William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 9, October, 2009

Graduate School #16

Filed under: Boomstick,Forensics,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 14:14

I do get so annoyed when people barge into my classroom.  Perhaps my behaviour is jerky, but I do stop lecture and ask them to sit down, give them a copy of the handout, and generally act like the professorial welcome wagon.  When they start to shuffle their feet and stammer, and admit that they barged into the wrong room without knocking, I inform them that standard protocol is to knock, see if it is the right room, and come in with as little disruption to the people who came on time as possible.  Yeah, I’m an asshole.  Bite me.

My students pay good money for their class.  It works out to $1,500/credit hour, or $100 per class hour.  I hate it when people barge in, or the classroom gets moved on a whim.  Yes, the medical students pay more per year than the graduate students, but they don’t get to leave their stuff around or barge in and disrupt other people’s education.  Humph.

We looked at some gunshot wounds, learned the difference between soot and stippling, learned about range of fire, how shotguns work (very well, thanks) and how to test for gunshot residue.  They’re a little nervous about the exam next Wednesday.  Oh, I gotta write that exam.



  1. You’re not an asshole; they’re just dumb.

    I’ve seen it firsthand.

    Comment by Overeducated Twit — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 18:32 | Reply

  2. Public shame is a great teaching tool.

    In my last year as an undergrad, I took a compiler design course from a prof I greatly respected and admired — one of the legendary “old tenured assholes” of the department. Halfway into the first lecture, my cellphone rang. The prof stopped in mid-sentence, gave me a look of resigned contempt I can still picture, and sighed. (I apologized after the lecture, and he seemed utterly unperturbed. He wrote me what I’m told is a glowing recommendation to grad school.)

    I’ve never forgotten to turn off my phone before a class, meeting, talk, or &c. since.

    Comment by bluntobject — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 18:39 | Reply

  3. I’m confused, wouldn’t knocking be more disruptive? I suppose it would be more polite. Whenever I was late or didn’t know where I was going, I always just tried to slip in as quietly as possible. The trick is catching the door and easing the handle so it doesn’t click.

    Comment by Meagan — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 20:17 | Reply

    • In Medicine, the convention and protocol is to always knock before entering room where the door is closed. Exam rooms, patient rooms, whatever. One never just barges in, people could be on bedpans, changing gowns, whatever. That is also important for doctors and professor’s offices. Even if the door is open, one doesn’t barge in, as confidential materials could be on the desk or computer screen. It is basic medical professionalism, and a habit that should be ingrained in the first year. People have lost marks on clinical boards for failing to do so.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 20:53

  4. Oooooh. That makes sense.

    Comment by Meagan — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 21:35 | Reply

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