In case you want to find me, I’ll be at Cal State Fullerton this fall.
I feel a summer cold coming on. Ughhhhh.
I just accepted an offer to teach 3 sociology classes at Cal State Fullerton in the Fall. 2 Statistics classes and 1 Social Theory class. aww yeeaahh. If there was a methods class in there, I would have taught all of the core classes.
If we were white we’d be stock photos.
So this is what it’s like to be human. It sucks.
So one of my students, who was one of my best, was absent from class for the past 3 weeks. I worried a little bit, but figured he just got bored and would be fine. So, I didn’t think much of it. Yesterday, he emails me saying that the reason he hasn’t been to class is because he’s going through family issues right now and that they’ve been really bad. I accepted this, but told him I would need some more info, not every detail, if he wanted to turn in the assignments he missed. I didn’t want to intrude, but family issues is a bit vague; I just needed some context. I did not expect what happened next.
He emails me back saying that his parents essentially disowned him after he came out to them and that he had been staying with friends here and there for the past few weeks and didn’t have access to his car or laptop. I felt so bad for asking him for more information and I struggled for a good while on writing my response to him. I wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation. I wanted to use all of my sociological know-how and apply it to attitudes towards gays and lesbians, but I didn’t want to show off what I knew. I also wanted to tell him he could talk to me, but I wasn’t sure what contact info to give him. Would my phone number be too much? My personal email too little?
I decided on my personal email and told him that I checked that one more often. It seems like a good balance. I feel like the phone number is a bit much. I also struggled on how to handle this. I don’t want to patronize him and make him feel totally victimized, but I also want him to know that during a time like this I am more than willing to accommodate to anything he might need. At the LGBT training seminar I attended at the college I learned that many LGBT students at the school don’t feel welcomed, safe or protected by professors. So besides the fact I am gay, I wanted to take action to make sure that students know that yes, professors do care and that the college they attend is working toward making all professors care and toward making all students feel welcome and safe.
My first semester teaching and I encounter something like this. It’s so weird to be a person on the authoritative side of a student’s personal issue. I have this instinct to want to protect him and just give him a hug and say everything will be ok. This part of adulthood, and the educator role was something I was not prepared for.
"Not being afraid of what other people think is a good thing. Constantly telling other people this, however, is a red flag… Other warning phrases along the same lines include ‘I tell it like it is’ and ‘I’m outspoken and opinionated, and it might rub some people the wrong way.’ When you convince yourself that you are this TV character description, it goes a long way toward shielding yourself from finding out that you are wrong or said something stupid by allowing you to frame it as a bunch of closed-minded prudes/nerds/bourgeoisie being shocked that you are such a colorful individual. [And online] they promise a lot, but quite often deliver poorly remembered quotes from provocateurs who are now deceased, advice found on Precious Moments bookmarks, and AOL chat room filler." — Christina H, '7 Phrases That Are Great Signs It's Time to Stop Talking'