Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Interrupting cow

I posted that joke the other day partly because I have a chronic interruptor in one of my classes. She'll wait until I'm midway through an explanation, and then ask an out-of-left-field question.

I don't think it's a emotional/mental disease issue - though it could be; I've had this person in class before (in other classes) and don't remember interrupting behavior. I don't know how to delicately broach the "could you possibly have OCD or something?" topic without upsetting the person. There's actually no really good way for a faculty member to delicately let a student know, "You are behaving a little strangely, is something wrong?" Or at least I don't know a delicate way. (If it's actually super-disruptive, like someone getting combative and potentially violent in class, yes, we have a way of quickly and silently notifying campus police. Not sure how fast they'd show up....but then again, I've got enough big strong Conservation guys in most of my classes that a freaking-out student would probably be jumped and held down pretty quickly. (A lot of our conservation guys are either former military or have done stints in law enforcement of some kind, so they know how to do it).

This is more just garden-variety someone-being-a-little-annoying. I commented this morning that we were going to collect data next week to test a particular hypothesis, and this student blurted out 'That hypothesis is CRAP. It's not true."

I took a deep breath, not wanting to confront (but, oh, so wanting to say, "Oh really? Every class I've tested it with before has shown it to hold. And that's ten years' worth of data....") and said, "We will be TESTING the hypothesis next week...."

I get the sense that this is someone who is a little full of themselves. (They're a senior. I should probably check to see if they've been admitted to professional school yet - that might explain some of the attitude.)

But I have to admit: now I really, really hope the data we collect this year follows the trend and proves the hypothesis to be correct; it will be a little fun to have Ms. That Hypothesis is CRAP eat a little crow.

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