Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annoyances of the week

Head colds (I should alway sanitize my hands after grading labs!) that make my head feel like it's going to explode (no, I don't take sick days, they just wind up being more work for me when I return to school).

Students who ruin things for future students.  During a midterm exam this week, a student asks to use the bathroom.  Being a reasonable sort, I say sure.  On the way back down the hall, after a rather long break, I see said student putting their fancy cell phone back into their pocket.  Congratulations - now no one will be able to use the bathroom during an exam.  Students wonder why professors get strict and mean - every policy in my classroom was inspired by a student acting poorly.

Students who come to the faculty office area and push open closed office doors without knocking or try to peer into windows in doors when their knocks aren't answered (like the professor's hiding under the desk or something and they can catch them).  It's just rude behavior.

Students who address me as "Hey" or "Dude" or "Schimmrs" (my email address!).  I take the effort to learn all of my student's names, it's not too much to ask they learn mine (and I even let them call me Steve if they're an especially good student or an older student).  They can call me "dude" if the see me in a bar downtown but not in the freakin classroom.

Faculty who don't do shit and think their only duty at a community college is teaching their classes.  No.  Part of the job of being a professor anywhere is a certain amount of bureaucratic paperwork, submitting grades on time, syllabus revision, program and course reviews, committee work, etc.  When lazy slackers don't do it, it simply makes more work for everyone else.  What really pisses me off is that they usually get away with it thus ruining morale for everyone.

Being paid a barely-living wage and pondering bankruptcy (I'm literally 1 paycheck away from financial ruin) in a broke, high-tax state.  I love teaching, think I'm good at it, but local elementary school teachers earn $30K-$40K a year more than we do teaching college when you compare median salaries.  And we went to school longer (which typically means we've accumulated more debt as well).  That really pisses me off, especially given the fact that students from the local school districts come in here practically illiterate.

Stupid politicians.  The debate for governor of New York was a circus.  The lunatic Jimmy McMillan of "The Rent is Too Damn High" party (party of one, I think).  He claims that, if elected, he'll do some magical thing that will lower everyone's rent (won't help me since I own a house so I'll pass).  Kristin Davis, the former prostitute and madam (claims to have had ex-governor Elliot Spitzer as a client), running on the "Anti-Prohibition Party" ticket in favor of legal pot, gambling, and paid sex. She called career politicians the "biggest whores in the state" which was pretty funny.  Then there's the perennial losers from the Green Party and the Libertarian Party whom I've forgotten (and so will the voters).  Carl Paladino of the Republican Party who was an incredibly poor public speaker (I was listening on NPR so just heard their voices) and apparently has a strange obsession with gay men in speedos and thinks gays are "icky".  This "family" values candidate apparently fathered a child with his girlfriend while still married.  Democrat Andrew Cuomo gave the best performance during the debate (not hard, I think I could have beaten most of them in a debate too).  I just think Cuomo, who's definitely going to win being tens of points ahead of Paladino in the polls, will simply be more of the same - a career politician buddy-buddy with everyone else in the Albany cesspool.  The whole thing is just depressing.

1 comment:

  1. With all due respect, I am a college teacher too, and I think that elementary school teachers have a much tougher job than we do.

    The idea of spending 30 hours a week in a classroom with a bunch of active young kids who are NOT there by their own choice, who may have all kinds of highly challenging family backgrounds (e.g., parents in jail, on drugs, living in foster homes, etc., etc.) is not exactly a walk in the park.

    Check out this blog by an elementary school teacher who totally rocks and more than earns every penny the state pays her. She is making a difference in these children's lives: