8.26.2010

That Too Did Pass

...and so ends the weirdest class I've ever taught.

Normally, when you teach college kids, the whole trick is to get them engaged. You're usually staring out at a room full of glazed eyes, with the students texting or updating stuff on Facebook while you're talking, the one kid in the back taking a nap, and your three good students sitting up front nodding diligently, reminding you that they should really get A's.

This session, however, was the weirdest pedagogical clusterfuck I've ever had to deal with. I had one complete big-mouth dickweed who interrupted my lectures every sentence or so with either an irrelevant tangential comment (a.) or an obscure question (b.) I didn't have the impression that he was being a jerk deliberately; it was more like he was compulsively driven to be a jerk because of deep-seated mental problems. Besides him, I had about ten other students who interrupted and made tangential comments as well, albeit at a whole level of magnitude lower in intensity and frequency that Captain Blowhard. Collectively, the class was way too engaged, making it almost impossible to keep the narrative thread of my lectures together. I felt really bad for the dumb kids, who invariably lost track of what I was talking about as I had to fend off question after question and try to keep the anachronistic comparisons to a minimum.

I told B the other night that each lecture was like trying to land a plane with all of the engines out, desperately trying to keep the lecture on course as you plummet.

Anyway, I finished grading the finals and essays I had to do this morning and handed off the rest of the stack to my homie M (who is my TA), so that's done and done.

And the worst of it? Captain Blowhard totally got an A. As much as I wanted to report him to Homeland Security with some made-up threat and get him waterboarded, the fact is he wrote a really good essay and did a fine job on the exam. Crap.

1 comment:

theNerdPatrol said...

I liked this story :)