Students throughout their education careers tend to have this consensus that professors are oblivious to things going on in the classroom. This may be the case sometimes, but you can’t really know for sure. Whether it’s something super embarrassing, private or inappropriate, professors see more than you think. After reading this post, you might want to rethink what you do and how you act in a classroom setting. It may give you nightmares! Here are some personal accounts of SJU professors sharing their nightmare stories throughout their careers. Stories will be shared by César Caballero, Greg Manco, Steven Hammer and Jeffrey Niezgoda.

César Caballero
I remember something that happened years ago, probably 13 or 14 years ago. I did not have much of experience teaching at SJU at that time. I remember that we were watching a movie in class, with the lights down, and suddenly, one of my students started to, literally, fainting on her chair. She was sitting on the front row, and she was gradually closing her eyes, her head started to feel heavy and she just collapsed, in front of our eyes in class. First, I thought she just fell asleep, but then I realized that she just fainted, unconsciously. I did not know what to do. Then, one of my students knew how to apply CPR, when another one ran to the hallway to look for help. In no time, the security guard came, an ambulance and two cops were in the classroom in less than 5 minutes. She was fine, they took her to the hospital, she was epileptic, and nobody knew… That was scary but, thankfully, everything was fine, and she was ok. I heard that she didn’t take her medications that day, and with all the work from school that she needed to do, it just was too much, and she could not handle it.”
I hope this helps. True “horror” story!

Greg Manco
I went to grad school at Rutgers and in my third year, when I was 25 years old, they decided I was ready to teach, told me four days before the semester I’d have a class of about 80 in a summer session. I was tremendously scared! It was a three hour class, twice a week. The first night, after the break, I unknowingly taught the entire second half with my fly all the way down. White underwear too, underneath blue shorts. Nobody said a word! I got really rattled after that but after a couple more classes I was okay. Still I probably have them all a good story to tell!

Jeffrey Niezgoda
There was an undergraduate researcher who worked in my graduate lab at Vanderbilt who was a bit of a doozy. He once was careless with some glassware while working in the hood with a solution of acid/oxidizer called piranha. This is not the kind of substance one ought to be careless with. A tube he was holding of it shattered and some of it ran down the hood bench and onto a research professor’s foot standing next to him. The piranha melted the skin on the top of that person’s foot and he spent 3 weeks in the hospital. He also once caught one of his dreadlocks on fire with a burner. He was also caught smoking pot in our laser lab which housed a laser worth about a million dollars… he was a pretty rough student. I guess the cautionary lesson from this student was, make sure a student isn’t a careless wreck before you let them near dangerous or expensive equipment.

Steven Hammer

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