Allow me a moment to vent before I get onto the meat of my moment as a teacher, of sorts. I returned from the campus bookstore having paid $120.78 for a fuzzy hat, robe, and tassel. Just one hat, fuzzy. Just one robe, not even fuzzy like from a hotel. One tassel, not even two which would be enough to be a stripper or burlesque dancer. Even worse, she…she being Barb, will only wear this outfit one time. For that price she should be wearing it at a wedding at a minimum. Nope, to standup, walk across a stage, shaking hands, taking a photo, and sitting down. Even better, none of this is considered part of the expense of being in college. It’s not tuition, it’s not a book, thus it is not part of the expense of college. I don’t know about other college students, but $120 for a one time “wearable” (I think it looks like a hospital gown with the back) I don’t have that kind of money to throw around. I did, because I believe that Barb should walk across the stage, shake that hands, and sit down. But that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about how much it costs for her outfit.
Now with that out of the way.
Today was a slow day in class. The subject was research papers, research posters, ethics, which inadvertently crossed into work ethic…theirs not work ethic as a topic. My role was to sit at the back of class and participate by adding to the conversation.
Problem with that is that the students do not view me as an expert on much of anything. Oh sure they will take the advice that I write out on post-it notes and stick to their projects. But when it comes to listening to me speak to them in person I either get, “Him again?” or “The old guy is talking again?” or my personal favorite, “What could he possibly know?” Today was “The old guy is talking again.”
I get it, I was young once and believed that I knew more than anyone else, especially someone “old.” From that stand point I do get it. I also understand that many younger people do not want to here “how it was.” Except in this case “How it was” related to the projects that they are working on. Historical context is necessary when writing an analytical paper that has historical context. Thus, the “old people” can provide that context because we were alive during that time period or have read more and can provide additional information.
However, when given “That old person is talking again,” look I am inclined to either not say anything or embellish the story. Yes, you read that right on occasion I will embellish (lie, inflame, exaggerate, or otherwise FUCK) with the information just to see if they are paying attention and because it makes me laugh. Did they notice? I don’t know. They will if they do the work. The work that they should be doing and would have been a lot easier if instead of giving the “old people” attitude they had listened. But I will be looking for signs of embellishment, mine, in their next papers. Maybe then they will listen to what an “old person” has to say…either that or I spend my life communicating with “young people” via post-it note.