Thursday, February 4, 2010


So, in one section of my classes I have a campus police officer who is also a member of the military. Soon he will receive training to be a marksmanship instructor. He seems like a decent guy.

In another section, I have two soliders who, between them, have done seven tours of duty in the Middle East and Afghanistan (one of them just got back from Iraq last Friday). They both seem like fantastic people, and I can already tell that at least one of them will be a great student.

So why is it that none of these particularly skilled people happened to be in another section of mine in which I have a odd guy who seems slightly sociopathic and potentially dangerous?

Just sayin' a little sense of expert backup would be nice.


Amstr said...

Maybe that third section will have a secret undercover martial arts expert in it, and her element of surprise will be a great asset. Perhaps you should have a writing assignment where students reveal their secret skills.

And I hope that third section is at a busy day-time slot in a well-populated area of campus. (I had scary man in a 4-6 timeslot in BFE once.)

BTW--Have you read Susan Bell's The Artful Edit? I'd be curious what you think of it. I'm reading it in my quest to be a better self-editor and a more confident and competent editor in general.

Anonymous said...

Oy vey. I had one of those loose cannons a while back. He picked up his first test at the end of class, walked outside the building, and kicked the garbage can into smitherines. Three students ran back into the building to tell me about the pissed off student (for my safety). I was a nervous wreck some days with that guy in the room. If your campus security is above "robocop/rentacop" people, it might be worth it to ask them to come by your building every now and then.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yikes, GEW, I'm adding you to the "people for whom CT murmurs small prayers of protection" list I keep in my head. And I'm not the praying kind for much.

Unpredictable students do not an easy semester make. I've been lucky; the worst I ever experienced was when I was teaching middle school in the Bronx (there were threats but never actions). I'm with Amstr on the assignment!

TKW said...

I love Amstr's idea. I had a couple of very creepy high school students who seriously gave me the heebies.

Strap that dagger into your boot before every class with that one!

loveskidlit said...

OK, don't anybody misinterpret this as a lack of love for the military, or gun-toting folks in general, but I gotta say it's the high numbers of "people trained in the science of shooting things" in my classes that usually has me worried, rather than the reverse!