Sunday, May 1, 2016

The devil is a liar

So this Wednesday, I have a meeting with the Dean of the STEM department. And while I'd LOVE to say it was about the exceeding performance standards eval I got a couple weeks ago, it's unfortunately due to a student complaining that "I don't like them or treat them fairly" with 2 weeks left in the semester. And not just any student, a female student. And not just any female student, but a BLACK female student. Uh huh.

Apparently, some of the students in this generation are HIGHLY entitled and think they deserve good grades with inconsistent effort, as opposed to having to earn them like all the other top students in my class do. And when you won't give them what they asked for, they go to your Supervisor, a situation I had heard other faculty at my school complain about earlier in the semester. And if after that meeting they're still not satisfied, they go to the Dean hence my meeting this coming Wednesday.

Now besides the enormous amount of disappointment I feel about this situation given my demonstrated goal of increasing minority representation in STEM especially women, I also recognized that there are some people that have other agendas. All I can do is show my Dean this student's progress in my class along with the email she sent me complaining about "not getting the grade she deserves". The fact that I had to ask her and 2 other students to leave my class for ignoring my repeated (since early March) requests to stop talking during lecture, is just the icing on the proverbial cake as far as her character is concerned. Added to that is the fact that 2 of the 3 students I asked to leave my class that day have apologized for their behavior, but not this student. And that says FAR more about her as a person and her intentions, than anything else IMHO.

What I do know is that with an MCAT coming up this summer, 3 abstracts due in the next 2 weeks, summer classes toward my HIT (Health Information Technology) certificate, and a PhD course, I realize that my decision to not teach this summer was a damn good one. But this "hiatus" from teaching will likely extend FAR into the future as I simply don't have time for bull*hit like this. Not. At. ALL! I'm also reminded that of the 20 or so Black female PhD's I know, only 2 of them teach at the collegiate too. Put another way, the weight of double standards that Black faculty often feel is one thing when it's something you can control to a certain degree, like your research. But teaching is a subjective in nature, and a LOT of what others think about what you do is completely OUT of your hands. At age 39, I may have had the motivation to "gut it out" anyway. But at 49, ANYTHING that isn't positive and moving me in the direction of medical school, can go straight to he**!

With that said, I'll have to figure out another way to reach underrepresented students interested in STEM. I'm tossing around a couple ideas now, but won't follow through officially until after I take the MCAT later this summer.

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