I'm teaching a class at a local university. It is a political program, so the average student is either currently working in, or hoping to break into, the political scene, be it campaigns, congressional staffing, lobbying, running for office, or any number of other career paths you'd expect.
It's a great program and I'm psyched to teach a class in it. The only thing is that I had forgotten how annoying political types can be in real life. Not the real political types, though. The Wannabe Political Types. The ones who think proximity to power makes them powerful, or that proximity to B-list celebrities makes them celebrities. They are kind of like those waiters at really expensive LA restaurants who routinely serve A-listers. When you, Joe Schmo, end up at their table they act snooty with you because, after all, they pour water for Brad Pitt when they don't have to do it for you, you big loser.
So these are the students that await me: what a friend and I call "dickswingers." You know the type, mostly male, walkin' around swingin' it, showin' you what they got, feelin' confident you'll like it and want it, and so involved in the swingin' business that they forget to not talk like a Sizable Equine Posterior.
I had completely forgotten what it was like, having been out of the industry for a while, until I received an email from a student in my upcoming class wherein he preened, posed, and generally made a Sizable Equine Posterior out of himself. I read it to my friend--while laughing till I couldn't breathe--who also used to be in the scene, and she reminded me that this is how PoWas (political wannabes) actually speak and write.
It was about two pages in length, the purpose of which was to detail to me--the instructor--how I might assist him in "getting a jump on what is sure to be an interesting and challenging course. As you might surmise, this assistance could take the form of any or all of the following:" and listed 5 things I could email to him to help him get ready for my class.
Yeah, I'll get right on that, you ridiculous 22 year-old. Oh! The best part was when he finished the message in a very helpful manner: "As a first year student in the program, I've had the opportunity to get to know several of the students also eager to take your course; if you would like, I could disseminate any information to them that you'd deem appropriate, be it the syllabus, the course reading list or any research sites we should visit."
ARE YOU ON DRUGS?!!!
Yeah, why don't I--the instructor of the course--just have you send a group email to your friends letting them know what I think they should be doing over Christmas to get really super prepared for my course. I'll just abdicate my job responsibilities to you, Eddie Haskell. Oh--could you grade some papers for me too?
When I first read it I was horrified, then I couldn't stop laughing, and now I'm just really eager to meet this "sure to be interesting and challenging" student. I replied back with a more professional version of the following: "thanks for your message; I'm looking forward to the course as well. Please enjoy your vacation; the syllabus will be posted by Jan 3rd, which will still give you 14 days to get a jump on anything you wish to start jumping before the class starts. ps--I will not be needing you to tell anyone anything, most especially because I already don't like you."
I'm glad he emailed me though, because it would have been terrible to walk into the first class and be reminded of it THERE. Yikes. Instant loss of credibility. So now I am ready: female political instructors can be dickswingers too. Check me out, yo. You know you want it. ;)