A student I finally failed after seven months of trying ( don't ask) is sitting in the cubicle next to me. Because he failed the spring semester, he has to retake it. Because he recognizes that neither of us wants to see each other again, he has wisely sought out a different intstructor with whom to retake the semester. The professor he has sought out is the Mistake.

Because he missed the first week and a half of classes ( hoping that I could be bullied into changing the "F" that I finally put down), he is discussing with the Mistake the requirements of her course. They are laughing and chatting in an easy way. A way that makes me realize that deep down what I really want is for this student to fail again. On one level I want it because it would confirm that what went wrong the first time was not me BUT HIM. But the feeling of glee that is aroused by the idea of him failing again can not be accounted for in this manner. And it frightens me.

I suspect that if I had just been allowed to fail him the first time without the seven months of "Please just give him a (circle one second third fourth fifth sixth seventh) chance...You don't know what it's like to have his problems" from the department, I would be able to blithely tolerate his presence. As it is, haggling with him for several months for work that never appeared and somehow got blamed on MY demeanor, I want him to fail and fail hard. I want to be there with my camera when he receives the grades so I can forever preserve the look of horror on his face. And I want to make it my screensaver. I want it on a t-shirt so I can wear it to class and say "THIS was a former student. You don't want this to happen to you SO DO YOUR FREAKIN' READING."

And I know deep down inside it's wrong and it's bad and I should want him to learn and progress and grow and develop.

But somehow I just can't.

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