Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One Bad Apple...

Okay, time to do a little bit of venting. Or maybe more than a little bit of venting. I have this classmate, we'll call him "AV"--which actually happens to be the oaf's initials, so it works. AV is possibly the rudest person I have ever met, bar none. Seriously, the absolute rudest. He's also disgusting and disrespectful. You know those people who believe in the idea of personal hell? I think my personal hell would be being stuck with this guy. He's that horrible. He's a misogynist, not to mention racist and sexist. On top of that, he's dirty and uncouth. Seriously, disgusting doesn't begin to cover it.

So anyway, AV has been in my classes for two semesters now (Fall 2010 & Spring 2011). Initially, we all just thought he was old and ridiculous, rude and stupid at very worst--and no, I'm not being judgmental when I say he's old, the guy's like 65. He just sat across the room from everyone else, spoke up with the silliest and most off topic suggestions about the texts, and for every word he said that contributed to the meaning of his sentences he'd toss in three or four "ya knows." We all just rolled our eyes and waited for him to shut his yap so we could get on with class--one of our classmates actually made little ticks on his paper every time AV said "ya know," which was actually hilarious.

One night, last semester, I ventured to say good night to him as he passed us after class. All I got in return was a disgruntled grunt, the sound an animal would make.  He never looked at me, nor Melanie and Nikka, as he lumbered past, and when we was gone we all laughed it off. No harm, no foul. Yes, he was annoying, and yes, we all thought he was a joke, but really, not much more than that at first. As the semester marched forward, AV got more and more insistent with his yammering, made less and less sense, and began treating everyone with complete and utter disrespect.  He even sat on his laptop the whole class, watching videos, surfing the web, and doing homework for other classes. Everything but paying attention.

Things started to get really nasty when he actually called our professor a rather ugly name, in the hall to another student, when she wouldn't give him leave to skip half of a class (which only meets once a week for three hours) to attend a festival event. He withdrew from the class, and when he realized he had made a mistake came crawling back. She allowed him back in the class, but only on the terms that he would begin treating his classmates with more respect and that he was disallowed his laptop once class had begun.

The rest of the semester was a nightmare of Tuesday nights wherein we all tried to engage in a class discussion while AV sat across the room and made misogynistic remarks and blatantly tore down any idea we had. He informed the professor, on several occasions, that the work defied discussion and that it was better before we started discussing it. He rudely interjected his objections during our class presentations, and treated the professor like crap. He would say things like "This reminds me of the pina colada song" and then say that other people's ideas were irrelevant or stupid. Oh, have I mentioned that he would actually go to sleep in class, with his shoes off and his dirty socked feet on the desk?  Yeah, nasty! I think we were all quite pleased when the semester ended (even the professor, I think), which was a shame because we all really loved that class (fantastic matieral!).

Fast forward past the (mostly) glorious, AV-free Christmas break to this semester.  Yet again, AV is in my Wednesday night class and once again is he utterly and completely rude. This semester, though, it's actually worse. Two weeks ago he informed one of the women in our class that we're all "dimwits" and he said he couldn't imagine how any of us had gotten into grad school.  I wasn't there that night, but I was infuriated anyway because I was included in that group. Tonight, however, his rudeness reached an all time high (maybe not all time, but you see what I'm saying).  He argued with the professor for 10 minutes about the due date for the paper and when the professor put his foot down, he acted like an ass by shuffling through his backpack for another five minutes and then getting up with two books, in the middle of the class discussion, and leaving the room to take them back to the library. He actually returned his library books in the middle of class!

Then, when we thought that was the height of his rudeness, he did something even ruder. We take a break at 7:30pm, which is about the middle of class or so.  AV gets up, with his backpack and starts shuffling toward the door. When Dr. S asked him where he was going, he said, "I'm leaving, I'm tired of this class."  Then, he left. Just like that.  At half class.  I suppose we shouldn't have been insulted or surprised, but I think we all were.  This isn't the first time he's done something like this. The week he said we're all "dimwits" he asked if he could be the first to discuss his paper because he wanted to leave at half-class because he didn't want to listen to the other papers.  Two weeks before that he asked if he could be first and then leave because he "wasn't going to hear anything enlightening from the rest of us, anyway." It's infuriating!

I think it's even more infuriating because he gets away with it--yeah, today he was overheard telling the English department administrative assistant that he thinks we're all dumb, but that it doesn't matter because he's going somewhere to adjunct, which is absurd since he doesn't even have his MA yet. Anyway, Our professor just lets it roll of his back, while the rest of us are completely appalled at the level of disrespect for both the class and the professor. AV continues to be rude and our professor continues to allow it which is, honestly, a bit disappointing. I know my professor is simply operating under the idea that not everyone is going to get along, nor like the people they work with or teach. I really respect this professor so I'm trying to be the bigger person, but it's remarkably hard not to smack the crap out of this guy (AV, that is). Who is he to call us dimwits when we're all making A's on our papers while he's making D's and F's? I only know what his grades are, by the way, because he asked Dr. S, in front of everyone, why he's making the grades he is. Again, disrespectful.

You cannot imagine who happy I will be when this semester is over (two weeks to go!!) and I never have to see him again. Attitudes and energy like that only tear everyone down and ruin an otherwise great graduate school experience. I actually heard a classmate say he was thinking about going to another school to get away from AV because he's been such a terrible influence on the program as a whole. You know there's a problem when good people are leaving a good program because the idiots are driving them away.  Honestly, to be completely truthful, I would be happy if AV would suffer some consequences for his completely unprofessional behavior. If someone would just say, "hey, this is not appropriate, you're being disrespectful, stop or you're out."  Is that too much to ask?