Something weird happened in a certain Econ class last Thursday. A student was arguing against the book to the TA that was teaching the class. He did that thrice, after which he stoped. People were laughing a bit. Following interventions from other students and some jokes from the prof indirectly blasted him.
I was really uneasy, because I wanted the guy to understand that he didn't need to blame the book, everyone knows it is not perfect, nor did he need to expose his knowledge, even though it seemed to cover more than the book. However, how could I have told him without inspiring shame (I wasn't sitting next to him)?
When people meanly teased him, I was shocked. All of this was caused by the fact that no one (not even the TA) had the guts to tell him what I stated above, so everyone resorted to indirect attacks instead. It didn't help though, because every student with a bit of empathy suffered for that guy, even though they had endured his unuseful comments beforehand.
It really felt like high school (and high school ended three years and a half ago for me). I don't know what would have been better, one person telling the guy to shut up directly, or some people indirectly and repeatedly teasing him? Which situation inflicts the less pain and shame?