Remember the student I wrote about last month, who made the incredibly racist comment in my public speaking class? Well, "F" has become a problem child. A thorn in my foot. A pain in the ass. The bane of my existence.
Let me explain . . . a couple of weeks after his awkward declaration in class, students gave personal narrative speeches. F chose to self-disclose that he had previously flunked out of college, been in trouble with the law and was only a month out of rehab. I felt bad for the kid. If I had only known . . .
Around the time of the speeches, I pulled F aside after class and reminded him that he needed to be on-time for our 8am class. See, I have a policy that students get 3 absences before their grade is affected. I also keep track of when they are late - 3 late appearances = 1 absence. F had already racked up 8 late appearances. When I reminded him of this policy (which I explain on the first day of class AND is spelled out in the syllabus) he freaked out. He said he was unaware of such a policy. I reminded him that he should have known. He was freaking out so bad, telling me he would never, ever be late again, that I took a deep breath and gave him a break. I told him I would ignore his previous late appearances, but any future late arrivals would be counted. He promised he would never be late again. And he kept that promise . . . for exactly 0 classes.
This past Tuesday, I again pulled him aside after class and informed him that he had 4 late appearances that would be counted against him and he needed to get to class on time. He blamed the bus for being late. I told him to catch an earlier bus. Blah Blah Blah . . . he promised to never be late again. Whatever.
Later in the morning, I received a panicked email from him, requesting a meeting with me ASAP. I had a clear hour at 1pm and told him to stop by then. He came into my office and said (I'm quoting him word-for word) "We have a test on Thursday so you have to send me all your notes and Power Point slides. I have ADD so I get special help. It's required by the university."
What. The. Fuck.
I asked him why I was just hearing about this now and why on earth would I send him information he should already have. He just stood there, looking at me with the most shocked expression on his face. "But, you have to!" he told me. Then he started in on a diatribe that lasted about 10 minutes. Here are the high points:
- "I just never imagined you would be so unfair."
- "I didn't know about the test until today." (Uhm, it's been on the syllabus since day 1 and I've also talked about it every class period for the last 2 weeks.)
- "No, I don't have any documentation, but you can talk to my advisor about it."
- "Why are you being so defensive? You are acting like you don't want to help me."
This is a kid who has learned to lie, cheat and steal his way through life and it really sucks that I'm going to be the butt of his anger when he realizes just how little he gets to manipulate me. It sucks that I'm having to document every interaction because I know, at some point, he is going to claim I had it in for him. It sucks that his parents (or whoever raised him) had a hand in making him feel that he is entitled to every exception.
Today, we had our test. He actually showed up on time. He spent the entire 75 minutes vocally yawning (I asked him to quiet down twice) and sighing loudly when he came to a question he didn't know - which was often. He asked me the definition of the following words: monologue, instantaneous and relevant. With several students still left in the room taking the exam, he loudly asked why I had made the test so hard, would there be a chance for extra credit and made it known he didn't think the test was "fair."
AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! It's already a stressful semester, but this kind of pain-in-the-ass student added on top of it is seriously stressing me out. It's hard to wear the hat of a "neutral" teacher when I personally dislike him.
So. That's my fun story of the day. Now I'm off to fight the crowds at the Walmart.