Mutiny Rising

Being a teacher has special perks that I’ve grown to love. For instance, I can access the building at anytime I choose. That sounds sexy in theory, but in practice, I find myself in the office on Sundays doing research and catching up on my work. My professors insist that I call them by their first names; however, I decline out of polite deference, because these people are still who I admire. Maybe next semester I’ll drop the formality, but for now, respect is still my primary focus. Whenever there’s a test assigned, I get to proctor and watch as my kids seethe with callous rage.

Wait, that last line…that didn’t come out right.

Today was the first exam, and I laughed my derriere off when I looked at the test to find that none of the items I grilled them on were apparent. My moral standard involving grading is pretty simple: you deserve to fail if you did not study when the material was bequeathed. On the other hand, what happened today was not in my realm of acceptance, because tests should be fair. I could not explain what happened on the test, but I went with it as a learning experience. I have a job to do, and I don’t question/tempt fate. Some of the items were rough, but then again, making it to grad school wasn’t a piece of cake. Actually, it was. I received my degree yesterday to see the cruelest joke: Arnold’s signature. Few people outside of California can say their degree was administered by an actor, let alone the Terminator.

In perhaps a show of bad faith, I gave my kids back their papers, which I’m quite sure some did not appreciate. Keep in mind the constraints, namely, the morning test had effectively rocked their minds. I heard one girl remark her grade was due to me not explaining the assignment. At that moment, I truly understood the dichotomy between student and teacher. If a kid gets an A, they earned it. If they get less, the teacher gave it. I’m sorry, but that’s not how my offense works. I laid out within the syllabus my expectations, and not all of them met my requirements. Some also tried to play me for a fool concerning absences. Again, I laugh. I was an undergrad once. Did not have enough fun as an undergrad, but I was one all the same. Estimating my total workload, I’d wager that I’m at roughly 250 kids, and they all expect my full attention. They’ll get it for as long as they attend my class, heavy emphasis on “attend.” Some of us never got the idea that we’re adults now; our actions have consequences. I ran into Dr. Fox today, and that triggered my impulse to pull out a ruler, my weapon of choice. Like teacher, like student aspiring to become teacher.

Current Track – Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries”

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