Monday, December 11, 2006

The Midnight Call

Let me tell you what happened to me last week. First, some background info.

I allow my students to turn in essays through email, and I give them a deadline of 11:55 p.m. This deadline gives them a grace period of a few hours because they all know that I'm not going to check email in the middle of the night--it's usually late the next morning or early afternoon before I get around to getting their emails. When I do check email and find their essay, I send them a reply that I received it.

I have a class in the afternoons that I swear they all must have ADHD. They drive me nuts because of all their energy. I constantly have to tell them to shut up. Everyone in the class is very good natured; they don't cut up out of malice; rather, their chatter is usually related to the topic of discussion (of course, if left to their own devices, their conversation will soon go off on a tangent.) I like these students, but they drain me of my energy. There's one guy in the class that's sort of the main instigator. Everyone likes him, and he gets his energy from that. He's quite intelligent and he writes pretty good essays. However, for as good natured as he is, he also tends to think that everything he does and says is quite cute. You know the type--fraternity guy, party animal.

I give my students access to my cell phone number because it is much easier for me to have to deal with only the one number and one voicemail. So far no one has abused the privilege--until last week. On Wednesday night--actually it was early on Thursday morning (the morning before my surgery), 1:00 a.m. to be exact--my cell phone rang. I usually turn it off or put it on silent at night so that in case I get a wrong number call, it won't bother me, but this time I had forgotten. I didn't bother to get up and answer it, but then it rang again, so I thought it would be a good idea to answer. By the time I got to my phone it had quit ringing, so I checked the missed calls log and dialed the last number, which I did not recognize. As I was leaving a message my call waiting went off, so I switched over, and it was the above-mentioned student calling, so he says, to ask if I had gotten his essay (which was due two hours prior to his phone call) because he had not yet received a reply. When I heard that, coupled with all the background noise, I knew he was calling me drunk from a fraternity party. And I was pissed! I mean thoroughly pissed! I didn't say anything to him that I shouldn't have said--not that he would have remembered it the next day anyway--and I knew that there is no reasoning with a drunk person. I decided to tell him that he needs to remember who keeps the gradebook in this class, but about that time my cell signal died. I went back to bed, but it took Husband and me a couple of hours to get back to sleep.

Our next class period is on Thursday, but it is optional; they can come to figure their final grade if they wish, so I don't know whether he'll show up. I have plenty to say to him if he does. He is signed up to take the next course in the sequence--my class of course. I'm going to advise him that he needs to take someone else because I don't know how objective I'll be able to be with his grades after this incident.

Can you believe the audacity?


Tony Arnold said...

Truly amazing. I bet this kid has some serious issues, one being self-esteem. He might be seeking solace in alcohol and false popularity. Always trying to prove himself.

I would not wait for class. You have his phone number now, use it. I would not let it linger. Listen, get his side of the issue and he will probably talk himself into a big apology without you having to say to much.

If not tell how you feel about the whole affair and tie it to his behavior in class, but be as unemotional as possible and stick to facts.

My opinion for what it is worth.

OR--give him an F and wait for him to come to you. :-)

How is your recovery from the procedure?


JMG said...

I've decided to wait until Thursday and see if he comes to class. If not, I'll either call or email and ask for a meeting. If he's really remorseful, I'll let it go, but if not, I'm going to advise him to drop my class next semester, and then I'll go to my boss and tell her the situation and make sure that he gets dropped out.


My throat is still pretty sore, but I'm feeling OK for the most part. I'll be glad when I can really enjoy eating again!

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

If one of my students did that, I think I would have to break out the banana hook.

I hope you have a speedy recovery.