Since I’ve been spending so much time recently poking fun at my students, it’s only fair to look at the whole teaching situation from their perspective—and poke fun at myself. I’m often mentally and physically out of touch with my surroundings and have issues performing simple tasks—because they are confusingly simple. Typically, I lose my papers at random locations in the classroom, I stumble on and crash into objects and I can’t make classroom equipment work. Naturally, students never warn or advise me and instead quietly observe as I make impact with chairs or struggle to open a tricky window.
Today I was allocated to a different classroom than usual. The room was so high-tech that it was impossible for me to use. To start with, I couldn’t find the light switch. This posed a bit of a problem because the classroom was windowless, hence pitch dark. I switched my phone’s flash light on and embarked on a search mission. I took the teacher’s desk apart and discovered hidden compartments and even a built-in PC, but no light switch. Ten excruciating minutes later, I gave in and called IT help. The man came, touched the touchscreen on the top of the desk and it was light. It didn’t occur to me that the touchscreen was activated by touch (because how logical is that?).
Once the lights went on by the workings of black magic, I thought I would close the door. I thought wrong. The door was protected from closing with some probably primitive mechanical trick, which I couldn’t crack. I didn’t feel like summoning the powerful technician-magician again, so I used force (not the force) and smooth talk. Neither helped. In depths of despair, I asked a fit-looking male student for assistance—he smugly moved something at the top of the door and it closed. Students never tell you anything.
Finally, before beginning the class, I attempted to retire to the restroom through the other door, which seemed to be closing and opening normally. I had the unfortunate idea of trying to back out of the door while informing the class that I’d be right back. I hit the door frame because, while the door appeared to be stable, it clearly had the ability to move around in space when nobody was looking. My ribs and my dignity suffered in this incident. The students seemed well satisfied with the result.