Apparently last night was quite the Thirsty Thursday event for some of the student body. This morning, I'm on twitter and reading my regular list of interesting school-related accounts. You know, the ones where students' gossip about each other, degrade the profs, and talk about how drunk they were/are/will be. Via a hashtag related to one of these accounts, I see one of my current students proudly announce that they are, "still drunk from last night" and "skipping my morning class" only an hour before our class starts. Yet, for some reason they attend my afternoon class - I guess they sobered up a bit?
Said student didn't fall out of their chair or do anything inappropriate. I'm about 85% sure they were indeed still drunk, but I couldn't smell booze on them or anything. Apart from a appearing inebriated, they were a generally model student through lecture. I took the cowards way out and just went about my business, class ended, and the student skipped off and (I assume) returned to prepping for the big game tonight.
I'm TT (not tenured), I'm not 100% positive the student was drunk (maybe I just imagined it due to their tweet), and the student didn't misbehave in any way. This hasn't happened before with this student, and once upon a time I was also 20 and did stupid shit during homecoming week.
Still, I'm wondering: Should I have handled things differently?
Let it go. If there's no vomit, there's no evidence.ReplyDelete
My sentiments exactly. Intervening might get you puked upon, so I'd stand clear.Delete
Besides, in loco parentis was abandoned 50 years ago. My college is now having its official tailgate party this weekend. It's hard to resist the temptation to ask whether we'll be partying until we all puke, since that's what happens at tailgate parties, isn't it?
P.S. Great going, Bison! After too a long struggle, you got yourself a tenure-track job! I hope this makes Christmas family reunions easier.Delete
Nah. If there's no inappropriate behaviour, you've got no reason to intervene.ReplyDelete
Also, don't fully discount the possibility that undergrads greatly overexaggerate how drunk they got last night, and how they're drunk the next day, in order to impress their peeps. It is sometimes also hard to distinguish between hungover and inebriated, as both can manifest as groggy heavy-lidded inattention in class.
... and I also speak from my own experiences as an undergrad. After one interesting St Paddy's Day, I went to my 9.30 am class, where about half the people there looked at me and exclaimed "what on earth are you doing here? how the hell are you standing upright?" to which I kinda shrugged and went about my business.Delete
I would go so far as to say that coming to class and behaving like an adult despite the tag-end of a bender is a good thing. True, planning ahead enough to not be still suffering the effects of last night's over-indulgence would be preferable, but meeting ones obligations despite a misjudgement of that kind is a grown-up thing to do.ReplyDelete
Granted, regularly coming to class still suffering from last night's party is a "heading down the road to full blown alcoholism or simple delinquency" kind of thing to do, but as a one-off it's just the kind of stupid thing that college kids get up to.
What do you wish you HAD done? If the person was functioning and you wouldn't have been able to tell that s/he was drunk if you hadn't read their tweet, no need to say anything. If you happen to notice this individual showing up drunk regularly, then there might be cause to at least say, "Hey, I've noticed..." but I'd leave it alone.ReplyDelete
I'm not getting my reply button to function properly. Many thanks Froderick!ReplyDelete
I'd initially wondered about sending an email the next day, reminding the student that things said on Twitter may be seen by faculty. And that we all make choices, but some choices are better made on a Friday night as opposed to a Thursday night. But I agree with everyone here, I think it was the right choice to let it go.
I can't get replies to work, either. It keeps saying there's more than one attempt being made?ReplyDelete
What I was trying to reply was that if I worked at a State University, I'd ignore it. Here at my Christian SLAC, where students have signed an agreement to abide by the no alcohol policy (at the risk of being suspended), I may caution the student to be careful what they post in a public forum.
An evil thought just occurred to me. At the end of the lecture, before they leave, write the hashtag and phrase on the board, without comment. Then, once they've seen it, pack up, erase the board, and go merrily on your way.ReplyDelete
But then, I have tenure.