keep it dark (snidegrrl) wrote,
keep it dark

low class

It happens from time to time when I take a class; I snap. Whether it is because my attention span has reached its end or because someone has just said something baffling or ridiculous, I go from learning-enabled to blind and deaf in one moment. Today I was going strong, taking notes and recalling things I'd forgotten, right up until about halfway through the subnetting lecture. The IP subnetting lecture is one I've heard not a few times, and one I know not a few of you can give in your sleep. Today, I was re-learning it as I always do, and as we were getting into the serious binary discussion, and bits and bytes, something "fun" happened. I asked a question, and the following exchange occurred:

Teacher: I know what you're asking, and I'm about to answer it.
Me: Let me ask it before you assume that, I was going to say if you replace... (etc, logical question)
Teacher: No, that's not the question you're asking.

Right after that, I'm not exactly sure what happened, because the temperature in the room rose about five degrees and a little pocket of silence was filled with hostility, and a miniature bloodbath occured quickly and messily in my mind, replete with pens gouged in eyeballs and thousands upon thousands of papercuts inflicted. But while I was distracted with my snap into inability to learn, someone else whose eyes tend to glaze over when faced with a giant matrix of zeroes and ones had asked another question, distracting the class for a moment. Then, another pocket of silence, and the inevitable:

Teacher: Are there any other questions?
Me: *shakes head dazedly*
Guy Next to Me: She has a question.

Thanks, guy. Thanks alot. Just as I had realized that I needed to get out of that room as quickly, quietly and gracefully as possible, without opening my mouth to let a torrent of garbage fall out, you bring all eyes back to me. What resulted was a mess of me trying to ask a question, the teacher running over everything I was saying, me going up to the board to make my point, being wrong, and sitting down feeling about ten times more foul and making a comment to the effect that you can miss a few questions on the test, and that I planned on purposely missing the ones regarding IP subnetting just for spite.

All this brought to mind as I was driving home, other educational misadventures and the lessons learned from them. The main one that chaps my cookies (phrase stolen from swartzdk) is the following: If you're ever teaching anyone else anything, ever, do not say the follow things, if you value your relationship with this person:

"It's easy."
"See, it's really easy!"
"Here, I just did it, now you go ahead and do it."

Any normal, average, everyday irrational human will hear the following:

"You're stupid."
"See, it's not just that you are stupid, but the degree to which you're stupid."
"Me=Filet Mignon, You=Grade F Penitentiary Meat."

This is just a word of advice. I tend to, when I hear the phrases above, go catatonic, or at least turn into a little volcano of rage, turning suddenly from "adult" mode to "child" mode, as Thomas Harris of transactional analysis fame might say. It's not very clear whose fault it is in this instance that your previously friendly mentoring activity will suddenly turn ugly, stymying possibly the future career of a pro-skateboarder, preventing the passing grade of a junior high school algebra student, or causing a delicate brain surgery to turn into a cerebral mauling, but if you as a responsible helper avoid these phrases, you might also avoid papercuts and pens gouged in your eye at the least.
Tags: failure
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