Zen Bastard (jimbojones) wrote,
Zen Bastard

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your ass is a wad of cookie dough

There are very real political concerns with the idea, but god damn it would do a hell of a lot of people a hell of a lot of good to spend a couple of mandatory years in a military service from 18-20 or so.  One of the things that just constantly flabbergasts me about The College Experience is the incredible lack of comprehension of ordinate and subordinate behavior - in other words, fucking discipline.

When you've got a group of 18-120 people and one professor - or maybe one professor and one TA - running the show, shit just doesn't get done if the prof won't take control of the show.  When those 18-120 people are, largely, civilian kids with no clue, that means if the professor isn't visibly in control, they're gonna fuck up.  Constantly.  It's not, by and large, because they're "discipline problems" in the military sense - it's because they're a roomful of bumbling puppies.  They're not mean, they're just cute, noisy, utterly uncoordinated, and peeing all over everything.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Most of the students I know dread the "hardass" instructors.  Me, I fucking love them.  When the instructor is hard as nails, shit gets done.  The kids sit down and shut up - usually, without really needing a lot of "disciplining", because again, by and large they're good kids - they just need to see somebody's in charge.  They've never gotten whipped into shape hard enough or long enough to get the idea of "sit down and shut up" drilled into their head without immediate reminder.  And as for the "hardass" instructors, they're also generally pretty damn easy to deal with if you've got your own shit together.  If you've got a problem and you come to them with it, calmly and rationally - and you haven't been a general fuckup - they'll help you find a way to fix it.  It's a lot easier to just "not be a fuckup" than to carry the whole load of the school process on your own shoulders.

Anyway I just wish somebody would give the instructors - if not the kids - some basic training in how to grab the kids' attention and shake 'em a little when they need it.  I really despise it when it gets to the point that the kids get so damn rambunctious that I can't even follow what's going on, and eventually *I* have to be the one to point at a cluster of them and say "You, you, you, and you.  Cut it.  You're done," or even - in one case - bellow "PIPE DOWN!" to shock the whole class for the crucial second to realize that, oh hey yeah, the instructor is trying to call out names to hand back their freaking tests, and nobody can hear him.  It ain't my job as a student, it isn't a role I want, and for fuck's sake that's insubordinate behavior in and of itself in further leeching authority from the instructor.

But when you can't even hear the instructor, and s/he isn't doing shit about it, what else are you gonna do?

Tags: philosophical, school, vignette

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