As a professor, I come into contact with different people all the time. I always begin a term or semester with the promise to not become attached to my students. I even tell myself that I don’t like them along the way, to ensure that my initial promise to myself is kept.
I hate students. They’re so full of shit. They look up to professors like we have all the answers. They expect professors’ research to be sound and Intel to be on point and current.
Professors must remain professional at all times. They have to respectfully listen to excuses, whining, and more excuses. They have to encourage students to do their best. They help students overcome shyness. They help students learn to think for themselves. They help students see their lives differently. They help them see that they’re not the only ones having a hard time. Professors must be authentic in order to drive the point that hardships can be overcome. So, even when the professor’s life is upside down, he/she must perform how despite the shit, life is manageable and worth living.
Students fall in love with their professors. Despite the professor’s aloofness and detachment, students crave the attention and approval of their professors just as an abused child does, his/her abusive parent. It’s sad. So, professors are kind enough to not be too blunt, standoff-ish, uncaring…professors give praise and encouragement to keep the students happy-to ensure that they’ll find the confidence to seek learning, complete assignments and become excited about life and education. But then, something very sinister happens in the midst of all this energy professors give…the students win their professors’ love right back.
I hate students. Especially at the end of the term, and they thank me for all this stuff that I deserve no credit for. I had one student say, “Ms. Casseus, thank you for being my professor”. As if I had picked her out of a line-up to be my student. I didn’t adopt you, kid-haul ass! Just get out. All of you, with your thank-you’s. I don’t need it. It’s really annoying and overwhelmingly stupid.
So, my final speech to them should have gone something like this:
Yeah. This is our last class together. Good riddance. Hope it all works out for you. Don’t call me, because I won’t answer. Peace.
But it didn’t. As each student completed their final exam, and spoke to me privately before leaving, asking for a hug and begging me to stay in touch, I became sadder and sadder. Then, I was down to the last student testing. She sat there, lingering. And I fought back the tears.
She finished. We talked. She thanked me. She promised to stay in touch. And walked out.
The class was empty. I took a deep breath. My nose stung. My eyes tensed with tears, and I reminded myself…I hate students. Fuck them.