Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random Bullets of Student Crap

  • No, I will not tell you what you missed in class.  You're lucky that the only thing I tell you to do is to get a classmate to share lecture notes.
  • Well, I suppose you may add the class at this late date, if you really want to.  But you're going to blow the first evaluative assignment – I guarantee it – because I know damn well that you are not going to go out, buy all your books, read the assignments, and catch up on two weeks' of lecture notes in time to know your stuff for the assignment.  Perhaps if I simply show you a list of all the things I expect you to do in the next twenty-four hours...oh, what's that?  You've changed your mind about adding my course?  Ah, quel dommage!
  • I seem to recall you saying that you would bring in the form for that matter you mentioned.  You haven't brought me that form yet.  Doesn't make any difference to me, yet somehow I know that you're going to come hollerin' to me when you are displeased with your grades, as though I did something wrong by not knocking at your door at all hours to remind you about your paperwork.
  • Seriously, ladies, where the fuck are your pants?  Did some malevolent spirit visit all of you in the night and replace all of your mid-thigh-length-or-longer clothing with denim hot pants?  And how is it that I never see such clothing in stores, and yet all undergrad women seem to own them?  
  • Come to think of it, when did I become so goddamn old that the sight of young women in hot pants is no longer arousing, but makes me shake my head in mild disbelief while wondering what they could be thinking?
  • Maybe around the same time that I began to feel the compulsion to wear long trousers and a proper shirt even in the baking heat, because "it looks more professional."  Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's a correlation in there somewhere.
  • All right, I admit it, maybe the intense heat that will not go away is a good reason to wear as little as possible, as long as you are not professionally obligated to dress up.  I'll acknowledge that I'm getting really tired of getting into my car at the end of the work day, and finding that everything has heated up so much that my sunglasses actually burn my face.  (And they were in shade all day!)
  • Given what I have observed so far of Ghosttown and Ghosttown U., and what I have heard from my colleagues, I'm curious and terrified in equal measure to look ahead to the part of my pseudology classes dealing with race.  That material is going to hit them like a ton of bricks.  I gather that students here often think in pretty crude (in all senses) identity politics terms, and are not above blaming their unhappy grades on a teacher of name-your-cultural-Other-of-choice who "hates" name-your-own-category.  
  • This last possibility is so serious that some of my colleagues actually urged me not to declare my own identity constructions to my students at all, lest it come back to haunt me.  (As I have mentioned before, there is the distinct sense that Members of the Tribe like me are ambiguously white around here.  And, as I have been hearing, some of the Christian students here can be shockingly intolerant of the idea of learning about other religions.)  No doubt it would frustrate and anger my students even more if I ducked the question, but better that than opening myself up to frivolous internal review cases.  It might even prove pedagogically useful.
  • Frat boys: those visors you wear make you look like fucking idiots.  I don't care if they keep the sun out of your eyes.  They just look fucking stupid with your button-down shirts and your pressed seersucker and khaki shorts and your boat shoes.  You all look like you fell to earth naked and had to swipe clothing from three or four successive open windows in consecutive houses in order to dress yourselves.


  1. I am totally having a moment about HOW COME NOBODY WEARS PANTS here too. And it's a perfectly pleasant temperature! They're wearing hot pants WITH LONG SLEEVES AND SWEATERS! I usually dress very very seriously early in the semester, to ward off the whole "I still look 19" problem...but I don't need to worry about that here, because merely wearing PANTS apparently marks me as not-a-student.

    Given where I've previously taught and studied, I have never before encountered the frat boy in his native habitat. I am trying to take them as they come, and not bristle in advance. (OK, maaaaaaaybe I tried to be particularly feminazi on the first day of my gender class. Just as a preventative measure. But I also dropped my earring down my cleavage while lecturing and then fished for it until it fell out my skirt, so that may possibly have undercut my message.)

    The curious/terrified dichotomy is a real thing. I had a sidebar in one of my classes so far about some geographic terminology I use, and part of me was just crossing my damn fingers it's not going to blow up in my face. I wish you luck doing your part in Ghosttown.

  2. I have no wisdom to offer, but these made me laugh!

  3. This is hilarious. I might need to copy and paste some of your text here into my responses to student emails.

  4. I keep coming back to this post to laugh again!

  5. "You all look like you fell to earth naked and had to swipe clothing from three or four successive open windows in consecutive houses in order to dress yourselves."

    Nice. I'm sure my colleagues think I've cracked the way I'm giggling.

  6. LMAO (except for the scary points!)

  7. @Ajnabieh: That's an excellent detail, the hot pants-and-sweaters combo. Perhaps this shoots down the functionalist attempt to say that hot pants are a rational response to extreme heat. Also, I think you should draw a comic, Bardiac-style, about fishing for your earring in class.

    @Everyone: Your laughter is high praise indeed!

  8. Hahahaha! I just read the bullets points about denim hot pants to dressing professionally aloud to my spouse. Too funny!

    And OMG, wait, that preppy outfit + visor look is back?! Holy crap, the 80s really have returned! (That also explains the short bottoms + long top look, btw.)