Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Funny- Cracking the Whip

For those of you who may just be joining us, among many of my part-time jobs (because, really, who has a full-time job anymore. . . that's a whole other post ENTIRELY), I teach music at a local university. I love this job and take pride in what and how I teach. We are, however, at THAT point in the semester.

THAT point would refer to the lull that exists after the 3rd exam (week 12) and the three weeks leading up to final exams. I always know that those
weeks-13 and 14- will be the ones where I really have to pull my class along and motivate them. I do, however, expect them to have some degree of preparedness, as they are here because they want to be. At the tuition rate of $20K+ a year, you had better be. Especially if you are pursuing a music degree of any sort.

Tuesday came and it was my day to teach my all male class. It was not purposed this way, it just happened. Now, being the only female in the room, I walk an even finer line, just because boys being boys, will do whatever they can to rattle you, make you blush, have sympathy for them, etc. It's been a term of ups and downs, but through it all, I've remained constant, pushing them to continue their studies. But Tuesday, at five minutes before class, no one was there. Not unusual. At 5 minutes after starting time, only 3 of the 7 were there, with only 1 having his text. (We use the text every single class period). By ten after, Only 4 were there, and no one had pencil or paper. At this point I lost it.

Deep Breath.

Then somebody cracked a wise crack. I don't even remember what it was, but I was beyond tired of the attitude.

I felt my mouth begin to open. Right. Uh-oh.

I pointed my little finger at all of them, narrowed my eyes and said,"This is
FREAKIN' RIDICULOUS!!!!!" You all get your lazy butts out those chairs, go downstairs to the Lost and Found, find some textbooks and get back up here because WE. (hand slamming on the piano for emphasis)ARE. (slam!) HAVING.(slam!) CLASS!!!" (slam!)

Startled, they jumped back in their seat, frozen to the chairs.


Man, did they scatter. There was a clamoring of college boy feet and haste for the stairs. I don't remember a time I saw them move so quickly as at that moment. One enterprising student ran to the next room, which happened to be the head of the theory program's office.

"Dr. X! Dr. X! Do you have an
Ottman (our text) I can borrow?"

Without so much as looking up, Dr. X, who had heard the entire encounter, calmly replied,"I have one you can rent for $50."

(I like Dr. X.)

Within three minutes flat, my class had returned, each with text in hand, frantically opening it to chapter ten, ready to go.

I am happy to report that on Thursday, when I walked in at two minutes to class time, all class members were present, all brought their textbooks, pencil and paper. And though I'm only half of most their size, I think for present, they see me as just a tiny bit taller than the week before.

Sometimes, they just need to be reminded in whose kingdom they are learning. Mine.

Yours, wishing you a happy weekend,



  1. That is so funny Melissa. Love your posts. You always make me laugh. I'm passing this one on to Brett so he won't make the mistake of disrespecting that college professor next year - even if she is half his size. Love ya girl.

  2. Thanks, Ann! My pleasure to make you laugh. Sometimes I get to be the teacher, sometimes I have to be the mom with the wooden spoon. ;-)

    Hope all is well with you and yours, Hug those "babies" for me. Miss your smiles!

  3. Yeah...see you on Tuesday. Don't worry, I'm sliding my...ahem... "little" butt onto the bench right after this sentence.

  4. Deb- I'm certain it will all be just fine. I can't even conceive having to yell at you for lack of motivation.