Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I have various and sundry items in the posterior receptacle.

Or, as one of my students so helpfully noted, "they had junk in the trunk."

Yessiree, it's that time of year! Fall student evaluations have been processed and handed back to the instructors. There's always a gem or five in the batch. My first semester teaching, unstable problem student said I was "the most miserable person alive." Yes, the evaluations are completely anonymous, and typed by a third party so teachers can't identify handwriting, handed back after grades are in, the whole shebang. But, only unstable problem student (who ended the semester by standing in my office doorway screaming at me) would say something like that. The other gems from that semester were the pair who said I should "get a personality and stop talking like Ben Stein." I'm sorry, precious little snowflakes, that I failed to make cell division and osmosis *sparkle and gleam* to your stringent standards.

Anyway, this semester on the whole I was pleased with the feedback I received. A fair number of my students thought that I was enthusiastic, well-prepared, and approachable. In each of my four sections the students who began the course as 'having no interest in the subject at all,' had at least upgraded to 'have a minor interest in the subject.' I attribute this to Super David Attenborough, who was in several of the YouTube videos I showed the class. "Yes, mitosis may not be exciting, but you haven't seen strangler figs! Rapid cell division and growth, yeah baby yeah!'

But of course, when dealing with young adults of variable maturity, there must be one gem, one precious, glittering emerald, one pinnacle of character who must say, when asked if the course or instructor could be improved:

"They had junk in the trunk."

Pronoun issues aside, I must point out that if these evals were not anonymous, we'd undoubtedly discover this person had handily earned a D or F.

Mostly it's funny, but the part that makes me mad, (aside from them not paying homage to my glorious rack:)), is that a comment like that, reducing me to my fabulous ass, would never show up on the evals of my male colleuagues.

1 comment:

christy said...

There is always a bad apple.