Tuesday, April 22, 2014
It's closed for a reason
Some do knock but only as a warning before they barge in. I’m sure they never consider that I’m busy. Doing what? I’m not teaching, after all. They look surprised and annoyed to see that I’m on the phone or already talking with another person. The oaf will stand inside my office, waiting for me to drop everything to help him or her. Speaking of which, it’s an offense independent of gender but most often committed by non-Western foreign students and those who are generally unable to interpret social cues. My trusted colleagues who know about such things tell me that the cultures of these international students place a greater emphasis on hierarchy and respect for authority than we Americans do so I really don’t get it. I’m inclined to excuse the latter group of students for simply being unable to navigate aspects personal relationships like this but I can’t get my head around the fact that students who can learn electrical engineering can’t follow a simple rule to knock.
Maybe I should tell knock-knock jokes in class as a way to drop subtle hints. I’m thinking of designing a flow chart to help them figure out the proper etiquette, though that would require them to read and think. The easiest solution is to work from home.
-- Bob from Bennington