Student (Mis)Behavior

ProfHacker has a beautifully timed posting today on Disruptive Student Behavior (*Too Much Skin Edition*).  We are given two scenarios (the peekaboo butt crack, and the 1970s style (is it back??) tube top/mini skirt look).

The question posted is: what would you do, if a bit too much skin seemed to disrupt the class?

Despite living in a climate that rarely allows for tube tops, I do, alas, get a the occasional butt cracks and a few women with cleavage that certainly begs to be showed off (in, say, Stars), but both instances are relatively rare, and not disruptive (at least, no notable disruption—I can’t speak for other types).

What I’ve noticed this week are other types of disruptions, and since it’s only week 1 of the term, this makes me a little nervous:

  • One student, who is named after a famous philosopher (not kidding: first and last name), sits in the front row of a small, 26 seat classroom, and alternatively sleeps/snores, or text messages with his hand between his legs in what can only be described as a very, very suggestive manner.
  • Another student stormed into the classroom late, and while I was in the midst of one of my riveting lectures, interrupted with a breathlessly told run-on story about his car troubles and how he hoped that unlike his other professors I would not stereotype him as the always late student because it was the ONLY time he has been late to class ever, etc etc. The other students merely stared at him in silence.   Once I got over my shock, it took me a while to ask him to please save his tale for after class.
  • One student stormed into my office this morning, visibly angry that I asked the class to print the first short story from Blackboard: she said she couldn’t afford to print the “book” and how could I ask her to do so?  (Meanwhile, she was carrying an iphone, and several very expensive textbooks, including the 3 novels for my class–so part of me did assume she may have felt overextended, but still…..).  When I told her the total cost of printing the story in the campus computer lab would be $3.0o and that I would gladly give her the money, she just stormed out without a word.

Of course, the first week hasn’t been entirely filled with misbehaviors.  My classes seemed engaged already, and eager to dive into the work of the term. My women writers’ class is crowded, but lively, and there are actually 3 men in the class this time around).

And good news: my application for the NEH Workshop was accepted, so I’ll get to be a “student” this summer myself: what sort of misbehavior do NEH participants do, I wonder?

8 responses to “Student (Mis)Behavior

  1. Hmmm, I’ve never had to deal with clothing issues and I don’t know how I would handle such a sensitive issue with what should be adults.

    I’m really curious about this student who has the philosopher name. I wonder if it was done on purpose. I went to high school with a kid whose name, first and last, was of a really famous 1980s actor and I always wonder if that was done on purpose or just bad timing.

    I don’t have an office, so I’ve never experienced this whole other realm of interaction…and after reading your example, I’m okay with that.

  2. Congrats on the NEH Workshop! That should make up for student #3, at least. (Wouldn’t an iPhone cost approximately 100 times what the printout of the story would cost?)

  3. I’m guessing that the philosopher kid’s parents may NOT have known of the famous name, but who knows? I haven’t figured that kid out yet: he may be high functioning autistic, or he may be a brilliant student, or he may be just socially weird: time will tell.

    And Undine, thanks for the congrats! I’m VERY excited. Already scoping out plane tix, and making plans to combine the workshop with a vacation….

    Exactly: students carrying iphones for which they pay triple per month that I pay for a service plan do not get to complain about printing costs that are already subsidized. Sigh.

  4. I’ve had some serious “wardrobe malfunctions” in my classes — usually female: butt crack revelations, super-short skirts, boobs falling out of overly small shirts … Sigh. I just want to take these young women aside and say, “Honey, do you know that you look like a cheap tramp?” But, that’s not exactly the right thing for us feminist profs to do.

    Also: congrats on the NEH workshop. I went to one a few years ago and it was AMAZING in terms of the content. I learned so much. What was less great: the housing/eating situation. I’m going to hope you will not be living, as I did, in a student dorm and eating in the cafeteria with about 2000 pre-teen girls who were attending cheerleading camp on the same campus. Talk about bad behavior!

  5. BS Girl: you must live in warmer climes than I do! But yes: very awkward situation. Since it’s more common for you, tho, I assume there is minimal class disruption??

    And thanks for the congrats and the warning! I haven’t rec’d the paperwork info yet, but note to self to bring bread, pbj, and ear plugs;)

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