Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thin Skin

As much as I am out there both on here and in the ER, I am usually a kind of shy person. When I do lectures, no matter what the subject matter or audience, I get really fucking nervous. I worked on my neuro lecture for a really long time. I collected pictures, worked on how I could break things down and make the subject more entertaining. The lecture itself went well. No big hitches. Very few off the wall questions.... except for the random chick who is in every class and has 50 million questions no matter what. I got home, popped on the computer and started to wind down.

That is... until I got onto one of those social networking sites. Yes, I have a facebook. I check it often. I like that I can keep up with people without having to have the "Hi, how are you?" phone call, or run into them in public and not remember they have 3 kids and are not pregnant with #4 (despite what they look like). I rarely add people as friends. Thats not really my style. Working in the ER, or flying I ran across a ton of people that added me and I don't know them all super well. So I'm checking people's statuses... nada big. When I come across a very recent posting. It was from a medic who was in my class. (in fact, she was still there.... in the afternoon class) She openly bashed my lecture and questioned how much she had paid for the class. She actually used a couple of my phrases in her posting. I think she probably forgot that she had added me as a friend.

I was devastated. Seriously. I try to put myself out there and make the class both educational and worthwhile and this is what I get in return. I'm all for constructive criticism. If there was a way I could have presented the subject matter better, or if there was a more specific area that needed to be covered then sure, have at it. But thats not what this was about. This was about me personally. I won't lie... I was in tears. I felt about 2inches tall and vulnerable as hell. It took about 24 hours for me to take a step back and just say FUCK IT.

I spoke to the course coordinator about this as well. I didn't want to be a tattletale, but god knows she's gonna put this on my evaluation and I didn't want him to see it and have a WTF moment. It was really hard to tell him what happened. I was embarrassed and scared that this would be the end of my teaching. I shouldn't have been. He was both pissed (at her) and very supportive of me. That conversation helped restore some confidence. I am curious what her reaction will be when she sees me in the ER. My response will be to maintain my composure, show the class that she (obviously) doesn't have, and tell her to go fuck herself (in my head, of course)!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about her; she has her own problems, and if your boss person doesn't see what that cranky person *thought* she saw, then, no worries. That Kranken sounds like she wouldn't have been pleased no matter what; with those type of people, there's just no pleasing. Her world must be small and painful since nothing, nothing, seems to be good enough for her. Onwards and upwards; onwards and upwards.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

I'm a nursing student and an EMT, I enjoy reading your blog. Students are brutal behind their instructor's backs. I often feel embarrassed for my peers when they are trashing an instructor, I think that students need to step back and realize that instructors and professors are human and have feelings. This has always been a peeve of mine. The fact that you were upset, means you care about your profession and your students (which is rare,in my opinion). Thanks for an insightful and interesting blog.

9:05 PM  
Blogger GingerJar said...

That gal probably wasn't "getting it" because she was too busy trying to pick things apart. Just because she didn't learn...didn't mean you weren't doing a good teaching job. How many other people in the room??? and she was the one with a problem????? Sounds like she WAS the problem.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

teaching is tough ... and, as you said, constructive criticism is one thing but this sort of behaviour is not appropriate (in my book anyway).

Glad you spoke to the course co-ordinator and he set you right. Don't let it prey on your mind for the next class she's one out of how many???

5:52 AM  
Blogger battynurse said...

Ouch. I think I would have been devastated at least at first. My first thought was to respond to her on the face place about what you could have done to make it better, just to let her know you saw her comments. Likely though that is not the best response and you seem to be dealing with it in a very professional manner. I'm glad though that the coordinator didn't have any problems with it.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous johnB said...

Joe, thanks for remining me of that. I am often one to critique, but I should really rethink that!! They are putting themselves out there and I need to respect that more.

11:34 AM  

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