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This Professor Dean-finitely Won’t Be Back

| Learning | March 29, 2013

(I’m a student at a university that happens to have a lot of veteran students. Since I’m a writer who enjoys writing about soldiers, I’ve been to a bunch of the university’s veteran group meetings. On the first day of class in a new semester, I see a veteran I know walk in and take a seat at the back of the class. The classroom is small and there are only six rows of seats.)

Professor: “Good morning, everyone! Can you all to move up front here, please? I don’t like people sitting far away from me.”

(Everyone obligingly scoots up a row except the veteran student. From speaking with him previously, I knew that he was only comfortable in a room if his back is put to a wall.)

Professor: “You!” *pointing at the veteran student* “Move up. No student in my class sits in the back row.”

Veteran Student: “I’m really not comfortable sitting anywhere else.”

Professor: “Now you’re just being difficult. Move up or I’ll drop you from the class.”

(I catch the student veteran’s eye and he nods.)

Me: “Professor? He’s a veteran and he isn’t comfortable sitting further up. You can speak with veteran services if you’re—”

Professor: *looks over at me sternly* “Be quiet.”

(The professor then turns and points to a seat in the first row.)

Professor: *to veteran student* “Come sit here. Right now.”

Me: “Professor—”

Veteran Student: “No.”

Professor: “Fine. I’m dropping you. Give me your name.”

Veteran Student: “No.”

(The veteran student proceeds to stand up and walk towards the door.)

Veteran Student: “I refuse to be in a class with a professor as awful as you are. I’ll be dropping this class myself, thanks, and I’ll be talking to the department head while I’m at it.”

(The veteran student leaves with a nod to me, and I turn back to the professor.)

Professor: “See him? He’ll never get anywhere in life being disobedient like that.”

Me: “Excuse me? He served eight years in Afghanistan. I think he’s done more than enough with his life, including risking it to protect yours!”

(I stand and grab my stuff. On my way out, I turn back to look at her.)

Me: “By the way… his uncle is the dean.”

(The professors jaw drops. I heard she resigned a week later for ‘personal reasons.’)

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