I was just over at BitchPhd reading up on crazy students (crazy is my word, not hers or her commenters). Then I remembered that I have a story to tell, though I’ve been fearful of posting it (or any story of this nature) because, you know, what if ‘teh student’ reads it? So, I’ll try…I mean, no one who reads this is going to be able to pick said student out of a line-up, unless I told you in person while pointing to said student, but that makes maybe 2 of you, and one of you doesn’t read this blog.
So, I TA an introduction class…which is why I’m always bitching about marking. There is a student in this class and she is my age, so, no…for once i’m not being ‘age-ist’ here, because I often -admitedly- am. She’s having difficulties. Now, honestly, I am just a TA and I”m aware that there is such thing as learning disabilities so I try to accomidate for them by being patient and going over material as often as I need to in order to get the point across. I think her case is one of these…she clearly has a learning disability. But I’m not sure where the learning disability ends (since I’ve got friends and family with different sorts of learning disablities) and the stubborness starts. Again, when I’m with her…or anyone else for that matter…I do give them the benefit of the doubt and have extended or given extra office hours to those who’ve needed my help.
On campus, that is.
I think we all can agree that ‘off campus’ is me time. Actually, I happen to think that ‘out of my office’ is me time, too, but I sometimes let that slide.
In the middle of a pretty hectic day, about 3 weeks ago, I stopped to meet my father for lunch before I headed home to pound out an assignment before it was due the next day. We went to a restaurant along the c-train route on 7th Ave downtown. The important part of this is that I was downtown, ie. not on campus. We ate, hung out, joked and during part of this I told him about my TAing and how hectic things have been for this one class, in terms of helping students.
Then I saw her. There was something about the woman who had walked in and now talking to the hostess with her back to me that made me think, ‘that’s her’…she turned around and I waved. She came over.
“Hi”, I said.
“I’ve been looking for you!”, she said.
“Uh, what?”, and you can probably imagine the look on my face.
“OH, I didn’t know you were here…anyway…I need to see you on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I failed the assignment and I don’t know how I’ll do on the midterm. I’ll PAY you for the extra time!”
“uh, ummm…how about I email you back on that one? I’ll email you when I get home.”
“Okay. Well, I just didn’t do well on my assignment and…well….if you’ve got a minute….”…she started rifling through the papers she had in her folder/notepad that she was carrying. Christ!
I motioned over at my father and said, “uh. No. I’ll email you when I get home, okay?”
“oh…sorry. Okay. I’ll see you later”, and then she left the restaurant.
*ahem*…she left the restaurant.
Who walks in, talks to someone they ran into and leaves a restaurant? Especially when said person (the talkee) is no where near a window?
Now, honestly…I do not think that she was stalking me. If she was, she would probably have come in way earlier…Dad and I had been there for about 30 min or so. But what happened there? It is still a mystery…only because I’ve not had the guts to ask her yet.
She may work there and popped in to find out her hours. Her friend may work there and she may have popped in to say hi. She might have had lunch there, though I could have sworn she had just walked in. I don’t know.
Thinking back to the beginning of this post, I was thinking of other stuff she does when it comes to discussing her learning disabilities. But would it perhaps be the same effects of her learning disabilities that would make her think that it was appropriate to interupt a lunch with my father to go over her assignment? And, if she is my age, and is aware of her situation, and is in university, wouldn’t she take advantage of some sort of counseling that is quite steadily offered (and, I know, quite frequently used) at the uni? I mean, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I know that I can only help to a certain extent, but I’m not trained to help people with learning disabilities.
…and I know there was no way in this world that I was going to spend 3 extra hours a week to tutor one student.