So I’m sitting in a Greek Orthodox Church on a Saturday wanting to slap a guy around with an extreme prejudice who is sitting just 4 pews in front of me. Why? Well, here’s the lowdown.
I was taking a microbiology class and it was taking everything I had to pass this guys class. As a matter of fact, it was working like this for most of the students in the class. Many of us were meeting weekly and trying to figure out why the class was so difficult. We began to notice that one small group of girls didn’t have a problem–as a matter of fact, they were getting grades like 98 out of 100 for each test! When we asked them about what they were doing, they laughed and gave us very generic replies. Before long we learned what was going on: the girls were having…uh…inappropriate relations with the teaching assistant, who was handing them copies of the test before the test date. When a few students had gathered…”evidence”…we confronted the teacher (at least 20 of us), and this is what he said (it still rings in my ears like yesterday): “So what? It’s not my fault. It will come back to haunt them later. What they don’t learn now, will lead to them coming up shorter in the long run. It’s Karma.”
At that moment I grew furious. I couldn’t understand how he could actually know who was doing what, and that he was leaving it up to the universe to sort it all out! We exchanged words and the group left frustrated. We met with a academic dean and he told us about the academic misconduct policy. However, there was a catch: we had to have an overwhelming number of students sign a form and appear at a hearing to deal with our teacher. All we needed were 16 students and we had 26 who had written complaints. But when the students realized that they would lose their anonymity, they backed out at the last minute and left good old me to face the teacher alone. The teacher came to class the next day, and changed the classflow which made it as difficult as possible. He told us that he was going to reduce the number of tests so that each carried more weight, that he would quit giving us notes, that it would be up to us to research and know every chapter for each test whether he was covering it or not, and that he was leaving for California for a few weeks, “You want it fair, I’ll give you fair”, he said. Some of the students dropped the class, some stopped speaking to me like I was the one who started this, and more people started cheating using cell phones, calculators, and passing old tests around during the exam.
I had to take the class over again to get a better grade. As a matter of fact, it was one of the classes that contributed to my academic probation. The other faculty talked about how cocky the microbiology teacher was, and how he was known for allowing cheating to exist. He was also known for punishing the class instead of the students because he felt that classroom management was beneath him. So when I saw him during Greekfest at the tour of the Greek Orthodox Church, I thought about how badly I wanted to tell him that now I was a college professor and that I take classroom management seriously. That I care about the success of my students and that justice isn’t bribed on my watch. I said it all in my head, rehearsed the fight scene, and mumbled under my breath. Then, I looked up at a picture of Jesus, repented, and walked out. “It’s not worth it”, I thought to myself. “It will come back to haunt him one day. It’s Karma…”