Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Elevator Evaluations

At least once a term, I end up crushed in the back of a crowded elevator, while some of my students gossip about my class in a… somewhat more candid manner than they would if they knew I were there. The gossip doesn’t bother me and, by the time I realise what’s happening, there’s usually no graceful way for me to warn the students that they’re doing this in front of me. But there’s always an awkward situation when the elevator clears out, or everyone gets off on the same floor, and the students suddenly realise that I’ve been there all along. My current strategy for minimising their concern is to pull out a book, a piece of paper, or something else to stare at, and try to look very absorbed and absent-minded professorish. Now I’m waiting for the moment when I find myself at the back of an elevator, overhearing students talk about how I’m so out of it that I didn’t even notice when they were gossiping about my course in the elevator the other day…

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2 responses to “Elevator Evaluations

  1. TheBizofKnowledge September 7, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    Ha ha, great story! Whenever I’m in a similar situation, I pull out my pocket PC or cell phone and start tapping away at the keys, pretending to be busy with an important text message or whatever. Failing that, if I have my iPod with me, I’ll put the earbuds in and pretend to be oblivious.

  2. N Pepperell September 8, 2006 at 9:22 am

    The earbuds sound like the best option to me – gives the students firm grounds for hope that the music was drowning out their conversation…

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