Thursday, September 06, 2007

The 3 Kinds of People

Son20 started his new year in college last week. One of his courses is Criminal Justice. He anticipated a class with a bunch of political science majors discussing the justice system. He was half right. The other half of the class is apparently populated with people planning to go into a career of law enforcement. That alters the class just a bit, but no problem.

But then they all met the professor. This guy is an ex-military, ex-law enforcement, homeland security-loving, gung-ho kind of a guy. His first comment in the first class was to give the one and only class rule. No sandals. Apparently they "ruin your stance" making it much more difficult to walk a beat later in life.

His next comment was on the seating arrangement in the class. And this is where Son20 learned about the types of people in the world. According to the professor, you can figure out which kind of person you are if you imagine standing in a circle of people when a hand grenade is tossed into the center of the circle. One type of person will run away looking for safety. One type of person will freeze in place from the fear.. And the last type of person will throw themselves on the grenade in an effort to protect others.

Having given that description of the 3 types of people in the world, the professor then said he needed four people who were the "jump on the grenade type" to sit nearest the door. He said if a terrorist entered the class, he was willing to jump in front of him and take the first bullet. But the professor felt it would take up to four additional people to help subdue and disarm the terrorist. So the professor scanned the room and asked if there were four volunteers.

Son20, who just happened to be sitting closest to the door, was the only person who moved. He slowly gathered his books and pencils, stuffed it all in his backpack, stood up and announced to the class (which was still a bit stunned from this opening salvo from the professor)..."I'm pretty sure I'm a runner". And he slowly made his way to the far corner of the room.

Once Son20 made the first move, a few other students shuffled around, basically leaving the corner nearest the door barren. I guess it went a little beyond a typical classroom seating chart to try to group all the grenade jumpers in one corner.

22 comments:

charlotta-love said...

I would have not moved. Which is exactly what I would have done if someone threw a bomb my way too. I'd freeze.

Charlie said...

Wow. What a nutjob.

Reminds me of the character of "Colonel Flagg" from TV's M*A*S*H, once referred to as "gung-holier-than-thou."


I guess there's not many of that third type of person around, if they keep throwing themselves on grenades.

BTW, love your son's response.

The runners shall inherit the earth.

Gretchen said...

Is this class for free, by chance? And...if not sandals, can they go barefoot? Or are steel-toed shoes the order of the day?

I love your son's response, too.

To quote Michael Jackson (OMG, did I just type that?!!) "I'm a lovah, not a fightah."

Star said...

Personally I think Son20 showed great leaddersship potential. And I think the instructor has stood a little too close to some eploding grenades. Any chance he'll(Son20) be dropping this class?

yinyang said...

O.o

I think if I had that professor, I would have dropped his class already.

Darren said...

Nutjob is exactly the word I thought of too. I'd stay in the class. It can be kind of entertaining to watch guys like this.

Thumper said...

Professor Boom forgot the 4th kind of person: the one who will grab the grenade and chuck it back out.

I hope your kid shows in in sandals one day, just to challenge the suffocation of his liberties...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Okaaaaay...

Dude is seriously nuts!

Good for your son for having the guts to stand up and be himself.

Melody said...

That's hilarious! Son20 was brave to get up and move away in front of his class. I'm not sure what I would have done. I would like to think I'd do the same as your son but knowing me I woud probably freeze.

And sandles? What is this professor on? What does Son20 think of this guy. I guess classes would be interesting with him in charge.

Mom not Mum said...

You know what is just WRONG - I laughed several times at that post. Especially the "I'm a runner" PRICELESS! And the sandals? Hahaha - I had a professor who didn't even wear shoes - well flip flops but he didn't wear them in class. I think his pony tail would have kept him out of law enforement more than his "shoeless stance".

tulipmom said...

Good for Son20 for being the first to respond to such a whackjob.

As a college student, I probably would have dropped the class out of sheer intimidation. I hope Son20 sticks with it.

Jill said...

My mouth is gaping at this very moment. There are really people like that in the world? And they let them teach college courses??

I love Son20's response. He should wear sandals to the next class meeting too.

P.S. Who would throw him/herself on a grenade for a room full of strangers?

Above Average Joe said...

Tough to tell if he was kidding or not. Maybe just trying to get a feel for the students. But with what happened at VT, he might have been serious.

DirkStar said...

I'm the kind of guy who grabs the cutest cheerleader and uses her as a human shield...

Jazz said...

Whoa! the guy's a total nutjob.

I always wonder about people who say they're willing to take the bullet for other people. How can you know until you're in that situation? I wouldn't be surprised if the courageous teacher hid behind his desk and the runners were the ones who ended up saving people...

Big Brother said...

Boy seriously weird... guess it's normal if he is a homeland security lover. (That name always gives me the shivers, kind of 1984'ish I suppose.)

Kati said...

ROFL I'm glad to hear your son is upfront & honest about his personality. Thing is, I think too many kids in many classes your son might be in would be the brash, boisterous type to announce that they're willing to fight anybody who comes into the class intent on harm, only to turn out to be the worst sniveling wimp, or the one who winds up getting others hurt with their brashness. The prof. sounds like a total lunatic. Hope his teaching winds up being a little more realistic than his opening remarks.

FENICLE said...

I probably wouldn't have moved.

Your son's response is classic :)

thethinker said...

I'd probably be on of the first people to run away.

I'm just not that brave.

Ropinator said...

Son20 has quite good humour. I am sure 95% would be shocked in his case. I am said to be quite ironical so I may have done the same.

Jocelyn said...

Your son has just become the King of My World.

I HATE college teachers who do that power trip crap. And I LOVE students who overcome the innate power differntial to be smart and do the right thing.

Ruth Dynamite said...

This is totally bizarre - and good for Son20!