Originally Posted: 2003-07-29 16:34 (no longer live)
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Missing: my sanity.

My Classroom Journal; or How I Lost My Sanity

2/19
Changed color ink printer cartridge immediately prior to class. Touched face, which was a bad move. Had blue and red cheek.

3/12/02
Made my sister’s bachelorette photos on webpage password protected. Received this email within a HALF-HOUR :
"Hey how come your personal links on your web-site now require a
password? It wasn't that way before? Just wondering. I thought the pictures were pretty funny and interesting. Maybe professors should be a little looser. More learning usually occurs when students can relate to their professors on a personal level. Formal and humorless does not equate with professionalism. Even though I'm not a friend, as an alumni, how about a user name and password? I don't know why but I find the pictures interesting. What do you say?"

Said photos included jello shots, boy-themed tattoos, and Chinese bar karaoke.


3/19
Spilled coffee on white shirt.

3/21
Shirt flew open in class, had to and run and hide behind projector screen. Teaching evaluations conducted this day. This is coincidental and unfortunate.

4/4
Describing reliability and validity. To better illustrate concept, drew two targets with bullseyes. Unfortunately, drew them too close to each other. Looked like boobs. Class found this amusing.

4/9
Put on short film clip, ran to go to the bathroom, almost fell down, was told by student I should be more careful

4/11
Asked by student how much coffee I usually drink, told it was bad for my bones and that it made me hyper.

4/16
Wearing black pants, sat in lots of chalk.
Complained of being hungry during lecture. Given bag of almonds by student. She had been saving them for picking up her small child after class, but thought I needed them more.

Talked about toxoplasmosis, recommended pregnant women stay away from raw meat and cat shit, class giggled at profanity

4/20
Received following email from student.
"Hello MissTeacher,
I am the girl who kept asking you questions in the exams. I really like appreciate you help, and I am sorry if I asked too much. I like you to know that I learned a lot from you, which means I can't thank you enough. although I didn't score high. (I think it is because of my language) but the point is that I learned even if my grade didn't show that. You class was fun, you kept us on task. I can't sleep while your talking with is very good. you know how to get the students attention."

4/23 & 4/25
In London, drinking beer frantically in attempt to forget the past few months. Moderate success.

5/2
Describing what I thought was a totally neat finding that all-male chimeric mice are born very large but with small brains, and all-female chimeric mice are born very small with big brains (due to paternal IGF-2, if interested). Mentioned that if you are male, size is important, but if you are female, brains are important. Class laughed. Tried to explain what I meant, this made it worse.

5/3
Got 4 emails from student named “Binky”

5/4
Got nasty message on message board from student who called me a bitch and said that I am not all that. Student mentioned last quarter’s shirt fiasco and implied this was done on purpose. Realize that news of said event has hit the grapevine. Embarrassed. Suspect student did not do well on midterm.

5/7
Received following email from student:
"Dear Professor: Just a quick question, and I hope I am not out of line. Is everything OK? You seemed not your usual upbeat self Tuesday. Hope it was just the lingering effects of jet lag. All the best."

Resolved to drink more coffee.

5/14
Received following email from student
"Dear Professor: It was good to see you upbeat again. I missed
class last Thursday unfortunately, so don't know if you were back to your
"old self" by then. Anyway, I enjoyed your class today."

5/16
Received following email from student
"Due to a medical injury sustained at a rock n roll concert last night I will
not be able to make it to today's midterm. I hope that you can please write me back with any thing I can do to still pass this class. I enjoy your class very much and have learned an awful lot in this class, I hope to be able to pull off a decent grade. Your humble student, N"

5/18
My younger brother visited my class. Received following email from student.
"Hey Prof! This question will be completely bizarre, but I have a favor to ask of you. When your adorable brother came to class the other day, I asked him about his jeans because I thought they were great. They looked like Diesel, but they weren't. He told me what brand they were, but I completely forgot. For some reason, I can only think of the Casio watch, g-shock. If at all possible, could you ask him again? Thank you so much! And I know, the question is completely out of whack!"

5/19
Received following email from student who missed midterm because of rock concert when I told her I needed medical documentation of injury to make-up the midterm
"well thank you so much. i guess i'll just drop the class, get kicked out of
school, not have a place to live and move back to where i came from, all
because some asshole hit me on the head, the state "health" insurance is a big joke and that place should be sued for malpractice. i studied hard for that mid term, i deserved to take it. i am going to continue attending your class and i hope that you feel very sorry when you give me my big fat F.your student, N"

Added student’s name to the list of people whose lives I’ve ruined by not cutting them a break.

5/24
Debate breaks loose on the message board about whether or not my class is too hard. Students complain endlessly. I make up following question for the final exam, using direct quote from the board:

"On the message board for Dr. Hardknocks’ class, a student writes, “I am very worried that you are going to have a final full of silly "real life" questions about Jenny and Suzie that don't cover material from the book. I think your class is out of control.” If the student really wants Dr. Hardknocks to evaluate her test format, what type of language error has the student made?
a. syntactic
b. morphological
c. receptive
d. productive
e. pragmatic*

On every “real life” question on the exam using females, I use the names “Jenny” or “Suzie”

6/13
Receive teaching evals from last quarter. Among the suggestions are that I wear more open-toed shoes. Am unsure of how this impacts teaching ability.

6/12
Received following email from student
"Hopefully you won't mind my saying this next thing, but I really liked your
hair down the way you had it on final exam day. Hope it's OK to say such a thing in these "PC" days. See you Friday."

6/17
Showed up for the first day of summer sessions in what is supposed to be a “high tech” classroom. It is not. Ran around the Physical Sciences building looking for someone to lend me a VCR but no one would. All materials for the class are online, I cannot access these either.

6/18
We are given a new classroom to use for a week until another classroom is available. We show up, and the door is locked. After searching vainly for someone to unlock it, we call custodial services and have them unlock it. Once inside, the projector for the computer/document reader/VCR doesn’t work. We call Media Services and they come fix it. Class starts 25 minutes late.

6/24
Second class of summer sessions starts. It is in the GH Building. Arrive at GH Building – it is a gym. Must walk past raquetball courts to get to class. Classroom has many windows but no air conditioning, which results in hot classroom. People play ball outside the hallway of the class. This is distracting.

7/1
Showed up for new high-tech classroom. It is also locked. Spend first 15 minutes of class looking for someone to let me in. Students tell me it’s okay and I should calm down.

7/3
I fall down in front of entire class. Student gives me a band-aid for my bloody knee.

7/11
Student comes in to speak to me about test anxiety. We discuss several strategies to deal with it.

7/14
Apparently, the discussion I had with student about test anxiety was not effective, as student throws up everywhere during exam. I have to leave classroom to find a janitor, who wants to know if vomit was “chunky” and whether or not he could clean it up effectively with a dustpan. I tell him, no, it requires a mop, and that I am unsure of the consistency as I did not examine it closely.

7/15
Student brings me red and green blanket she has knitted me. All I can think is that it’s not Christmas and it's too warm for a blanket right now. It is confusing.

7/18
Student who received 5/35 on the first midterm and 8/35 on the second continually drops by my office and calls me to “just say hi.” I suspect this is an attempt to hit on me. I wonder what makes him think that I would believe his performance in any other area would be better.

7/21
The lecture on gender provokes quite a response

Male student asks why is it that fat chicks are better in bed. This is not received well by the rest of the class. Chaos ensues and we take a short break before returning to lecture.

A 50ish mother of ten tells me she was born with ambiguous genitalia. I appreciate her trust in telling me this, but don’t quite know what to say. I feel like a dolt.

7/22
I paint my bedroom and do a good job removing the paint on the front of my body, but don’t realize that the backs of my arms and legs are covered in paint. I turn around to write on the board during lecture. Class laughs at me.

7/23
I can no longer answer my office phone as obsessed student calls me continually to “talk about her theories.” I start working in my office with the light off and door closed so no one knows I’m there

7/25
Last day of class. Despite the fact I have 60 papers to grade, student wants to know if I will have grades up this afternoon.

7/26 – 7/27
I recieve 11 emails asking me when grades will be posted.

7/28
I finish grading. Unfortunately, I am now insane from the process. I retreat home and obsessively read Best of Craigslist postings while chugging coffee, to which I am now addicted.




post id: 14197980