I’m going to call him The Viking, because he said he was in the Navy. Perhaps I should call him The Fruit Bat because he always wore sunglasses, even though the class was inside, at night, and I dimmed the lights to show my slides (he said he wore them to foil facial recognition software). Maybe I’ll call him Idle because he never stopped talking; throughout every class he muttered agreements, comments, questions and unintelligible grunts. He was The Guy in the Front Seat Who Always Had His Hand Up. He was The Only Game Student I Ever Had Who Openly Hated Games.
admit he pushed the boundaries of my patience.
night’s class, he told me that he stopped doing homework because he was failing
and the administration wouldn’t let him drop the class. He continued to show up because “I ain’t
stupid.” I’m guessing there was some
penalty worse than failing for incomplete attendance.
class began with a visit from my boss, who gave what he calls his “Fear of God
Speech.” In a nutshell: work hard
because you’re going into a competitve field. I always felt the speech was
unnecessary (who doesn’t know you have to work hard?), but Bat Viking said he wished
he had heard in on the first day of class.
started going through my class on writing stories and creating solid
characters. I got to the part where I warned
against throwing a bunch of traits together to make a character.
crazy. He threw his pen down and wondered
aloud why he had to know about characters.
He was a programmer; he’d never write.
that story development was integral to games, he’d have to work with stories in
the game industry, and I wasn’t teaching a programming class.
on, complaining about the first homework assignment (weeks ago) I had graded
him poorly on. It was a biography
assignment, and he had listed a bunch of random achievements instead of
writing, well, a biography. I said I’d
be happy to talk about his homework after class time.
he said. “Go on.”
where I snapped a bit. Maybe it was
because he interrupted me when I was speaking.
Maybe it was him telling me what to do.
I usually crumble when anyone, especially students, attack me
verbally. This time I didn’t.
said. “I don’t take orders from you.”
Viking kept talking. Kept
muttering. The man just wouldn’t shut
on,” he said again.
out,” I said. “Just get out.”
grabbed his things and stormed out, all the while raging he was had planned to
go to all my classes and that there was no need to throw him out.
to say, I was “off my game” for the rest of class. Needless to say I looked around very
carefully on my way to my car afterwards.