February 15th, 2017

Yikes! Foul Language in Class!

I am the oldest person in my class and I know I come from different, shall we say, sensibilities. But I can’t get used to swearing in class–even by the professor.  I cringe every time I hear it.  I know I should be more open-minded about it but I keep hearing my father in my head saying, “Martha, if you have to use profanity you have a lack of vocabulary.”

I’m not a prude about language, but I don’t swear in writing or in public.  Maybe it’s my Dad or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been the recipient of people taking things I say out of context and using video and audio of me in a disingenuous way and I NEVER want to give them the chance to use profanity against me. It never looks good.

On the way out of class, one of my colleagues said to me, “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to using cuss words in a classroom.” I said, “I was thinking the same thing.” It might have been my frowny face that gave me away.

I did have a swearing problem–in the 6th grade.  I realized then I was using it as a crutch and to be cool. The word was s#%$ — you can figure it out.  And there are moments where the only word that works is a 4-letter one. Recently, I was on the periphery of a tirade so intense, I had to ask my husband what some of the words meant.  That was a day I will remember when I have forgotten everything else.

When I took my first group of students to NYC for a trip, I told them, “People use profanity like adjectives here.  It’s art, really. It doesn’t really mean anything.” Maybe I should take my own advice.  But words do matter and how you use them matters.

Just before I wrote this, I realized I have one more assignment to do before class tomorrow.  S#$%!

Off to study.