Thursday, October 25, 2007

Boycott Work

I boycotted work today. Rather, as it is still mid-afternoon, I should say I'm currently boycotting work.

The great thing about academia is that you don't even have to make up an excuse not to go to work.

Slept in, took Ellie to the dog park in Tremont. She didn't do so well there. Two different times, bigger, more hyper dogs tried to play and she got really upset. More upset than usual, really, despite the fact that she's been going to this doggie daycare place semi-regularly. I'd have thought she'd be more socialized by now. Hmm.

This week has been sort of a bummer. It began with the Indians blowing a 3-1 lead in the ALCS (and thus costing me dearly) and has since featured another midnight intrusion by Awful Neighbor and a bit of a melt-down in my Intro class.

Awful Neighbor apparently got shit-faced at the wine bar down the block, came home and found her smoke alarm "chirping." She wasn't able to get in touch with the maintenance folks (surprise - it was midnight), so she pulls the fire alarm. Twenty minutes later, we're being hustled outside as the CFD explores the building. She made up some choice details like how it woke her up from a sound sleep and how she smelled smoke as she was leaving the building. Then she went BACK to the wine bar.

Awesome. At least the building owner hates her because of all the trouble she causes -- almost getting the building's apparently quite expensive security doors busted down by the firefighters didn't endear her to him any more.

The next day, I go into my Intro class. This one has been stressing me out quite a bit, but lately it has really gotten my blood pressure up. Seriously. Today was the low point, of a semester that has already featured its share of low points -- and we are barely past midterms. Here's the play by play:

This girl shows up late then proceeds to talk and pass notes for about 15 minutes. Finally, I asked, "Is there something in that note that is more interesting than what I'm talking about."

She smirks and says, "Kind of."

Don't ask questions you don't want the answer to, I guess.

I said, "Listen, you are paying a lot of money to be here...."

Her interruption: "I don't pay tuition."

I paused, (more) blood rushes to the head, and turn around and start erasing the chalk board. I get about halfway through, turn back to the class and say "Class is over. The material I didn't cover today will definitely be on the next exam. Perhaps your classmate over there (nodding to her) can give you the rest of the lecture."

Stunned silence. I finish erasing. I leave.


This class is seriously the worst group of students I've ever had, in terms of manners, professionalism, and comprehension. I have tried everything I can think of to remedy this, from being cool to pep talks to explaining why students are failing to ignoring it to begging/pleading/crying for them to just pay attention. Needless to say, nothing works.

Today, I'm trying a one-man, unannounced campus boycott. I'm skeptical this will accomplish anything. But at least I'm sitting at home in a beat-up sweater and track pants, instead of fighting rush hour train crowds and indifferent teenagers.

Maybe, though, the wardrobe dimension of this boycott needs some further attention. Seriously, I look like track suit-sporting Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting.

1 comment:

dylanite said...

Seriously, get some pepper spray for protection against that awful neighbor... As for the students, all I can say is - don't tase them, Bro!