Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Welcome to My World

For a little comic relief after that last post, here is an anonymous mathematican blogger describing some especially annoying sorts of students. My personal favorite:

Part III: The Student Who For Some Reason Thinks That it is Acceptable to Sit in the Front Row and Assemble, in Class, a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich From its Constituent Parts and Then Consume it: No, really. What the hell was this one all about? And he wasn’t using those little tiny packets of peanut butter and jam that you get in cafeterias, either. This kid had, in his bookbag beside his textbook and binder, a JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER. And a jar of jam. And an ENTIRE LOAF OF BREAD, which he opened and from which he proceeded to extract and place on the table two slices for assembly.

He was hungry, he explained when this activity drew attention from his classmates.

I’ve often observed that there’s a nontrivial overlap between the job of college instructor and that of a parent. Never before last class had I noticed similarities between my job and that of a field primatologist. I envision Jane Goodall observing her subjects and thinking, “They are like us in certain ways, and yet, they are quite different."Though presumably Goodall’s studies could contribute to a better understanding of human behaviour, whereas - a peanut butter sandwich? In class? The HELL?

I've never had anyone quite that bad, but I've certainly had students who can't distinguish between class time and lunch time!


At 7:08 AM, Blogger Orac said...

This story reminds me of the classic scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, when Jeff Spicoli (played by a very young Sean Penn) orders a pizza and has it delivered to Mr. Hand's American history class (Mr. Hand played by Ray Walston). When Mr. Hand asks him what he thinks he is doing, he says: "Just enjoying some pizza and learning about American history."

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno. Other than the fact that it might be uncommon, I don't see anything wrong or strange about what the student did. As far as disrupting the class, I'd suggest that other students mind their own business and focus their attention on the person who they are paying to teach them.


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