The storm didn’t hit us as hard in the Tampa Bay area although local school districts and universities were closed. The rain was very heavy and there was flooding and trees down. I continue with my Edarabia column from 2014-15. Enjoy the day off if you have time to yourself because of the closings.

One of the most difficult issues an Instructor must relate to or with is the sense of entitlement by some students. This past week, I was presented with some challenging issues. One was an Arabic speaker who wanted to circumvent the system, take my class although he was signed up for another class which because of class conflicts he was not able to take. I advised him to see his Counselor. It turned out that was the correct response. I also have another student who continually shows up late. I will have to address that issue in class immediately or else he wins.

It is interesting thing to see the relations of other cultures to the instructor. It seems as if they may do better if they have a connection with you but on the other hand, sometimes they seem to expect special favors because you are familiar with them. My first year with the Bridge Program, my husband, stepson and his family, went on a day’s outing in Clearwater. While we were there, we ran into some of students from Saudi. I am very proud of my step children, Joshua and Christy. Joshua is only 32 and is already Operations Manager at BMW North America. He finished his online MBA at Saint Leo University while raising a family. My stepdaughter, Christy, is involved with obtaining a Master’s in Nursing. She is also raising a family, so we have 7 grandchildren. Anyway, I was happy for my students to see me in this venue because it established a rapport that I am not just a disciplinarian figure in the English classroom. It is always beneficial for your students to learn that there is more to you than being an instructor and you have a life outside the classroom. I also enjoyed when the Director of the Bridge Program organized an outing to our cupcake bakery Cupcake Cache and the students tried their talents at decorating cupcakes. One student even bought 2 dozen gourmet cupcakes for his classmates in the Program. That was wonderful but he still received the same C- for a midterm grade.

I think this student felt because he knew me through the program that I would go out of my way for him and let him sit in the class quietly and then give him a grade. Who would know? Well, I found out by speaking with the Registrar that he must go through the channels of higher education and the Dean’s approval is needed. It is amusing to me that having been in other countries, the red tape can be much more involved and confusing for Americans overseas. But there is also some kind of reliance on family and friends structure, so it often turns into “who do you know”, well, in this scenario, I did what I could and the chips will fall as they will. He must follow the same system as the other College students and sign up on time before the add/drop period ends.

As for our business, I am very proud of what my husband and I have created but I don’t make much of an effort to intermingle the twain with my university instruction. My husband did the web page and I feel he did a wonderful job. In the Bridge Program, while we were discussing a chapter about businesses and advertising, I showed it to the students. There is no need for me to delve into this with my Advanced Writing Students. I am more timid that their reaction might be: “Wow, can you bring us some for the end of class!” And the problem is I just have so much time and two hands. Two hands which pull along a backpack on wheels with papers, books, grade book, lunch/dinner, etc. I hope to see them all sometime and in the media age, it is possible they have already goggled my name and discovered “I bake gourmet cupcakes with my husband and we are the owners of Cupcake Cache.” Until they quiz me, I may feign ignorance I am only an English Instructor and I bake a few gourmet cupcakes on the side!

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