Friday, November 10, 2006

Somebody Snaps and Goes Old School With a Student Rating

I've reached a breaking point with BD, a sophomore student in my evening Poli Sci class. From day one she has taken great pleasure in arguing with other students in class, flipping her hair back, smacking on her fucking gum, playing like she's my buddy and my equal, and forgetting to wear shoes to class about half the time. I mean, like, she's got so much else going on.

From the beginning she's demanded special treatment. She comments on everything that is said or done in class, putting a little demented and inane cherry on top of anyone else's observation or question. When I ask to hear some new voices in class, she smacks her lips, plunges back into her chair with a pout, and usually fires up the Blackberry to check on the haps elsewhere.

She once came to my office before class started to tell me she couldn't come because she was "buzzed," and thought it would be disrepectful to me to attend class. Then she wondered if I'd send her a podcast of my lecture, or if she could just come by some other day and have me tell her what we covered. "Like, wow, I really just need to go back to the dorm and chill out, let this buzz wear off." She was wearing an outfit that was about right if you were a $30 whore or a circus freak.

On her midterm she misread most of the instructions, skipped 2 of the 4 essay questions, and scored a very considerate D. She came to my office the next week with such a tale of woe that I thought I might be on a hidden camera show of some kind. Her boyfriend has been an ass. Her dad divorced her mom (8 years ago!) and he was being an ass to her. Her English professor accused her of plagiarism, and he was an ass. An RA in her building caught her with 2 cases of beer the weekend before, and she was a major ass. "I mean, like, we have to unwind after all of this work." I was wondering if I was an ass, too, and if she told her other profs how I'd wronged her, but before I could daydream anymore she asked, "Uh, when can I do a retake of the test, since your instructions weren't clear enough." Gum smack. Smile. Toss of the hair.

And then, and I know it sounds like some Afterschool Special, "Gee, Dr. XXXX, I never noticed that cool bracelet before. You're really rocking those friendship beads."

So, I showed her the door, said my goodbyes, and just put my head down on the cool desk for a while. Just for grins, I logged onto Facebook to get a deeper look into BD's college experience. Most of what was posted were party photos taken in her dorm. Bottles of booze fill the bathroom sink. One guy - in another of my classes - is flashing his ass at the camera while balancing a shot glass full of something on his head. BD is in a lot of the photos making out with guys. There's a stunning series of photos of her with her roommate, where they're dry humping on a pool table with a crowd of Sigma Chis around them. And the captions of the photos are quite illuminating: "Hot." "Kisses." "Me and Matt Swapping Spit." "Look at my Boobies!" "Yummy." "Tastes Like Chicken." "Mommy told me to be GOOD."

I've got that class tonight. I just feel ill. She will come bustling in 4 minutes late, mouth wide open, telling us some idiotic series of events that kept her from getting there on time. She'll humph and harumph if I don't call on her as soon as her hand goes in the hair. She'll make fun of at least one student during discussion. She'll want to know if we "have" to do the reading. Or if she can leave early because she has "something going down."

It takes all of my will and all of my energy just to make the long walk across campus to the building. I wish I could smoke or drink whatever it is that gets BD through having to put up with the likes of me and the other asses in the way of her good time.