When the patron has ADD

I’m the first to admit that I can be impatient. I try to curb this tendency whenever on the desk–at the very least, I try not to let it show, but it’s funny how certain personalities bring it out in me. Ironic really. I’m okay with the non-traditional student who’s typically scared to death of the computer. I can handle the totally ignorant “My professor said no web sites so don’t show me that JAMA online thing” kid. I can even contain my annoyance with the students who have waited till the very last minute and need to find 10 articles for that apaper due tomorrow. What I can’t handle are the patrons with ADD.

And no, I have no qualifications to diagnose anything let alone ADD; I speak loosely. This is the guy hears one thing out of ten. He’s the one who jumps ahead of me and says “I get it” when in fact he has no clue. She’s the student who impatiently tells me they’ve already had this in class. She’s the woman who gets sidetracked constantly and turns a simple three-page paper into a nightmare.

I’ve tried getting them set up and teaching them one thing at a time. That works sort of. Until you’re back and forth on the floor so many times you feel physically tired. I have had some luck with bluntly telling them to stay with me. Slapping them upside the head is out for a number of different reasons . . .

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