Wednesday, April 04, 2012

My office hours are over

I was wise, this semester, ending my office hours an hour before class starts for me on my long days - it gives me time to eat lunch.

And I can (legally) close my office door. (There is a new campus policy that our doors must be open all through our office hours. I find this slightly annoying and patronizing - where my office is located, I often get people who hang out in the hall and discuss things, loudly, and rather than always look like the "Get offa my lawn!" cranky lady, I just would shut my door to cut out the noise).

I have one student who has "boundary issues." In terms of time, but also in terms of what he believes it is appropriate to share with me. Several days lately I've had him show up to my office twenty minutes before my class is set to start, as I am eating, and start talking.

And keep talking. And not understand or pick up on any of my non verbal "please go away I need to get ready for class" cues. Even when I get as rude as I ever get to a student and start leafing through notes as he speaks.  And he can eat up that 20 minutes -and more, if I wasn't saying "I'm sorry I need to get to class" and walking past him. And, I'm sorry, but as I said somewhere else, I am not freakin' Mr. Miyagi and he is not the Karate Kid. I have well over 100 students to concern myself with, and he's demanding a bigger slice of my attention-pie than I can give.

And he's one of those people who just seems to be a Bad Luck Joe - the kind of person that all kinds of crazy crap happens to, and which he has to share with people around him. And, okay, I get that some people don't have a lot of people to listen to them (for that matter, I don't). But. I get tired of being the 'trouble tree' for my students (like the old glurgy story about the guy who, when ever he came home for the evening, "hung his troubles up" on a sad little tree in the front yard of his house, so he wouldn't carry them in to his family. (In less-glurgy versions of the story, the tree DIES because he burdened it with so many troubles.))

So I've taken to closing my door while I eat. That probably eventually won't stop him from knocking, but at least it's a visual message.

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