Tag Archives: work

Like a cheap whore on a busy avenue.

6 Nov

One of the most delightful experiences in being a new instructor is the joy of having your superior observe your class, taking notes and scrutinizing on a four-page rubric that decides how well you function as a teacher, how well your students react to you, how well planned your lessons for that day were, and how well you “fit” into their design of the curriculum that you have the distinct honor to regurgitate to (un)willing receptacles of knowledge.

I recently had this exact pleasure. One of the chairs (yes, one of the chairs) sent me an email about a month ago wanting to schedule observations. I know it’s a terrible, terrible habit, but I really have a hard time planning out an entire semester for a class I’ve never taught, let alone at an institution I’ve never taught at. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to cover the necessary topics. I pretty much wing it.

So I was faced with this pressure to come up with something brilliant that usually comes to me as I’m teaching or the day before I teach weeks ahead so my superior can come and tell me I’m good or a gigantic ball of flaming suck. I found a pretty fantastic lesson plan that I managed to tie into the assignment I had to teach, so I prepared for hours the night before, making copies, practicing the discussion in my head, imagining the worst case scenario where the angry racist student throws a chair that breaks into tiny pieces while the guy who hates me for giving him a bad grade pulls out a weapon of some sort — likely his fists — and begins attacking, bonobo style, the students around him out of sheer frustration and rage.

The superior came in and said “Just pretend I’m not here. I want you to act completely natural, completely normal. It’s not like you’ll get axed if today doesn’t go well.”

Yeah, sure. No pressure or anything, but that was basically a “don’t fuck up or you’ll be homeless and jobless next semester because you suck big time and you’ll get to live in a cardboard box and go to the shelter for food donations and all your pretty clothes will be worthless because bums don’t care how you look but the bright side is you’ll probably either get super skinny because you can’t afford to eat or you’ll get pulled into some sex ring where you’ll sell yourself for a quick score and you can die a cold and lonely death.”

Good thing my lecture went AWESOME. Every student spoke, they had smart things to say, they didn’t get side tracked, and most importantly, I didn’t even get yelled at. About an hour after class, I received an email from the other chair saying the chair who observed my class was delighted and my handouts were awesome and would I like to teach again next semester?? (Yeah, two question marks.) I said yes, of course, because being homeless scares me and I really like using make up and soap.

But through this experience, and many, many other days teaching when I had a bit too much to drink the night before/earlier that morning, and even days being a graduate student and asked to sit and write a few hundred pages on the spot to get ready for the upcoming assignments makes me realize just how much teaching/graduate-studenting is like being an actor, always performing.

Or it’s like being a trained monkey. I’m not a trained monkey. I can’t write on command. Actually, it’d be pretty cool to train a monkey to write on command. I’m sure someone, somewhere has done that. I’m sure that monkey could replace the seat of about 78% of my students. But, like a trained monkey, being a graduate student is all about performance.

In the precarious situation I — and all the other graduate student teachers delicately straddling the lines between student and teacher — face on a daily basis is the constancy of being on display, knowing superiors are lurking outside your doors or sitting in the back of your classroom, eagerly gripping their #2 pencils and frantically scrawling notes on a legal pad, or judging every word you put in front of them through papers you hand in or your contributions to classroom discussion.

Like a cheap whore on a busy avenue, the whole town’s watchin’.


Let’s talk about sex(ual harassment training) baby.

30 Oct

So about a month ago, unbeknownst to me, I was supposed to have completed online sexual harassment training. I got a passive aggressive email from my boss today, informing me that I need to complete this online training immediately so the certificate of completion can be sent to HR (I asked for a copy so I can frame it).

As I’m going through the myriad of lessons about what constitutes sexual harassment, who can sexually harass/be harassed, and quiz questions, I’m Facebook chatting with one of my favorite people, B. Here goes part of that conversation:

Me: I get to do online sexual harassment training.
I’m doing it now, as a matter of fact.
You should be jealous.

B: Well. Good thing you don’t work for me.

Me: I personally disagree with everything in here.
It said that sexual harassment can lower employee morale.
Personally, I’m much more motivated to work when I’m being sexually harassed. I’m also more motivated to look nice, which increases productivity.

B: I’m still laughing about the PCD night. [See “Sexy like a cotton ball” blog]

Me: Me too.
I’m learning about quid quo pro sexual harassment. I love the way it was explained: “this for that, so if quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs, a supervisor (or other manager) has requested sexual favors in exchange for providing job benefits–or a supervisor (or other manager) has threatened to deny job benefits in order to gain sexual favors.”

B: So, is there such thing as supervisor with benefits?

Me: And not health benefits. But yes.

B: Well, good sex is healthful.

Me: I’m slightly offended. All of the images are of an old black man.
He repositions himself expressing disdain to emphasize the tone of the computerized voice. Like the news he’s getting about sexual harassment is getting progressively worse, and he’s seriously reconsidering working for this company based on their policies.

B: What, old black men need ass, too.
Heh heh. I said “old.”

Me: It just seems slightly racist.
Old white men need ass, too.
So do old black women. Or old white women.
E’erybody need ass.


Me: Nailed it.

B: Clearly, you can’t answer that without knowing whether he’s hot.

Me: Clearly! Stupid online training… It’s so unrealistic. Obviously there are always mitigating circumstances. 

B: Written by asexual robots. Which is prolly redundant.

Me: “You just learned about quid quo pro sexual harassment. But wait, there’s more types of sexual harassment! There are TWO types of sexual harassment: there’s also hostile environment sexual harassment!”
I gained a regular booty call from sexual harassment at work.

B: And if they AREN’T hot, isn’t it all harassing?

Me: Exactly.
If the person is hot, it’s flattery. If they’re ugly, I’ll scream.

B: There’s your seminar.
Eew? Harassment. Ahhhh! Not.

Me: Precisely.
I’m hoping that’ll come out.
That’s what she said.

B: I thought she hoped it would stay in.

Me: Trick question. The scenario was a woman who supervises this guy she wants to have sex with and asks him out on a date. He’s also interested, and gladly accepts. Sexual harassment or no?

B: Applying the “Eew/Ahhh” rule, nope. Hope they hook up like rabbits. Good for them.

Me: That’s how I answered. There really should be a fill in the blank option. Here’s my favorite:

Fact: Ethel and Lucille work together in a software firm. Ethel often makes inappropriate comments about Lucille. Lucille is offended by Ethel’s remarks.
Fact: Ethel is an ugly name, therefore it is sexual harassment.


How much longer? The thingy. You’re watching. For work.

Me: I’m 41% done because I keep stopping to screenshot it and laugh hysterically.
Also, because although there’s text I could easily skim through, I like hearing the robot voice man say “sex.”
It’s like C3PO teaching me about sexual harassment. When he describes the scenarios, it’s almost like dirty-talk. 

B: Cold. But long lasting.
Probably not much of a cunnilinguist.

Me: I just pictured the scene in Dumb and Dumber with the frozen pole. A fill in the blank option would be fantastic. I wonder if the computerized voice could be programmed to respond to fill in the blank options. I’m sure it could. I’d talk to it. Call it “tonguefucking C3PO.” See if I can strike a chord, maybe get him to talk about R2D2.

B: That should be a model of C3PO. Normal C3PO, and Toungefucking C3PO. I wonder which model would be more popular.

Me: Clearly the TF C3PO. Nerds gotta get some, too. Tappin’ dat ass.

B: Especially nerds.
Not to be confused with the discontinued YOLO C3PO. You Only Lick Once. “Dumped him.” “Why?” “HOLO.” “Bastard.” See also, “SOSO.”

Me: “How’s that femmC3PO?” “She’s so-so, also SOSO, so, that’s really why she was so-so.”

B: Would one tap femmC3PO’s ass, or tink it?
Ditto, the tin man.

Me: Tink is more aesthetically pleasing.

B: “With a tink and a squeak, he shuddered as his hot oil shot across her sweaty navel…”
Ava, on her online sex training, “I really thought this would have more helpful ‘how-to’ information.”

Me: Yet another sexual encounter ending with disappointment.
And gin.

B: Well, there’s always gin and a dangerously hot bath.

Me: That’s what I call a Monday night.

Since I was otherwise occupied with above conversation, I crossed my fingers and hoped to FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) the sexual harassment training I learned from watching the episode “Sexual Harassment” on The Office would come in handy.

It totally did.


P.S., for more screenshots from my online sexual harassment training, see new page “Sexual Harassment Training.” 

Feminist Teacher

educating for equity and justice



Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

A Single Girl's Unguide

Ticking the 'single' box with a grin.

Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

A non-comprehensive collection

Single Mom Confidential

The Journal of a Mom with a Writing Problem…

Break Room Stories

Service Industry Stories and More Since 2012

To Be Aware

It's all about disbelieving your thoughts

Flash Fiction Daily

A Flash Fiction Blog

Honest Toddler

juice, crackers. tv.

The Shut-in Stand-Up

A comedic look at modern life from the perspective of a traumatized but standing up shut-in.

Clockwork Banana

no chitter-chatter, only gibber-jabber


a place to put my thoughts on paper

The Good Greatsby

Paul Johnson's comedy blog: I didn't get into comedy to be rich or famous. All I've ever wanted was to be loved...by somebody rich and famous.