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I’m tempted, every time I see TNT’s slogan “TNT: We Know Drama”, to take them to court. They don’t know drama, my former students had more drama in their collective pinky finger than Mr. Turner has on all of his networks.

One of my former-student-turned-friends is leaving for greener pastures today with her husband. The two of them have been good friends for the past few years. In celebration of their new start in a new town, today I’ve chosen my favorite story about this former student for blogrification.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, I was a lecturer for the math department of Texas A&M. During my year and a half of teaching, I was blessed with some of the most outrageous students and stories I have ever even imagined. This is one such story.

I admit it freely and with much pride, I was not an easy prof. Many of my students thought I was unnecessarily hard, but in my opinion, it was my job to set the bar high, and help the students who were motivated to try to clear that standard. Some students however, though motivated, felt their efforts were in vain.

This is how our protagonist entered my office. She was clearly distraught, she looked like she’d been crying for a while and she was still in her pajamas, and given the fact that I gave an exam the day before, she was most likely upset about her grade. My suspicions were immediately confirmed as she interrupted the conversation I was holding with another student. “Have you finished grading the exam?”

Now anyone who’s ever had the distinct privilege of teaching 400 students in a freshman level class and who, like me, believes that multiple choice tests aren’t worth giving, can tell you that there is absolutely no way to finish grading the exam in a night. “No ma’am, I haven’t yet.”

Usually this is where students will either get upset, or mad, or cry, or some other completely unsuitable thing to do in a professor’s office. This student however sat down on my desk and simply said. “I just want you to know, if I get pregnant, it’ll be your fault.”

It has always been my opinion that the mouth is almost as expressive as the eyes. Whenever someone is about to do something that might provoke a reaction from me, I usually cover my mouth in some way. This particular time my bad habit proved a life saver; I don’t think there would have been any other way to keep the laugh that almost ejected my eyes from their sockets from exploding from my mouth. “I’m sorry?” was the only thing I could squeeze out without loosing hold on a laugh which would broadcast my insensitivity to the plight of my students.

And she said, without even taking a breath…

“I didn’t do well on your exam, in fact, I think I failed it, and if I failed this exam, I’ll probably fail the rest of them, which means I’ll fail the class, but then I’ll have to retake the class, which means I’ll have to stay another semester, since my schedule is full, but I’ll have to pay for that semester because my parents said they’ll only pay for four years, but I don’t have that kind of money, so I’ll have to get a job, but with my schedule the only part time job I’ll be able to find will be stripping, and if I’m a stripper, then I still won’t make enough money, so I’ll have to do a little extra work on the side, but I know that if I’m doing that then I’ll definitely get pregnant because I’m so fertile, and then I’ll either name the kid after you or leave it on your front step, I don’t know which.”

I think I muttered “Let’s see how the grades turn out first.” She got up, walked out, and I laughed harder than I had in months.

TV drama just doesn’t come close.

Anonymous said on 2005-05-09

Mike, this is Eric Rodgers (Jen Bern’s guy). I was just wanting to let you know that I have a blog as well, though it’s not nearly as witty as yours is. I’ve enjoyed every story I’ve read, and I look forward to more. E-mail me sometime, and we’ll chat.

My blog is:

Later, bro!

Fuwjax said on 2004-07-26

Contrary to public opinion, I actually never taught class or held office hours drunk, so remembering the story was actually quite easy.

And make no mistake, I’m still teaching math, I’m just not paid as well.

Anonymous said on 2004-07-24

Mike, I cannot express to you how wonderful this story is. Thank you for enriching my evening, and I am so glad that you remembered the story well enough to retell it later. And thank you for not teaching math anymore.


Posted with : Story Time