Often those fictional problems take the form of ?disorders? like adult ADHD. I always know which of my students have been told that they suffer from adult ADHD. They are often late and sometimes leave class early to go potty, unlike most students who go potty before class begins. They blurt out the answers to my questions constantly ? always without the courtesy of a raised hand. And, usually, they fall asleep in class (probably from exhaustion) after the fifteenth or twentieth interruption. Later, they are awakened by the cell phone they forgot to turn off before arriving in class.
After being diagnosed with ADHD, two things usually happen to the newly ?disadvantaged? student. First, a psychologist tells the victim that he cannot pay attention nor control various impulses. Next, he is given a dosage of drugs. Neither one of these responses actually works. In fact, telling him that he cannot pay attention ? rather than that he simply does not pay attention ? usually reinforces the problem. The drugs don?t work because, again, the disorder is fictional.
But, fortunately, I have discovered a cure for students with this so-called disorder, which I am now sharing (free of charge, mind you) with my readers. Here?s how it works.
At the beginning of the semester I lay out a few ground rules with my students. For example, they are not to bring cell phones into my class. They are also forbidden from walking into class after the lecture has started. But I don?t just tell students not to do these things. I also make them sign an agreement (on the first day of class) that they will not do these things under penalty of writing a research paper if they break the promise.
The first student to ever violate the agreement was named Chris. After he walked into my class very late one day, then interrupted it approximately fifteen times by shouting out the (usually wrong) answer to a question, then fell asleep in class, then woke up and went potty (thankfully in the restroom, not in his seat), I sent him the following letter:
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