Monday, March 05, 2007

am i mean?

A student just left my office - he was looking for someone to tell him what elective to take this summer. This is a guy who is 6 credits away from graduation (ie. I would expect him to have an understanding that he is in control of his education, and has his own opinions). He has one required class left, and one elective to take.
He sat in the green office chair next to my desk and stared at me when I asked him, "Well, if I said to you 'You can take ANY class you want,' where would you start looking?"
He had no answer.
After rephrasing two or three times, he said, "Spanish?" (a question, not a statement)
We looked at Spanish courses - the times didn't work for him, and he immediately said so, then stared at me expectantly.
After 10 minutes or so, I got him to realize that (I think) it really is best to think about what kinds of things you'd like to learn about (and pay a lot of money and spend a lot of time on) and look for courses in those areas. I'm not trying to be unhelpful - just the opposite - I want him to have courses on his schedule that he wants and is interested in.
I finally said to him, "I wish I had a file labeled 'Good Courses for Dan' - but I don't. You're the best one to answer that question."
He seemed awfully disappointed in the service he got today. I feel a little bad about that - but how are you supposed to recommend courses to someone you met 30 seconds earlier, who won't give you any input into their likes, dislikes, or interests?

2 thoughts:

Julie said...

Some people just want to be told what to do. Sounds like you handled it well.

By the way, thanks for posting a new post... your cookie picture has been causing me to stumble :)m

Jamie said...

So I'm guessing he didn't ring the bell?