Well, my friend/colleague's wife (also a friend, or friend-ish; we're still getting to know each other, but I like her a lot) gave me a lift to the big discount grocery store in nearby mid-sized city this afternoon. I'd been there once before, and it's amazing--I buy preposterous and unlikely (for me) things, like cake mix, because my god the cake mix is FORTY-NINE CENTS! I mean, how could I not. I also purchased a jar of baby corn, like eight pounds of nuts, two big boxes of Texas Toast (an embarrassing addiction), and more other stuff than I could possibly eat in a semester.
As always, though, grocery shopping has put me out of the mood for cooking, so I might just have spaghetti for dinner. With Texas Toast, natch.
What else? OH! Here's a question for the academic blogosphere, particularly those more experienced teachers out there. What do you do when you overhear, during a group activity, a student say something that is patently offensive (although s/he probably doesn't realize it)? I shall give you the scenario.
Student 1: Hey, did you hear what [Friend of Student] said? He hopes that Obama gets elected so he can get capped.
Student 2: Ha ha, yeah, in, like, a drive-by.
I think it's safe to say that I was appalled. But I'm pretty sure that these students didn't see or at least understand the racist implications of their statements, and I couldn't think of how I could possibly broach the subject. I'm pretty sure that they didn't think I'd overheard, for one thing, so it would have been a little weird for me to swoop in there and call them out. (The group was mostly on-topic, so I couldn't legitimately bust them for a moment's deviation.)
This is, of course, offensive for a lot of reasons, racist overtones being just the top of the list. How would you, o teachers more experienced than I, respond to this? Would you respond at all?
But, okay, not going to make this a downer-post--no, it's Friday night, and despite the HORRIFYING stack of grading that's been building up over the last few days, I will not go down that path. No. So here are a couple of good things.
- My friend/colleague--the one whose wife drove me to the grocery store--just got a great job offer this evening. I'm really happy for him (envy notwithstanding! go altruism!) because he absolutely deserves it, and it'll be a terrific opportunity for both him and his wife. Yay!
- I'm having a drink with a different friend/colleague later on tonight.
- I had an odd moment with a student after class this morning that makes me think that some of his/her behaviors that I'd interpreted as aggressive actually might come out of a much more vulnerable place, and that s/he might actually think of me...how do I put this...not as an adversary, but as a positive presence in his/her life. It was startling and strangely touching.
- I love my survey class. LOVE it. Even though it's out of my field. I'm loving the readings (which I hadn't read in years, and in some case had never read before); the class itself is full of hilarious and lively characters; and its being my last class of the day means that, by the time it rolls around every MWF, I'm punchy and entertaining.