Thursday, August 30, 2012

Face in the Crowd

Vignette 1

The class is over. I'm packing up my things, and the students are filing out. As I put my notes and other materials into my bag, I see out of the corner of my eye a hovering, expectant figure in short shorts and a tank top, clasping her bag over her chest.

I give her a smile and say, "Hi, what can I do for you?"

"I'm the one who sent you the email."

Honey, I have 300 students, and I've received almost 30 emails just today. I'm going to need a little more information than that.


Vignette 2

I spent a good 15 minutes in the first class talking about the required text. I held it up for them to see, more than once; I explained why I had chosen it, and why I thought it was a good fit for this class; I told them that it was available in the campus bookstore; I told them that it would appear under our course number on the shelf; and I told them that the author, title, and ISBN were listed on the course website.

Six hours later, I got the following email from a student who was sitting in the second row for the whole time:
Dear Professor,

Hi, I want to know what books should I need to buy for your HAM 100 class. Thanks!

On a positive note, the first week is almost over.

6 comments:

  1. Danger, Will Robinson, danger! Narcissism alert!

    On a positive note, the first week is almost over.

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  2. Vignette #1 happens to me daily.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In a similar vein I told my students repeatedly, and via email and via LMS that there was a copy of the textbook in the library as I am a big meany and have an assignment due the first week (by the way bitches, some of us have been teaching for two weeks- it don't get no better). Anyway, as I am returning the graded assignment. Little chippy asks me, no I'm sorry TELLS me "I didn't have my book last week so I could not be expected to do the assignment." Yes, honey I can "expect" that you will do the work when assigned regardless of the whims of Amazon or the postal service. See Big Meany.

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  4. Her first words, "I'm the one...," gave me a clue of entitlement there.

    My first day was pretty good! They Didn't flinch at all when I informed them of no electronic equipment in class, unless it was a laptop for notes, that I could see. I think a lot of departments at our CC have adopted that stance. Did the "Vanna White" with the text, and everyone was cool!

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  5. Both sound all too familiar. It's even more fun when they want to add "my class"? As if I only had one. That would be heavenly.

    Frod is right; the underlying issue is narcissism. The class they're in is my only class (or at least the only one I should think/care about); the paper they wrote is the one I should, of course, have graded the moment it hit the LMS (at 3 a.m. -- 3 hours past the midnight deadline). Between the texting, the earbuds, and the psychological effects of helicopter parenting, some of our students seem to move through the world like 2-year-olds, utterly caught up in their own thoughts, and shocked by any indication that they are not the center of the world. Actually, I get really few of those, but enough to be annoying. And driving (or even walking on the sidewalk) is getting scary; some of them really seem to think that the whole world will just walk/drive around them, with no effort on their part. So, yes, when they need the information (and only when) you should be on hand to give it to them.

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    Replies
    1. My spouse has started letting them run into hir when they take up the entire sidewalk/aisle, and also running into them when we are walking close to the wall/side and they have an entire empty area to move into yet refuse.

      They always look so shocked.

      Delete

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