Can I cuss in here?

Cussing in the classroom is a subject that has come up with my teacher friends and I many times. Obviously, you can’t cuss in the high school classroom or any lower grades.

But what about the college classroom? Some of the best professors I had let f-bombs fly. I think the cussing itself seemed like an act of rebellion. It was definitely part of what kept us coming back to class. When a professor cusses, it also feels like you enter into a kind of pact with them. In some ways, you become an accomplice to this act that “shouldn’t” be happening.  It’s as if they show their trust for you by cussing in front of you. I had a professor who explained the difference between horseshit and bullshit in our essays. Horseshit was when we didn’t realize we were writing crap; bullshit was when we wrote crap on purpose. He would write one of these two words, sometimes both, in the margins of our essays! He was speaking my language at nineteen.

Side thought: I’ve also wondered about male vs. female cussing in the classroom. I think that women cussing seems less threatening, and thus is more accepted, while when men cuss it can seem more violent and hostile. What do you think?

I don’t cuss in front of my students because I would surely be fired where I work. However, there are days when lecturing that a cuss word is really what our discussion is calling for. As a writer, I know the power of saving a good “Damn” or “Shit” for emphasis. It can go a long ways.

Honestly, I love cussing. I love it. However, I am supposed to be modeling “professionalism” for me students, so I don’t think I’ll be letting fuck fly any time soon. I wish I could though.


3 thoughts on “Can I cuss in here?

  1. Megan,
    I am with you on loving cussing… I wish I knew WHY!!
    It drives Andy crazy–but I just think it is so funny!! {to cuss}
    What in the world?
    I almost never do it angrily–usually I am making funny rhymes or being
    {funny}. But yeah…I would not do that at the school house–even the one for {adult} learners…

  2. I cuss all the time– in class and out of it. I don’t even hear myself anymore, and am thus dangerous around children. It’s a problem!

    Teaching, I try to limit the use of the harsher words: fuck, goddamnit, sonofabitch. But I let fly with the weaker guys: shit, ass, damn. I find it really gets my students to be at ease with me; they’re almost always smiling after I drop an obscenity or two. I don’t know how you keep from cussing (seriously, how do you do it?) though I understand that you need to with your school environment.

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