Tuesday, February 05, 2013

L'étudiant Terrible

I have a problem student. He monopolizes the class and won't stop talking. I've thought of sitting down and turning the marker over to him, to emphasize the impropriety, but I honestly think he would just take the marker from me and start teaching whatever he wants.

I ask questions of the class and he wants me to call on him every time. I ignore his raised hand and wait for another student, so he's stopped raising his hands and he just calls out his answer before anyone else has an opportunity. The other students laugh at his rudeness and he either doesn't notice or doesn't care.

Last week a student came up after class to ask a question. She said, "I'm not sure if I understand this," and before I could answer he said, "I think I can handle that one." I ignored him and interacted with the questioning student, so he went to the board to begin writing up his answer, because he was going to respond next.

Today he made the argument in class, and then carried it over after class, that government has a moral right to restrict the decisions of the individual when they impact anyone else. I said government has no right to do anything that the individual cannot do. I cannot enslave you, so my government cannot do it for me. I said, "I belong to myself and to God and to no one else." He said, "Each of us belongs to the rest of us collectively." I said, "We are slaves to government?" He said, "No, to the collection of everyone else." I said, "Government is a representation of that collection. We are all slaves to government?"

He said, "Yes."

What the hell am I doing here? This is pointless. The country is lost and it can never be regained.

I forcefully told him, "That's not true," and I walked away. But trying to educate him is a lost cause, and trying to educate anyone else while he's around is, at best, an uphill struggle.


benniegirl said...

I kept reading this, hoping you found a perfect solution because I need one before Sunday.

Stephen said...

By his logic he belongs to the class collectively. Take a vote on whether he should shut his face and then ask him to act consistent with his own evil ideology.