Monday, March 21, 2011


The stories I was hearing at work today were making me wonder if this were April 1 rather than March 21! These might be "had to be there" situations, but I'm gonna share them anyway.


One of my colleagues is particularly concerned about people smoking in non-smoking areas. He has a daughter who suffered terribly from asthma, and he spent many hours in ER with her throughout her childhood, so he knows what second-hand smoke can do, particularly to those with health issues. Whenever he sees a someone smoking in a non-designated area on campus, he points it out to them and asks them to stop.

This happened today. He was walking across campus, saw someone with smoke curling up from their fingers, and he let them know they couldn't smoke there. The person said to him:

"Oh . . . it's OK . . . I'm not smoking it, I'm just holding it."



We have to be careful to protect student confidentiality in all areas - one of them being grades. This is a bit tricky, because students like to have instructors post grades so they can check what is officially recorded for them. We obviously can't use names, and we really aren't supposed to use ID numbers. One of my colleagues was looking for an idea of how to post grades while at the same time protecting privacy. He was given the idea of having students make up nicknames for themselves that others wouldn't guess and then posting the grades using the nicknames.

So off he went to class to implement this new idea. He asked the students to take out a piece of paper and write their name on it and then a nickname that could be used for posting purposes. More than one student turned in the paper with only their new nickname (apparently thinking he was psychic - in which case why turn it in at all?). Also while the students were at work on this one shouted out to him, "Can't you just pass around one piece of paper and have us all write our names and nicknames on it?!"


CONCLUSION: We do our best as faculty to protect our students' health and privacy, but sometimes . . . sometimes . . . uh . . . you know . . . sometimes we're just left scratching our heads! (and maybe chuckling a bit too :-)

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