Thursday, March 10, 2005

Fairly Ridiculous

My friend Colleen, in an e-mail to me the other day, described my class as "sounding fairly ridiculous"...and today that doesn't even begin to describe it.

I am so angry. Before, it was just comical disdain of a village idiot. I felt sorry for the man who thinks that because malaria can be contracted via mosquito bite, HIV must be also; "They better get their story straight." he said. To our class. On food preparation. But now, he's really pissed me off. Last week it was just that he gave us one week notice on a MID TERM that wasn't in the syllabus. Today...well, today...

I walked into class with my purse containing a pencil with which to take my test. It was going to be 100 true-and-false questions (feel free to experience the comical disdain yourself - how stupid is that?), and I had to miss lab to go to a dress rehearsal, so I didn't have my knives and stuff, and I was not in my uniform. As I entered the room, one of my class-mates told me that we could use our chapter outlines on the test. The outlines I left at home.

"That asshole!" I said, out loud, to the whole class, who certainly felt my pain. (The teacher had left the room for a bit to go get something, presumably.) I couldn't believe it. Who does that?

So when he came back to class, and was about to pass out the test, I was angry enough to say something to him. (And believe me, I have to be pretty mad to say something, especially to a teacher who holds my grade in the balance, especially a jerk like him who would indiscriminately just give me a bad grade because I told him off.)

I said "I think in the future, you should tell your students when they are going to need something to take a test. I do not have my chapter outlines with me. Since I wasn't planning on cheating, all I brought was a pencil. This puts me at a distinct disadvantage." At this point, I was probably using words that were too big for him. At first he didn't even understand why I would care. What a jerk. Why would I bring my five-pound book and huge binder to class if I didn't need it? This isn't elementary school where we all have our books stowed away in our flip-top desks.

"You don't have lab today?"

"No, I am not able to go to lab today, because I have something else I have to do. And we don't use our books or notes in lab class anyway."

"Oh really? Well, what do you want to do? Do you want everyone else to not be able to use their notes?" Because you know, it's all about me getting a good grade in relation to everyone else, not the principle of the thing.

"No, that wouldn't be fair. You already told them they could." Yeah, five minutes ago.

"Well, I'll make it up to you somehow." at which point he started looking through the stuff at his desk like he was going to give me something to use. "As long as you don't tell anyone." What? Oh, somebody's gonna hear about this, believe you me.

When Carey, God Bless Carey, she said "I wouldn't mind not using my outlines. We all planned on taking the test that way anyway."

"Would anyone have a problem with that?" the teacher asked. No one spoke up. Which I didn't care, like I said, it's the principle of the thing. But that's what happened. I wasn't the only one who didn't bring anything, but no one backed me up.

I am just so angry. I am angry that I paid money for this. I am angry that this wastes three hours of my life every week (when I could be KNITTING), because attendance is mandatory. I'm angry that every time we ask a question about the class in general he acts like we are trying to get away with something, and he doesn't want to give an answer. I am angry that I can't do anything about it because of the fear of retribution, and I am angry that I may have to take classes from this person in the future.

For now, I'm going to keep track of all off the jackass stunts he pulls like this, and if there's an evaluation at the end of the class, I'll be sure I remember everything he did. And if there isn't, I'll have to decide what to do then. Never fear, I am capable of being very diplomatic and level-headed when communicating these type of things. That's why I want to write everything down so I have a credible record of what's happened. I just can't believe I'm paying money to be treated like this. On the drive home I had several imaginary conversations in which I told him exactly how I felt.

But now, it's Spring Break. And I don't have to do homework, and I don't have to study, and I don't have to do laundry. The coffee thing is working out (but looking forward to a week of detox) and it's all going to be over soon. And, I scheduled a haircut for Tuesday, at which I will schedule another haircut in 6 - 8 weeks to CHOP IT ALL OFF. The time is nigh, my friends. The time is nigh.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about the bumbling idiot of a teacher. You should definitly complain to the department about it.
But on a happier note, glad to hear you will finally chop it off! You will have to show us a picture of what kind of hair style you plan on.

-Suzie

Nancy said...

Beth,
Sorry to hear about your recent culinary school woes. As a college prof, I ENCOURAGE you to write a diplomatic (of which you are so obviously capable) yet firm letter to the department chair enumerating the various problems you experienced in the class after you complete the class. The chair has the power to hire and fire, particularly if this "professor" is an adjunct. While this doesn't help you this term, you will at least have the peace of mind to know that others will not have to suffer as you did.

Good luck and hang in there.
Nancy
AKA LaTejanaFria

jenna said...

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