students with no sense of self-preservation

To begin this story, let me tell you that my platelets haven’t been cooperating so I’m on prednisone. I’ll find out in a few weeks whether it’s doing anything to help. The doctor’s now pretty sure that it’s idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, and that it will stick around after I deliver, as it clearly started earlier. Hopefully my platelets will stabilize at the very least over 100,000 once we can get them back up. This is hardly the worst thing in the world, yet these lines from Wikipedia do freak me out a little, if I’m honest: “The mortality rate due to chronic ITP varies but tends to be higher relative to the general population for any age range. In a study conducted in Great Britain, it was noted that ITP causes an approximately 60 percent higher rate of mortality compared to gender- and age-matched subjects without ITP.” I shall have to ask the hematologist about that at our next appointment.

Such a diagnosis sucks as well because we were considering reducing our medical costs by putting me on a private insurance plan. It will cost $9000/year to put me on Josh’s rather crappy health insurance through the university. I’m not sure if the health reform act can help with that. I really miss Michigan and Ohio, where insurance was reasonably priced.

Anyway, to get to the interesting part. When the doctor said I needed to take steroids, I asked if the dose was high enough to make me temperamental. He joked, “If you beat up your husband, I’ll give you a note.” I responded that the real problem was likely to be a student. Who knew I wasn’t kidding?

So today, I returned an assignment to students–an assignment I collected 1 week ago, handed out 3 weeks ago, marked clearly on the syllabus, and mentioned many times in class. A student came to the front and said, “What’s that? I didn’t get that.” He turned to his friend, who shrugged, and said, “I didn’t get it.” I said a little shortly, “Well, it was passed out in class, and it was on the syllabus, and….” And they WALKED away from me to go appeal to my T.A. They tried to appeal a professor’s decision to a teaching assistant.

I have 175 students. 168 of them turned in this assignment. I already have less-than-positive feelings towards this student, because he and his friend sat in the back row of class again today even though I’ve asked no one to sit that far back, and they talked even though I’ve told them I can hear them clearly from the front, and have told them to be quiet multiple times in 5 weeks of class. The auditorium could fit more than 100 more students than I have in the class, and they sit in an isolated area with no one within three rows of them. They regularly show up late or leave early. So after telling them again to be quiet, I’d already decided I was going to have to have a talk with both of them.

I know perfectly well why they didn’t have the assignment. They weren’t there when it was distributed, or it didn’t get passed to them because they sit so far away from other students. Then, they pay no attention to what’s happening in class, so they missed every mention of it. Excuse my T.A. and I for not personally handing them a piece of paper it’s their responsibility to have.

I was annoyed when they walked away from me, but I had other students waiting to talk to me. When I realized they were arguing with her, I called out to them, and began to walk slowly over. They turned away from me again and left. I swear to you, if I weren’t supposed to be resting as much as possible, I would have stormed after them. I was so, so, so angry. But I thought about my cervix and just steamed.

So what do you think, stressful pregnancy rage or ‘roid rage? I’d like to think it was the latter, but I doubt one dose of 60mg can do that. Instead, I think that encountering bratty young assholes in a high-stress pregnancy might be a recipe for disaster.

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One response to “students with no sense of self-preservation

  1. My blood is boiling reading this! Not roid rage. At least you get to determine their grades!

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