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In chemistry 360 I sit in the middle of the front row, between a wannabe veterinarian, and a wannabe doctor. The potential vet is a professional dog trainer named Monica. Sometimes she brings her canine to class. The dog wears a vest that says "Don't pet me, I'm a working dog". The dog lies behind her chair and does not move for the entire 50 minute class. I am convinced that Monica is really good at training canines. She competes with her dog Gritty in agility events around the west, and consistently places well, or wins.

On Monday she brought the dog to class. Just like every time before, the professor ignored the "Don't Pet Me" signage, and petted the dog. Monica has told me that this dog "likes people too much" and that usually disobedience is caused by temptations such as the professor. She rolls her eyes every time he pets the dog, and when he's out of hearing range she lambasts him for his disrespect.

This time Monica finally got it across to the professor that she really didn't want him to pet the dog, and explained why. He ignored her wishes, and petted the dog anyway. He said "It's your fault for bringing such a cute dog to class".

This statement from the professor lit up a circuit in my brain that was wired by the court trials of rapists. Rapists have used the excuse "She was asking for it" because she was wearing a short skirt, dancing, or otherwise acting suggestive of provocative. The prof's "cute dog" excuse is no different. He was saying "I have no will power in the face of the temptation of a cute dog", and also "I have the right to violate your wishes because you are in my classroom and I am the professor."

I have come to disrespect this man. I started out impressed and even a little attracted to him, but I have learned too much about the way he thinks, and I have experienced the half-assed way he treats the education of non-chemists. He might be a brilliant chemist, but he is a dunce in other departments.

Comments

liveonearth
May. 3rd, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Good point. Monica does not bring the "pet" to class because she wants to. She only does it when she is scheduled very tightly and needs to have the dog with her after class. She was doing a presentation USING the dog for her very next class. I must say, the dog is better behaved than the prof.
b_vainamoinen
May. 3rd, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, she needs the dog for the next class. Okay. That's totally different.

I had a class once where a classmate would bring his dog and leave it tied up to his bike outside and it would howl for about twenty minutes and then eventually shut up.

When the professor realized that she was simply NOT getting through to the student that bringing his pet (and yes, this dog was a "pet" dog) was disrupting class, she simply let him bring the dog into the classroom. This dog was, unfortunately, not as well behaved as the dog you mentioned -- but would still mostly sleep through class.

I always thought it was stupid. I wondered if that student was going to bring his dog to work with him after he graduated.

(Note: I live in a rather isolated city that, despite the fact that it has 75,000 residents still considers itself deeply rural and somehow that excuses bringing your dog everywhere with you for some people. It was quite a controversy several years ago and the local newspaper had extensive coverage of the "dogs-rights" people making a big deal about feeling that they were entitled to bring their dogs everywhere with them due to the fact that we're a "backswoods" community. I'm sorry I'm not explaining it very well, but it doesn't make any sense to me, either.)
liveonearth
May. 3rd, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, people can be really obnoxious with their dogs, I certainly agree to that one. Where is this rather large dog-town where you live?

Personally I can understand that backwoodsy "the dog goes with me" mentality. When I was hired where I now work, I was told that I could bring my dog to work with me. Nobody told me that this was strictly banned by the owner, and everybody did it when he wasn't around. But the owner caught me one day and asked me not to bring the dog anymore, and I was willing to make that concession.

Then I learned firsthand that dogs are pack animals, and it is VERY hard on them to be left alone for long periods of time. The nine hours that I was gone to work were torture for that particular canine. He found another home soon after, because he needed to be with his pack all day long. Now I have a cat who doesn't seem to mind if I go away for a week. That's pretty cool.
b_vainamoinen
May. 4th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
Marquette, Michigan. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula. On the shore of Lake Superior.

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