Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Energy Drinks

When I have a very tough day at work, I sometimes buy an energy drink. One of those that come in weirdly colored cans. I know I shouldn't drink them but sometimes I simply have to. So yesterday I was walking around campus with my energy drink when an older colleague stopped me. "Please don't take it the wrong way," he said, looking very embarrassed. "But I've got to tell you something. I know it's a tough moment in the semester, and you must have a lot of work. Believe me, I understand. And sometimes I really feel like I need one too. But it really isn't a good idea to walk around campus at 10 a.m. sipping from a can of beer!"

So now I'm worried. Is there a chance that students also confuse the energy drink can with a can of beer? I don't want them to write in the evaluations: "Professor Clarissa is great. The only problem is that she is a raging alcoholic who can't get through a morning class without a beer." It will be particularly upsetting since I never drink beer at all. I find it stinky.

A much older and experienced colleague was once giving me advice on how to make myself the star of our university. "All you need to do is publish like crazy," she said. "Forget about teaching, nobody cares about that. As long as you can deliver yourself to the classroom often enough and manage to stay sober in the classroom, you'll be fine. Oh, and also try not to sleep with students. That's all anybody will ever require from you in terms of teaching."

For me, teaching is very important. I work on my pedagogy and my methodology of teaching all the time. It would be sad to have all that undermined because some people can't distinguish one can from another.


Anonymous said...

I know for sure that (a) Clarissa hates beer, and (b) she would never drink alcohol in the morning. I am ready to testify to that, anywhere and at any time - provided I, myself, have a glass of beer before testifying.

And please, don't be too serious, friends!

Michael Blekhman

sarcozona said...

I think it is very unlikely that your students will confuse an energy drink with a beer - most consume both on a regular basis and are far more familiar with energy drinks in particular than your colleagues are! I don't drink energy drinks or beer, but am still very familiar with all the major brand logos just from seeing my classmates with them :)

el said...

To prevent future misunderstandings, you could always quote wiki

Two studies reported significant improvements in mental and cognitive performances as well as increased subjective alertness.

and advise all your students to bring a drink to the test. ;)

Btw, I once tried an energy drink (Red Bull?) and the taste was horrible. May be you buy better ones.

Clarissa said...

el: I know, the taste of them is very nasty. But sometimes it's either that, or falling asleep during a lecture. :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

I do not like energy drinks at all. Give me coffee, in large quantities, black or sometimes with heavy whipping cream. Please, never put anything sweet in coffee. It completely ruins it.

Stephanie said...

Energy drinks are marketed to college age kids, so chances of them mistaking an energy drink for a can of beer seems slim.

(As a graduate student who hopes to teach at the college level, I must say I find the second colleague's statement rather objectionable. Your students may not say it, but I'd like to thank you for actually teaching!)