They Ruled Out Everything

, , , , , | Learning | September 7, 2017

I am a resident assistant at my college. The school is VERY particular about alcohol violations, and there is a specific way you have to handle them. For example, if we suspect that a resident is drinking in the hall, we aren’t allowed to do anything unless we physically see them drinking it. There are lots of other rules as well that are pretty common sense, such as no pets other than fish or no open flames. This group somehow managed to break almost all of them.

I was the RA on call, meaning that if there was a problem, then I was the first point of contact. I was sitting at the front desk, chatting with another RA, when she got a text from a friend who lives in the building. The friend saw some girls drinking in their room, and being loud and obnoxious. My coworker told me to go up and check on them.

When I got to the room, I noticed several things wrong. First of all, their door was wide open, so I could see right into the room. The dorms consisted of two bedrooms connected by a common area, and the door opened directly into the common area. It was a total mess, which isn’t a crime in and of itself, but there were alcohol bottles everywhere, and no residents to be seen, though I could hear them talking in another room. I knocked on the door, and one of the girls came into the common area. I informed her that she wasn’t allowed to have any alcohol bottles in her room. She insisted that it was allowed because they were just for decoration, and I told her that it was still against the rules. (You couldn’t have any alcohol or drug apparatus, even if it was completely empty and strictly decor).

At that point I called my supervisor, who showed up some time later with two Public Safety officers. Even though what we could see was restricted to the common area, the officers had to search the whole suite, just in case. While they started looking, my supervisor gathered all the girls in the common area and started to document their IDs. The whole time, they were extremely belligerent and disrespectful, and kept insisting that she had no “right” to do this.

It turns out, the situation was much more than a few empty wine bottles. The officers found several half-empty beer bottles, a pipe, and a bong WITH some weed still inside. Upon further inspection, my supervisor found a cage, out in regular view, containing several mice- definitely not an approved pet. While I was standing there waiting for them to finish, I looked over and noticed several open candles on a table as well. The cherry on the cake? They’d taken one of the floor signs, which had fallen from its place next to the stairwell, and hung it on the wall as decoration. Aside from being a rather tacky addition, it was also blatant theft of school property.

In the end, the girls were written up and given a court date. They were livid, but I had zero sympathy for them.

Some Students Should Be Sectioned

, , , , | Learning | September 7, 2017

(I teach at a large university that has over 30,000 students. Some of the introductory and GE classes are very large, containing 350 to 400 students. In addition to two smaller classes for majors [about 40 students each], I also teach one of those 400-student freshman courses. The class is divided into 15 smaller discussion sections taught by TAs. I do the lectures for the class twice a week. This exchange happens over the e-mail.)

Student: “Hi! I am in your class, and I wanted to know whether we have a quiz this Friday.”

Me: Hello. Which class are you in?”

Student: “Your Tuesday/Thursday class.”

Me: “I teach three classes that meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Which one are you in?”

Student: “I am in the history one.”

Me: “I am a professor of history. All classes I teach are about history. What is the title and number of the class you are taking with me?

Student: “Oh! I didn’t know that. It’s HST 101.”

(That’s the one with nearly 400 students in it, and the quizzes are given by TAs in their discussion sections; schedules may vary.)

Me: “Your TA is giving the quizzes, not me, so you need to ask them that.”

Student: “How do I ask my TA?”

Me: “You should probably email them.”

Student: “What’s their email?”

Me: “It’s on your syllabus. The TAs for each section are listed right below my contact information.”

Student: “But which one is mine?”

Me: “The one whose name appears next to the number of your section.”

Student: “How do I know what my section is?”

Me: *entirely losing patience at this point* “Go to your [Student Enrollment System] page and look at the courses you are enrolled in. Find HST 101. After 101, there should be another number, like 01, 02, etc. That number is your section number. Then find the name of the TA for that section on your syllabus and email them about the quiz.”

(I didn’t hear from the student or about her again until the next week’s TA meeting, when one of the TAs mentioned that she had a student finally show up in her discussion section that she hadn’t seen before, but whom she had tried to contact multiple times at the beginning of the semester because the student was not attending. The student finally showed up because a sorority sister of hers told her that there were graded quizzes in the sections. Guess who didn’t pass the class?)

Have A Lot To Answer For

, , , , , | Learning | September 5, 2017

(My friend and I are taking a summer class together. It’s one of the most basic ones in our major, and is a pretty small class, so the teacher is pretty laid back about it. We have the option to do the final on our own at home or during the final class, and he gives us free reign to help each other. About halfway through, the first person submits the test.)

Classmate: “Hey, guys… I just submitted the test and it’s showing me the correct answers.”

(We all stop working and look at the teacher.)

Teacher: *laughs and shrugs* “Go for it.”

(So, the classmate read off all the answers one by one. Easiest A ever!)

Fostering Some Parental Resentment

, , , , | Related | September 4, 2017

(I am having lunch with a few of my fellow students at a local college. I am the youngest, at 21, while the others range from their 20s to their 50s. The discussion turns to vacations.)

Woman #1: “I can’t wait until the kids are older so that [Husband] and I can finally start taking romantic getaways or do a big overseas vacation.” *Her kids are early teens.*

Woman #2: “Why not just go now?” *Her kids are grown with their own children.*

Woman #1: “I don’t feel right about leaving my kids with anyone, and we can’t afford to take everyone.”

Woman #2: “That’s ridiculous. When my kids were young and I felt I needed a break, I just had them put into foster care.”  

Woman #1: “You did what?!”

Woman #2: “Put them in foster care. I could do whatever I wanted while they were there.”

(We are all stunned by her nonchalance at doing this to her daughters. She’s always complaining about them and their lives. A few weeks later, she is now complaining about the treatment she is getting from her kids. She complains that they don’t involve her in much of their family lives and that it’s disgusting how they treat her because all she got for Mother’s day was a phone call; they live on the other side of the country.)

Woman #1: *to me later* “She’s lucky she even got a phone call; if I was her daughter I would lose her number and change mine.”

Turn Up The Volume On Their Self-Awareness

, , , , | Learning | September 4, 2017

(The small college library I work in has a strict no-phones policy for students; i.e., devices on silent and no voice calls. Unfortunately, we have to remind students about it on an almost daily basis. On this particular occasion, a woman is working on a computer and takes a call on her mobile. I go across to her.)

Me: “Excuse me; you’ll have to take your call outside.”

Student: “Oh, sorry!” *into the phone* “I’m in the library, I’ll just have to go outside…”

(She leaves, but as the library doors and walls are entirely of glass, and she stands in the hall just outside the door to hold her conversation, everybody inside the library can hear her side of it, and it’s clearly a call about a job opening. After a five-minute discussion, she comes back in and calls over to the desk where I’m working:)

Student: “Sorry about that!”

(She then returns to her seat, but soon comes up to my desk.)

Student: “Excuse me, but the students sitting near me are talking and making so much noise that I can’t concentrate.”

Me: *stunned at her brass neck and lack of self-awareness*

Student: “If you could just tell them to be quiet, or ask them to leave…”

Me: “I’ll certainly ask them to be quiet if I hear them making any noise, but I can’t ask them to leave.”

(The students in question were being quiet at that point, although I eventually did need to speak to them, but I couldn’t get over the gall of the woman after having disturbed the entire library with her phone call!)

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