Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bringing the Hammer Down

I feel like I'm a pretty easy guy to get along with. My sense of humor is such that if someone attempts a joke I'm likely to chuckle out of anticipated humor. I spend my time hoping that everyone hopes the best for everyone. I imagine that nobody acts consciously to complicate anyone else's life. I'm probably wrong, but I like to treat adults like adults.

And then today happened, and reminded me that most Americans are still infants.

I looked to the back row of my 11:00 Comp class today, and there is one of my students with a white ear-bud in his ear. Clearly, he's listening to an iPod. Right then I want him incinerated, but I just give him a frown and a head-shake. I figured he'd take a hint.

Not so much.

When I looked back in his direction, I saw him leaning back against the wall, his eyes slitted, and he's singing along with the music.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" I said.

The class paused, suspended for a moment from listening to Victoria's reading of her memory from before she was ten years old.

Student popped his eyes like I'd just caught him in the shower with my daughter and he yanked the earphone from his head. I think I lost it, but not as much as I should have.

"Get that shit out of your ear," I said. "Use some damn sense."

We went on with the lesson, and the student in question kept his head low for the rest of the class. I regretted for a moment using that kind of language, but I can't be too uptight about it. If I'm going to spend my time preparing a lecture, a lesson plan, and homework, I'm sure as hell not going to let some halfwit derail the whole enterprise because he'd rather listen to music.

He's welcome to listen to music. In my class, even, if that's what we're doing.

I'm still too pissed. I should just shut up.

10 comments:

M.Filly said...

Just be glad that such insipid behavior is relatively rare in college... if they want to screw around, they can skip class and waste only their own time and money doing it. At the junior high and high school level, it's the norm! I wanted to bitchslap some little ragamuffin today. Instead of working on a presentation due tomorrow, he chose to make a paper throwing star and throw it at me. I'm sorry, he "dropped it in my direction." Then he and his buddy started singing Bohemian Rhapsody rather than work.

I weep for the future.

Anskov said...

I think you handled it brilliantly. That kid, and probably others will take that strong hint and think twice before doing it again.

Well done, sir.

Nik said...

Jas... I swear you're my new hero. That is WAY more restraint than I would have shown in the same circumstance. Bravo for calling the little bugger on it!

dchmielewski said...

I'm all for Tunes, but it just makes you wonder who raises these kids. Obviously the tuition is being paid with Mommy's money, because anyone who was paying their own way would not pull this. If you could just have found a way to shove the earbud up his ass during class, the lesson for the day would have been administered.

Jerry said...

Better yet, you should have confiscated it and told the dumbass that he could get it back at the end of term. Act like a child. . .get treated like a child. I know you handled it better than I would have. I would probably have cut him off and told him to leave. Old habits die hard.

K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K said...

One of the reasons I changed my mind about becominga Music teacher...More power to you..and don't feel bad...student needs a kick in the butt.

Jason said...

I'm not really proud of the way I expressed myself. I needed to call him to account, but I'd trade the salty language for a more sustained admonition. I could have made my point better.

That said, it felt kind of good to blow up. I'm so damned tired of being nice to idiots just so I don't hurt their feelings.

Mike said...

Granted..I would have wanted to drop kick the little prick half way across campus. However, remember your youth when you didn't give a shit about school? Man, the older I get the more I want to slap these kids. I also weep for the future.

Jim said...

I got a good chuckle out of Jerry's comment.

I think you could have done without the sailors' language, but it's understandable. You probably could have told the kid to leave and not come back until he was ready to learn. He was a disruption to the other students and as such could be removed from your classroom, I think. Rules are mucky about all that shit.