Crazy students

April 17, 2007

cho.jpgI must admit that in the light of the student massacres at Virginia Tech, I have had moments of fear in my career as a teacher. Having to deny a student who wished to go on to the Ph.D., knowing that his parents might disown him upon his return home (his worry); every year we have the unenviable task of denying students admission into our program — one wonders what ire is raging in students I’ve never met that are threatening murder to teachers that ruined their life; and the one quiet student who, while taking his final exam, had scribbled over and over on a sheet of paper above it the impression of the words KILL KILL on his test when I graded it. (He is happily married now and living in Seattle.)

I remember telling an older friend that I was moving to California, saying some silly phrase like “I’m terrified the state will slide into the ocean.” She glared at me saying: “Roger, you can not live in fear.” This sagely advice has served me well and is advice I must adapt in times like this. And does this kid REALLY look like a psycho? Not really, I’ve known much scary looking students than Mr. Cho.

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