Today I was ranting at one of my classes about how they're all about to be grown-ups. They're about to head for college; they've got take on responsibility; they can't "slide" on me just because they got into some big-name universities.
One of them asked me if I was sorry I'd volunteered to teach several classes of seniors this year.
I said that I wasn't, because I like the subject matter and I like most of the students that I teach.
He immediately wanted to know which people in the class I didn't like.
(I was so, so tempted to say that it was him... but it truly wasn't. It was the kid next to him, who whines constantly and always has to put down everyone around her. She should be grateful that I don't teach in one of the "historic" classrooms with antique weaponry on the walls or something equally dangerous that I could easily have at hand.)
So we bantered for a minute about how I wasn't going to tell them, and while it may be a load of crock that I "like all my students equally" that's my line and I'm sticking to it. I went on to brag that I've taught people I couldn't stand and they never knew it. (I later realized that most of them did guess later, once I started to like them in a subsequent class and they understand the difference in my attitude. But that came later.)
Now for the part about the idiots. Two of my best students - I mean, smart, polite, likable, "if I had a teenager I'd let you date my offspring" type of students - asked me, in all seriousness, if I meant them. They actually came back after class was over to ask me this.
I repeated the bit about how I wasn't going to tell them, or - more to the point - even if I didn't like them I'd lie through my teeth and say I did, so there wasn't any point in asking me.
One of them is now seriously worried that I don't like him. I think the other one finally got it, or else cared a little bit less. I've promised to tell them after graduation if they still care then.