Monday, December 31, 2018

Fall semester 2018 quotes

There are giant, luxurious expanses of whiteboard in my office. They go almost floor-to-ceiling, which means that there is a considerable margin above which I cannot feasibly write. This margin ends up getting filled with quotes that students hear or say in my office, and find amusing to document. Occasionally I add to it myself (on a stepstool, on tip-toe).

The semester is over, so I'm clearing the whiteboard. Here for posterity are the quotes, anonym-ish-ized:

"I think I am approachable and friendly but no one puts a quote like that up there."

"I'm allowed to extend social niceties. It is one of the things that helps me blend."

"I'm an old-fashioned maniac trapped in the body of a thirty-year-old professor."

"Because long story short I'm a freak."

"Having a filter is like being the protagonist in everyone else's life."

"Solving problems is for lesser beings."

"I was hedging my bets so that way I would get something happy."

"I thought the population of America was like 200,000." (<-- astonishment="" board="" for="" on="" p="" quote="" the="" this="" value="" went="">
"You are the most accessible professor by far." (someone said this to me!)

"Thank you, wise professor." (someone said this! first usage of "wise" applied to me AFAIK)

"You harvest tears, I harvest souls, we all have our quirks." (delivered in a flippant tone to me)

"Try not to say anything obviously dumb." (actual direction I was given)

"It's not all bleak."
"It's just mostly bleak."

"So you're going to be THAT professor?"

"I will, in future, NOT ask questions. Just remain silent." (said by the Most Inquisitive Student)

For those keeping track at home, the semester timer finished at 45:23:04.52. I'm considering how to invoice this time.

This post's theme word is scrouge (v intr), "to squeeze, press, or crowd." The office hours scrouge is the scourge of the studious and enthusiastic.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Final exam

Now shall we sit and observe how collective test-taking anxiety slowly and palpably fills the room.

You know that recurring, popular nightmare, where you suddenly realize that you have a final exam today and you

  • forgot to study?
  • forgot to attend the class?
  • forgot to drop the class way back in week 1 of the semester?
  • don't speak the language?
  • don't set an alarm?
  • look at the exam page and the words and symbols swim before your eyes and you can't make sense of anything at all?
That nightmare is no better from the other side; now it's just a nightmare of the form "what if I oversleep and show up late to my own exam?" I am a more nervous test-giver than I ever was a test-taker; more than my own performance is at stake. Is there such a thing as secondhand test anxiety?

So I will sit here, quietly, and answer questions for several hours in my most calm and composed faรงade of professorial authority and serenity.
HT: Head Like an Orange on tumblr

This post's theme word is ovine (adj), "of, relating to, or resembling, sheep." And now we process into the examination room, ovine and orderly.