Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crazy Student Tailz

I am so irritated at my students today. They were such complete slackers!

It reminded me a little bit of some student antics about a year ago - I happened to see this student again today and I was reminded of it.

We were reading and discussing John Donne's Holy Sonnets that day (so awesome and brilliant!) and I got a phone call from this student saying that s/he needed to talk to me about why s/he wouldn't be in class. S/he said, kind of breathily,

Student: "Uuuuum....I won't be in class to discuss those poems today because....uuuuuum....I'm a Christian and, uuuum, these poems offend me as a Christian (pronounced "Chrissss-chin?" with the slight rise in tone at the end)...."

MW: "That's great. So was Donne. It'll still count off of your attendance grade."

Student: "Uuuuum....but I'm a Christian and it offends my personal beliefs to read these poems about God battering them and stuff."

MW: (?!?!) "Well, okay. But you do know that reading and discussing the poems in no way necessitates your subscribing to their particular theology, right? And how is it that none of the other texts we've read this semester have posed a problem?"

*Paging Dr. Summoner anyone?*

Student: "Yeah. But that was all Catholic and medieval and stuff. But I'm a Christian and this offends me."

MW: "I'm sure that most Catholics (modern and medieval) would be offended by the suggestion that they're not Christian. Nevertheless, it's on the syllabus and class attendance is required, so this will count as an absence."

Student: "But that's penalizing me for my religious beliefs!"

MW: "Indeed, I'm not. Religious beliefs are not an acknowledged illness or family emergency and, thus, I'm not excusing it. You're making the choice to stay out of class and, if it is because of fervently held religious beliefs, then you need to be able to accept the consequences of your actions. In this case, the consequences are pretty mild. The Lollards didn't have it so easy, as you might remember."

Student: "Buuuuuut....."

MW: "Might your offense coincide with the fact that it's right before Spring Break and you already have 4 absences in this class?"

Student: "That offends me..."


squadratomagico said...

I'd have been tempted to penalize her for TWO absenses -- one for her body and one for her intellect! Only, I guess the latter penalty would have to be re-exacted regularly, since she seems unlikely ever to grow one if she can't attend classes that somehow "offend" her.

Doctor Cleveland said...

Well, as a necromancer I'm offended by "Death, be not proud." So you should give me course credit for the things I thought before I read these books, enrolled in this class, or came to college.

Also, I'll need October 31 off.

Bavardess said...

I'm with Squadrato - I'd be tempted to doubly penalise her.

Belle said...

You are all very generous. She offends me.

the rebel lettriste said...

"That was all Catholic and stuff..."


Good Enough Woman said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Love the Lollard remark, along with the rest of it.

And, dude. She REALLY didn't get that poem if it offends her. I mean, really. Holy Sonnet XIV as offensive to a Christian? Dude. The irony. Sounds like she needs an F on something.

Bardiac said...

A lot of modern Christians don't seem to get how deeply thoughtful medieval and early modern Christians were about their religious beliefs.

What will she make of Carew and Vaughn?

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Props for the hilarious telling of this tale. Teaching would not be quite what it is without a good, funny rehash of the not-funny stuff we have to deal with sometimes ...

Anonymous said...

"That's great. So was Donne. It'll still count off of your attendance grade." HA HA HA! Great.