May 13, 2008
The semester begins
Once upon a time, about nine years ago, an eager young grad student walked into her very first solo classroom at her local community college. Almost everyone in the room was older than her, because it was a night class favored by working adults. She projected the Mona Lisa up on the screen, and asked the room if anyone knew what it was.
And no one answered. It was a room full of blank faces.
Since that fateful night, I have come across a wide array of students, talents, and excuses. I have had a roller-coaster of emails, phone calls, lectures, field trips, meetings with deans, department chairs, papers, exams, online classes, live classes, and student evaluations. I’ve been praised as the greatest teacher on earth. I have been cussed out as the biggest bitch on earth. I’ve been threatened by students and parents. I have been given presents of gratitude. I have had my share of brilliant academic hopefuls and EPIC FAILs.
And I am here to share them with you.
Just to be clear, anything I say here is FERPA compliant. I have saved up material over the years so I can mix it up and make it generalized, rather than relating specific cases. Any names used will not be real names. No grades for specific students will be discussed. I have also collected things from my friends to effectively spice everything up. Anything that seems to resemble you or any situation you were in is purely coincidental. Professor Art is a purely fictitious character made up by a ghost writer to protect all identities.
That said, students are funny creatures. When I was a student, I was a funny creature, too. Never fear- I use my own student experience for good material, too.