Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quirky? Unprofessional? You decide

Many things happen to me in class that I can honestly say I've never had a professor do/say/have happen to them in class.

None of my profs have had their pants malfunction. They've had hideous clothes, but never broken clothes.

None of my profs have stopped a presentation because she or he had to pee. Although I did once have a prof run out, explaining she was "feeling ill" and return a half hour later. And kept teaching like nothing happened.

None have had their contact lens fall off their eye. Oh, but once my favorite prof had to wear her sunglasses because she forgot her indoor glasses. And remember that art history, like most fun things in life, happens in the dark. Hence the need for glasses and contacts in the first case.

Those last two happened to me in the last week. And my voice was cracking like Peter Brady in lecture this morning, where my contact jumped off my eye.

Maybe I'm too rough on myself, and that's something that wasn't apparent to me when beginning this post. These mishaps are typically Lauren, but similar things have happened in classes I've been in.

Hell, I've never been drunk in class, at least! (painting prof got a lil tipsy at the gallery opening on campus and came back to class rosy-cheeked)

Let's hear some stories of professors behaving humanly, everyone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Open Letter to my Body

Dear Right Arm,

I'm sorry to have to do this, but you're so fired. You suck! You have been nothing but problematic since I reached puberty. (This part sounds dirty- just keep listening)

First, when I was in high school, the wrist crapped out on me. Starting gymnastics when you've hit 5' 8" evidently puts certain... stresses on your joints. Being a head taller than your coach should have been some kind of indication.

I had surgery on you, which only kind of worked. I had a cast on you for approximately a whole year, on and off, for various sprains and fractures. And when there wasn't a stinky smelly cast on you, there was a stinky smelly (albeit washable) brace. I was known as the Girl with the Cast for a really long time.

The college years were pretty good. No real problems there, I have to admit. You gripped brushes and pencils, charcoal and conte crayons. You even held my bongs and lit my liters= I really can't get mad at you.

Then. Then I got the shingles. Twice. In less than a year. ON MY RIGHT ARM.

And now? What the fuck, arm- POSTHERPETIC NEURALGIA?! This is an old person's problem. And I have to take an anti-convulsant medication? Please.

I am so over this crap. You'll have to go. Buh bye.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What's your name, fool?

I was watching America's Next Top Model with my sister (what, you thought Art History profs only watch Masterpiece Theater, listen to classical and sip fine cognac? Yeah, I used to, as well, and I still hold that assumption about my profs. But I am given to the temptation of pretty bitches fighting and fawning over Tyra like the rest of us). And the girls were told to come up with a new name for themselves. And ridiculousness ensued.

Then I checked my email and sighed heavily. See, I've been having a problem, dear readers. I teach at the school I attend, as well as at another school. And at both places, my name is different. School with the Unfortunate Acronym lists me as my married name. Which is my name now, according to social security and all those places that make names official.

At my own school, I have some things in my married name. This includes my ID, my bill, my MA and my own roster. But for some inexplicable reason, my paycheck and my name as it appears on course schedules is my maiden name. I filled out a change-of-name request 2.5 years ago- obviously, my stupid ID is in the right name. And no one can tell me how to change my name on my students' rosters. I am trying to something without a set protocol!

Ugh. So not only are they unsure which title to use (Ms., Mrs., some give me the promotion to Dr.- not yet, my pets!) they also aren't sure what my last name is.

I find it helpful to kind of, well, I guess- talk to myself or about myself in class. A lot of students seemed to have forgotten my name halfway through last semester. So I make it a point when I'm lecturing to say things like, "And I know you're all thinking to yourselves, Prof. X done lost her mind!" or "But Professor X, didn't you say last semester that the Romans...?" Along those lines.

So imagine their surprise when they try to email me and can't find me in the campus directory. I have no idea if they've tried to mail me anything, because my mailbox says my maiden name. AGGRAVATION, bitches, aggravation.

On a side note- I am now sufficiently freaked out. They've asked me to open my summer session II class to grad students. And? The class is closed for undergrads. CLOSED. SUMMER SESSION II. JULY and part of AUGUST. Probably because I'm teaching about the figure in contemporary art- it's sexy, appeals to the art students, and hell, I'm cute!

But GRAD STUDENTS. I'm a grad student. It's only my third semester teaching, it's a three and a half hour class (omg!) and GRAD STUDENTS will be there. Scary. And exciting. At the same time.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Excuses, Excuses

Ya know, I almost wish they'd lie to me.

In a way, I like that I'm the kind of prof you can come to when your boyfriend breaks up with you, or when you boneheadedly forget to do an assignment. I guess they feel this way because I often ramble about my own student days when I'm talking, or that I'm not that far off from their age (though they constantly remind me that I'm not as young as I think... but I digress).

But I just can't relate to someone who overslept for an exam. If I had, I wouldn't tell the professor. And if I did, I'd hightail it to her or him in the middle of the exam without brushing my teeth. I would not email him or her when the class is over and she's sitting in her office trying to eat a soft pretzel and not bother the chick she shares her office with.


I try really hard to remember what I was like as an undergrad. Even in my first semester of grad school, I was pretty clueless. I'd go to class all smoked up, I'd disappear for an hour, go back to my room and take a nap, I'd not do assignments.

I also had disasters happen to me. My roommate's computer ate my paper for an AH class- not once, but twice. My grandmother, whose hospice care I'd been helping with, died the night before I was to give an hour-long presentation in one of my grad classes. My cat walked across one of my drawings, leaving footprints all over the surface.

I've overslept for classes, and that's not that big of a deal to me. But an exam? I don't understand. And when a student oversleeps for an exam, they invariably blame late-night studying for their alarm failure/setting it to pm instead of am/not hearing it, etc. In fact, they tell me they were up all night.

Hello? Up all night means that you're up since you got up yesterday. That your caffeine-addled brain (at least a pot of coffee or 3 Red Bulls full) probably won't shut off when the exam is over. That you probably didn't brush your hair, and if you're a girl, you should be using a writing implement to keep your hair back. You should be wearing layers upon layers of clothing, completely inexplicably. You shouldn't smell very good.

This is the root of my annoynce, I think. Not even putting enough effort into my class to pull a true all-nighter. Where's the dedication?

Of course I'm joking. A little.