Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Enter Crusty." Who Are We Glad Is Almost Gone At Semester End?

This semester, it hasn’t been the darling schnoflakey freshmen that have irritated the everloving shit out of me. At least they’re too busy texting, talking, smacking, drinking, and screwing to realize how ignorant they really are, and there’s something to be said for narcissism – at least they’re too conceited to intentionally hurt anyone else much.

What has really driven me over the edge these last sixteen weeks is a student in my upper-level undergraduate course. It consists of about twenty-five students who show up on a regular basis, and enough of them have had classes together over the years to develop a rapport and certain level of comfort with one another. And for the most part, they’ve been great. However, although this is a relatively specialized course, it’s a sexy enough topic to draw students from outside the department.

Enter Crusty.

Crusty is a mid-twenty-something snotty bitch from a completely unrelated major whose contempt for me, the other students, and the discipline has made many a class completely unbearable. She is from a totally unrelated major, and I have yet to discern why she’s even taking the course other than to show off her “extensive” knowledge of the topic. From what I can gather, her “extensive” knowledge comes from reading no more than four random books and watching extended basic cable television programming. She attempts to hijack the lecture whenever I talk about one of her four subject areas (gleaned from the aforementioned four books), and she has rudely interrupted me to correct what she perceives as misinformation when I’m teaching. I’m not too vain to accept legitimate contributions from students, but she has no idea what she’s talking about half the time, and the other half she is so disdainful that I’m not an expert in one of the said four areas that I end up shutting her down completely and move on to the next point. Her participation in the class is condescending at best, flat-out disrespectful at worst, and even other students roll their eyes and make rude comments about her because her tone is so inappropriate and her yapping so utterly irrelevant to the larger point.

Normally, I try to let these things shake themselves out. Most annoying assholes succumb to peer pressure and will shut their cakehole when they realize that nobody can stand them. And I’m able to manage Crusty’s public scorn for me personally pretty well. Usually I will say it’s a point well taken and leave it at that; other times I will patiently correct her blind stupidity or just say that it’s not really what we’re talking about. The one truly best part of all this is that her work is always so late and/or poorly done that I don’t have to feel bad for failing her sorry ass and wondering if I’m just seeking revenge. Nope, no guilt at all.

But that’s not what really, really annoys me about her. Crusty smells so bad that I can’t hardly stomach it. The one blessing is that it’s a mid-morning class; my breakfast has settled but I haven’t eaten lunch yet. And before anyone rips me a new one for being insensitive, Crusty’s funk isn’t culturally relevant, like consuming a lot of garlic or turmeric. It’s also not due to her socio-economic status because the bitch totes around enough electronic gadgets to bring Circuit City out of bankruptcy. And it’s not even like she lacks potential. I made the class clean up for a special guest speaker who came on campus at the beginning of the semester, and Crusty looked starched and pressed along with the rest of her peers, although I didn’t actually get close enough to steal a whiff. No, this kind of stench comes from weeks and months of deliberate neglect to one’s personal hygiene. It’s the type of foul odor that accompanies that head of lettuce that turned to liquid in the bottom back of your refrigerator crossed with sulfur, curdled milk, and warm fungal residue. She wears a jacket most days so I have no idea what kind of condition her clothes are in, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen her hair because she wears a ballcap. So who knows where her putrid perfume is coming from, unless she’s actually rotting from the inside out. My best guess is that she has so little respect for other people that she doesn't care about what she looks like or what the rest of us have to suffer through to stand within ten feet of her.

All I know is that, between her shitty attitude and scent of decay, I cannot wait until the end of next week.