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My hands wrapped around a student’s throat…

Posted by Mick on July 8, 2010 – 8:42 pm

Good evening!

It’s evening for me.  I’m not sure what it is for you, because I don’t know when you’re reading this.  It’s safe to say you’re reading this now, because whenever you find yourself reading this, it’s now for you.  Your now and my now, however, are two quite different now’s.  My now is your then.

And that’s when things get strange.  Because your now is my then as well.  Check this out:  I’m writing this now, you’ll read it then.  When you read it, you’ll think back to my now and wonder what it was like then. 

Good afternoon.

I’m trying to maintain a good mood, a positive outlook if you will, but the universe keeps throwing obstacles in my way.  And by “the universe”, I of course mean my job.  And by obstacles, I mean students.  The vast majority of my students are cool.  A small percentage of them are the exact opposite of cool.  They are anti-cool. 

I do not work in an academic environment.  This is a commercial enterprise.  Our students come from two primary sources:  We have B2B students, people whose places of employment pay us to train them on the skills they need to do their jobs; we also have Consumer students, who may be self-pay but who are primarily funded through various governmental programs designed to re-train adults who can not find work in their current field.  There’s a crucial difference between the academic world and the commercial world…  if I worked in an academic environment, I could unleash my fury upon the douchebag students, visiting upon them the wrath that is surely their due.  Failing grades would be given, expulsions would happen, I’d even go so far as to institute corporal punishment. 

Alas, this is NOT an academic environment.  This is a for-profit endeavor.  If I upset the students, it costs the company money, and that trickles down to me in the form of a different type of wrath and fury which would ultimately result in my own unemployment, and in the case of corporal punishment might even result in some sort of criminal charges because at least a few of the students would whine about receiving the beatings they so richly deserve.  Thus, I’m forced to hide my contempt behind a smile. 

I’m forcing myself to heavily edit this piece.  Whilst I am still employed by this company, I walk a fine line when I talk about my life, or least that part of my life that revolves around my employment.  I’m personally not that concerned with students seeing this, because the only ones who would bother to read my writings are also the ones who are smart enough to know I’m not talking about them.  My corporate overlords, however, are another matter.  I may not love my job, but I do like it, and I’ve grown quite fond of the paychecks that get deposited in my account on a twice-monthly basis.  Best not to bite the hand that feeds me… although I suppose the occasional nip is unavoidable. 

Hey, they knew I was a wild animal when they hired me.

CORRECTION:  The current corporate overlords didn’t actually hire me, they inherited me.  The company I work for was sold to new owners, I was included as part of a package deal.  The principle still holds, they knew I wasn’t domesticated, minor injuries are to be expected.

I’m a passionate beast.  Twhy I’m so damn good at what I do.  It’s also why I’m just the tiniest bit dangerous.

Now that I’ve vented, my positive outlook has been restored, and I want to share a nice thing that happened today.  One of my “consumer” students needed some one-on-one mentoring.  He’s been coming here for several months, and when he first started, he was as green as they come, and maybe, just maybe, a bit slow.  I’ll admit it, I had my doubts as to his ability to be successful in this field.  He was tenacious, though.  He may have had a hard time getting some of the concepts down, but he didn’t let that stop him.  He struggled, but he never stopped trying, he never stopped working.  As I was helping him resolve some questions tonight, I couldn’t help but notice how far he’s come.  He has turned into a damn fine student, and I believe he’ll become a damn fine admin.  He gets most of the credit, because he worked his ass off, but I like to think I played some small part in his growth. 

That makes me happy.

Be good to each other.

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