Creepy Office Hours
In order for this story to make sense, I need to first mention:
1) I once lived in a war zone where I worked as an amateur photojournalist. Because it is such a contentious region (call it region C), I do not bring it up in professional conversation. If you google me, though, you will find evidence of this.
2) Some time before taking the class in question, I was raped. I developed insomnia and, when I started this class, I had not been able to sleep for more than 2-3 hours a night for almost 9 months. Unsurprisingly, my ability form reliable memory was devastated.
So, I took a class from Prof X (male). On the first midterm, I was unable to remember something very important and so got a D. I made an appointment to go to Prof X’s office and and see if it would be possible for my grade to recover. Once I got there, he started awkwardly pushing me to talk about region C. It felt personal and inappropriate but I eventually let on that I had lived there, and he mentioned that he had, too. I tried to change the subject back to academics, but I could not shake the feeling that he had googled me. Because the tone had become so personal and predatory, I did not feel safe enough to tell him why I had failed the test. Instead, I left as soon as I could without explanation, and never went back to his office hours.
Over time, he became patronizing and very subtly hostile to me, speaking to me like I was a child, “accidentally” taking points off of my grade, making me do extra work to win back partial credit for test questions which — he admitted! — I had convincingly argued were not wrong. It all began to add up, and I felt so vulnerable that it was hard to focus on the material. I wound up with a B when I could certainly have achieved higher. Hell, maybe I did, I never actually found out if he added up the point total for my final correctly.
Eventually I told a senior female faculty member in his department about it and she started telling me what a nice guy he is, before helpfully realizing, “maybe it’s different because you’re young.”