STUDENT SUBMITTED STORY: My junior year of college I needed to take a 200 level philosophy class to satisfy my university’s core curriculum requirements. My teacher, who had recently been introduced to her first tiny bit of fame from publishing a book chronicling the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq in the years prior to the Iraq War, would ramble on for the entire 2 and a half hour lecture every Wednesday about some barely relevant human rights issue that she choose.One week it would be Nuremberg Trials, the next the Geneva Convention; apartheid; AIDS; Nicaraguan property rights; and then, submarine warfare during WWII. Professor G: Under the widely understood rules of engagement during WWII it became routine for submarines to sink battleships and destroyers and not resurface to hunt for survivors. In the ensuing treaty negotiations the issue of submarine warfare become a topic both the Allies and Axis had little interest in discussing as both had committed atrocities on their respective sides. Must we not therefore hold ourselves equally responsible for human rights violations in wartime just as the Germans themselves argued during their defense in the trials at Nuremberg. (At this point she is basically grinning from ear to ear, as she has somehow, miraculously, managed to relate her ramblings from today’s class to lass week’s seemingly acid-induced lecture) Me: “Professor, I have read that WWII era submarines, operating at standard depth-charge depth would take a minimum of two hours to surface. By that point, most of the survivors would have drowned having sustained serious injuries; the men on fire in the burning gasoline and oil would have been, at the luckiest, permanently scarred; and most likely another ship would have responded to the sunken ship’s distress call. If you’re stupid enough to surface to look for survivors with a destroyer eying you down you deserve to get blown out of the water. Professor G: …… Okay.
Secretary: You have me hooked in to your Gmail.
Teacher: “IT Guy, whenever I try to send an email all kinds of weird things pop-up”
Teacher: “Oh, hi” IT Guy: “Why are you surprised? You invited me down here” Teacher: “Oh yeah! Here watch……begins typing email to xxxxx@gmail – as she types the first three letters “things” start popping up:
1. screen refreshes
2. bookmarks appear on left side of screen
3. print option box appears See IT Guy! What is the issue? IT Guy: “To be honest I have never seen anything like this before but my best guess is that perhaps the GIANT binder you have placed on your keyboard is perhaps holding down the “Ctrl” key along with most of the alphabet. Teacher: Oh, that’s it! You are so smart IT Guy! IT Guy: “hahaha….yeah……you’re not. Try not to burn the building down when you attach your document to the email. Bye!”
IT Guy: I am pretty busy. Can’t you do it?
Teacher: I don’t know how
IT Guy: Do you know how to plug in your toaster?
IT Guy: then I think you can handle this
Another example of a teacher deploying the Power of Need:
Teacher: Do you know if the summer school gradebooks and class pages will be available soon?
IT Guy: I can’t upload those until the schedule for next year is complete. I will send them out as soon as I can.
Teacher: When will that be?
IT Guy: Not sure. Ask the schedule person.
Teacher: Ok. But I really NEED to work on those class pages
IT Guy: Gotcha. Ask the scheduling person. I can’t do it till they are finished.
Teacher: Ok. But do you think the schedule will be done soon.
IT Guy: I have no idea. Ask the scheduling person.
Teacher: I will but I just really NEED to get a head start. Let me tell you why….
IT Guy: No. Don’t tell me why….it is entirely moot. I can not do anything until the schedule is done. The amount of NEED is entirely irrelevant. We have gone over this three times.
Teacher: But you don’t understand. Let me tell you why I NEED them.
IT Guy: NO! It has no bearing on you getting them. At this moment the options are not having classes next year or you having your stupid class pages three weeks in advance so you can add ridiculous animated pictures of Einstein blowing himself up. Essentially, we would destroy our school to save you the 2.4 minutes it takes to add those stupid animations. Try medication instead.