Monday, March 19, 2007

The Idiots of March

New York City, in its infinite wisdom, required me to take a course in special education in order to keep my job. It might have been nice if they'd made me do so before it compelled me to actually teach special education, but that would be asking too much, I suppose.

Professor Hindenburg was highly, deeply, profoundly knowledgeable on the topic of his daughter's computer, and became sorely upset at discovering various class members had failed to purchase the same model. There was simply no comparison, he had read all the consumer magazines, and we should all have known better.

We sat in a circle and tried to visualize the best possible education for our students. We closed our eyes for five minutes. I fell asleep. After this, we were encouraged to share our meditations. The student next to me elbowed me awake. We were then asked what we expected from this course. I told Professor Hindenburg, "I want to do the bare minimum amount of work possible and earn a D." That was, indeed, my goal. This course didn't apply to any degree, and six months of teaching special education had conclusively persuaded me that I had no talent for it whatsoever.

In order to achieve my goal, I turned in handwritten, unedited, unresearched, poorly thought out projects. I didn't bother to write them on my computer (Professor Hindenburg had expressed sharp disapproval of it anyway).

At the final class meeting, we all had private sessions with the professor. He showed me my grade--A minus. As it did not meet my goal, I protested. Professor Hindenburg explained that we all expressed ourselves in different ways. Those who did excellent work got As. Those who produced third-rate nonsense, as I had, only got A minus. He had standards.

While I remained disappointed at not achieving my target grade, I was very pleased I hadn't knocked myself out for the A. And come to think of it, the title isn't precisely accurate, as this all happened in May or June.
blog comments powered by Disqus