Bonnie, slightly taken aback, responded simply, "No, sorry, I don't have a Band-Aid." And the student actually seemed disgruntled/put out that she doesn't carry a first-aid kit for student medical emergencies! She's a tenure-track university prof, for crying out loud, not a kindergarten teacher.
When Bonnie was telling me this story, she and I agreed that if she were any one of the many older men who teaches in our department, the student would probably *not* have asked for a Band-Aid. On the other hand, it's not entirely outside of the realm of possibility. Some of the students, especially the incoming freshmen, are just that clueless/helpless.
Q: Do you think any of your students would hold you up to ask for a Band-Aid? If so, how would you respond?