WARNING: Horribly misanthropic post below.
I don't know how I can imagine surviving decades more of dealing with first-year students, without succumbing to a murderous rage.
I can't get over how they can't follow simple instructions. How they become so wrapped up in their grade-grubbing anxieties that they can't even listen. And so I deal with the same questions over and over and over and over again.
Yesterday I stood in front of my 100-person lecture and FOR THE FOURTH TIME was confronted with a barrage about the annotated bibliography they have coming up. I have fielded questions about this since October 1. I have posted a detailed handout about exactly what they need to do, on the course website. I have posted style sheets for the citation style. But no, they cannot look at this. Or they can, but their brains are sieves. I get exactly the same questions - and answer them - every. single. freaking. time. When all of this information has been provided to them in written form. The tediousness of this exercise made my eyes nearly pop out of my head, yesterday - I stood there and furiously clicked the pen I was holding, tapped my feet restlessly as I answered their questions in an incredulous, condescending voice. (I didn't realize how awful my body language and overall vibe were until some slightly more mature students in the front row started laughing - they got what was going on.) I just cannot imagine dealing with this inanity for the next twenty-five years.
I suppose I need to cultivate my bitch self - the one that pointedly says that I have already answered that question, and refuses to answer it again. But that's not me, and I would feel uncomfortable doing that. But is projecting the bitchiness I projected yesterday any better? I think not.