Friday, March 30, 2007

On Knowing Too Much

I appreciate honesty amongst students. It is a generally laudable property. However, sometimes there can be too much honesty. I encountered an example of this today.

As I was collecting my notes and things together before class today, a student dropped by my office. They wanted to explain that they would be leaving class a little early. They wanted to know whether that would be OK. I wish this had been the question that was asked. It was not.

What the student actually did was explain to me how she and her husband were having problems with conception. As this explanation was being given, I was fearing what the question actually would be. However, she was so earnest, I did not feel that it was appropriate to interrupt.

She explained that today was one of the 'good times'. This was certainly more than I needed to know. It was only after this, that she asked permission to leave class early. Due to her husband's work schedule and her class schedule, they only had a rather narrow 'window of opportunity'. If she could leave class just a little early, then they would have an additional 'opportunity'. Providing me with very exact timing information was most definitely overkill.

I really do not mind when students leave class early. If they get the notes, then this is fine by me. I do not need a reason. When the young lady left class today, I felt like I really knew much to much about the reasons. I also knew too much about timing. Undergraduates are a curious breed.

The CP


Anonymous Toastedsuzy said...

That is pretty damned funny.

Yeah, I try so hard to make my students understand that I don't need an excuse. Just, whatever...I'm sure you know what your doing.

I'm afraid I would have been tempted to give my student unsolicited and false advice if she had told me such a tale. I might have told her to skip instead of walking--to keep her ovaries excited or something.

Or maybe I would have told her that I was uncomfortable with acting as an accessory to an act that might lead to the creation of an entirely other life. What if the child is unhappy? What if one day the child grows to regret being born? Am I really ready to accept that kind of responsibility? Are THEY? I mean, maybe we're rushing into things here. . .

Something like that.

Great story, CP. Thanks for sharing.


11:07 PM  

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