Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blog Posting #2: This is your student. This is your student on drugs. Any questions?

I swear the “Any questions” part is coincidental. But it’s pretty cool how these seemingly random coincidences influence one another (See title of previous posting).

On Thursday I was driving out of the Cline Library parking lot and noticed one of my former students walking with two friends. Out of curiosity and to see how he was doing in school and life, I stopped my car and rolled down the window. It then went something like this:

Me: Hey man. How’s it going?

Former Student (FS): Heheh. Good.

Me: How are you doing in school this semester?

FS: We’re coming from Whole Foods. Heheh heheh.

Me: (Silent, but questioningly making ye olde toking gesture, though I’ve never smoke a joint or blunt—honest).

FS: Heheh heheh. I had you (…as a teacher—I can only assume the rest of the sentence would have gone had he been capable of articulating more than three syllables and a bunch of laughs). Heheh heh.

Me: All right, man. I’ll leave you be. (…as I drove home—saying to myself) Don’t want to ruin your high…

This was certainly an interesting experience. Since I had spent a few hours in the university library I figured I might run into a student, as seems to happen fairly frequently. The last thing I expected was to run into a student who was so likely high. I’d never seen them so giddy and happy in my class. Wow.

Now don’t let my gendered language fool you into thinking this student was necessarily male. I seem to have started this 60sish “man” thing with people of all genders. I think it comes from reading some R. Crumb, which seems appropriate given the situation.

I suppose I’m running out of time to see current and former students wandering the school grounds in elated states of mental being. I’ll be out of this town in precisely two months. I think this might be a good thing. I’m sure it would be equally awkward for students past and present to see me out and about and in a different state of mind than I appear before them four times a week.

Heaven’s waiting down on the tracks, because this town’ll rip the bones from your back. I’m getting out while I’m young.

Links of interest:

Link 1: 198os Drug Public Service Announcement (PSA). This is what I grew up with. On TV I mean. I haven't eaten eggs since.

Link 2: Spider's on Drugs. This one probably most reminds me of the incidence from the other day.

Link 3: Simon and the Land of Chalk Drawings. A cartoon I grew up with, which was probably influenced by drugs.

"Frying Eggs" image courtesy of Feminist Law Professors. I don't know where they stole it from.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blog Posting # 1: Any Questions?

When my students have no questions, I might have to believe they're all going to earn an A on each of their assignments. I know in reality that this is not true. There are likely several, if not many unasked questions. Why don’t they ask more questions?

Is it fear of sarcasm? Well, when the question is, “When is this assignment due?” when there is an entire document with all the due dates, I’m gonna be sarcastic. Any changes to the document are announced and it’s located in a very accessible spot on my 105 web page. Why don’t they print it and keep it in a folder they bring to class? Calendar anyone?

Is it a fear to speak out? Is my classroom uncomfortable for some students still? Is it only my classroom, or is it all classrooms? I’d like to think I’ve created an environment where all students feel comfortable and will contribute to class discussions. Yet we went to the library today and I was more of an observer as Sean Evans led us on a tour of the library and only one or two questions were asked, other than mine.

Is it fear of ridicule from classmates? I hope they’re not afraid of that. And if they are, they can email me, see me after class. I’m available most of the time. Have I made this clear?

Some take obvious advantage of the resources available, and others, I have no clue and I see only the final product.