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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tripling down on stupid.

Pediem is a prognosticator par excellence. Two days after Miss Drunken Hot Mess got herself bounced from class for shameful inebriation, I got a call from her advisor.

"She wants to drop the class. I looked at her grades; she's got a high B. What gives?"

I related the tale, including the call I made to her ResLife rep*, recommending a spot of alcohol education.

"Ah. That changes things. I'm not signing the slip, then."

Twenty minutes later, the phone rang again.

"She claims none of that happened, and you are lying to cover up the fact that you've been harassing her and making her life Hell. She's gotten her parents involved, as well."

"Fine! I'm formally requesting an Honor Court. There are 24 other students in the class -- one of them her roommate -- who can testify to her condition and behavior, as well as the fact that she has not been singled out for anything in class. If she wants to go for broke, let her."

"Honor Court? Really? If they decide against her, she can be kicked out..."

"Hey, she's damaging my reputation by making baseless accusations to cover up her own misbehavior. I'm not going to bear the consequence for her immaturity and inability to hold her liquor. I'll see her and  her parents and everyone else in the auditorium to discuss it."

A week later, we all sat there - Advisor,  Department Chair, Dean, ResLife Counselor, Roommate and 23 students -- waiting for the circus to start. The clowns finally straggled in with Miss DHM trailing her parents. She looked like a bus had hit her, and her parents looked a fearsome combination of rage, indignation and bewilderment.

The proceedings opened, and her father led with, "My daughter is innocent, this is a ridiculous endeavor, she did nothing wrong, the professor is picking on her..."

The peanut gallery of students engaged in giggling, indignant gestures and eye-rolling. Coughs of "bullshit!" were heard. Even her roommate was seen to mouth, "Are you really going through with this?" to her.

One by one, we all gave our versions of the event in question. Unsurprisingly, 25 of the 26 of us who were present gave an overwhelmingly similar description. Some of them filled in details from the party itself, but everyone agreed: she was drunk and disruptive in class and had been asked to leave politely.

As the hearing continued, Miss DHM sank lower in her seat. As she sank, you could see her parents' blood pressure rise. The anger shifted from me to her, and it was clear that someone was going to Get It when we left that room.

The Dean had had enough of the bullshit, and called everyone to order. Judgement was rendered: she was full of shit, I was clear, and all the witnesses (myself, the students, Department Head) were dismissed. As the door swing shut, it was her, her parents, the Advisor, the ResLife Rep and the Dean.

Nothing good was going to come of that. The roomie and I hung around in the hall, waiting to see what would shake out, exchanging sympathetic and concerned chatter. Contrary to how she might feel about it, I really did give a shit about her and how she was going to come out of this. Forty-five minutes later, the doors swung open.

The Dean and Advisor stalked out, both looking steamed. The ResLife Rep came out, shaking her head. "What a friggin' dumbass. Looks like you've got a single from here on out." Miss DHM ran out, sobbing. her parents came out last.  Her mother apologized to me, as did her father, and both explained that she would be withdrawing to school to work on her "maturity issues." She just didn't expect that her actions would spiral into such a big deal.


*Dolores, the ResLife Rep, has seen it all. She is a combo of Honey Badger (who doesn't give a shit) and the "Ain't no one got time for that!" lady.


  1. Good outcome.

    For all concerned, including your reputation for not putting up with bull shit.

  2. Think your other classes will get any ...less rambunctious... now that they've seen actions do have consequences, and you are Not To Be Crossed?

    'Cause 25 sources to start the rumor chain - by the end of this, you're going to be some fierce minor campus deity known as Wielder Of The BanHammer.

  3. Wow. Doubling down on the stupid would've been plenty. Just admit she done it, take the pain, and drop it. Hope the poor kid learns something back home; at least her parents sound like they get it.

  4. Color me cynical but I'd almost bet she did what she did because she had gotten away with it in the past and I've observed that parents have difficulty admitting to themselves that they have been doing it wrong even after spectacular crash and burns involving jail time.
    Hope this is not the case and she doesn't end up looking like a hard rode toothless 60 when she is 30.

  5. OK, so I underestimated her stupidity.


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