10 December 2008


sooooo . . . i rec'd an email from the Dean of Arts & Sciences that asks me to make an appointment to speak with the dean this week.

apparently, a student has complained that i used profanity in a class meeting sometime in the last week or two. i am concerned, as it's probably going to result in disciplinary action during my first probationary quarter at the school.

however, i'm hoping that all goes well and that we're able to come to some sort of agreement and verbal warning. i do love this school--and i'm really not feeling good about the situation.

on top of the stress i'm already feeling about the meeting [which is tomorrow afternoon], i also only know that the student reported that the incident had taken place "in the last week or so." to my knowledge, i haven't used profanity in the last week or so . . . i'm hoping that it's not a case of my forgetting that i casually, repeatedly drop the F-bomb in all my writing classes.

about a month ago, i did completely blow up at my 8:00 am class, though . . . and i'm thinking that the situation in question was THAT morning. i had 4 to 5 older [25-40 years old] male students in my 8:00 class, and on that day, we were in the lab. two of the students came into class late, then proceeded to talk loudly with the other students in that small group about football, news, and other unrelated-to-class items. by 15 minutes into class, they finally started doing some half-baked work.

these classes are 50 minutes long. with 8 to 10 minutes left in the class meeting--after arriving late and being disruptive--three of these male students put on their coats, packed up their books, and STOOD UP to talk to one another, again about unrelated topics.

i said something . . . several things. about lack of respect, about showing up late, about packing up to leave before being dismissed, about my having to holler over top of chit-chat and how that wasn't fair to other classmates. all students sat down, silent.

i went on . . . saying, "don't sit down now. class is over. i'm done for today. just get out of here."

everyone sat still--no one moved to leave.


really nice. and classy.

i apologized immediately to the students who were still there--those who were still trying to finish their work, and those i didn't include in the group of students who were so rude. and, the next class meeting, i apologized to the class at large.

it was really, really unprofessional, and i didn't mean to do it--i was angry, and i still am angry when i think about the situation, but i didn't need to swear at the class. i said all of this to them--and they all seemed understanding, saying other instructors they've had have occasionally done the same thing. i didn't assume that meant everything was okay, but i hoped all had smoothed itself out.

but, this HAS to be the occasion that a student is referencing in reporting my behavior. i am horrified to have to defend myself. i'm going to try very hard not to defend my behavior at all--and just be honest. i know every action has a context, but even given this context, i'm really embarrassed.

ugh. just what i need in the middle of final exam week. to feel like an amateur, unreliable instructor. to feel like the school will now think it made a mistake hiring me. hissssss.


  1. ahhhh hell. i'll send mojo your way cookie-puss.

  2. Proof now thta I should never be a teacher. I have the biggest potty mouth EVAH! I can't say I blame you for what you said--I'd be pretty pissed too. I hope your dean has some common sense and gives you the benefit of the doubt. May the force be with you.

  3. I wish you would have sworn at that adult writing class a few years ago.


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