Pondering some classroom behavior

Last year around this time, I had just gotten to the point where I could go to all of my classes without consulting my little GWizard printout. I’ve come a long way since then.

Last year around this time, I also was doing a lot of reading. As a matter of fact, first semester, I did ALL my reading for every class and I naively thought everybody else did too. Sometime during winter break I learned that some people didn’t do all their reading, so obligingly, second semester I did none.

This year I am searching for a happy medium. I feel that if professors would just be reasonable, we could do everything. But some professors don’t understand that we do have OTHER classes and they frankly just abuse their power. I sort of miss high school, when the teachers would get together and talk about when the tests would be so that you wouldn’t have two on one day.

I like some things about college teachers better than high school teachers, though. The thing is, at least in Georgia, high school teachers are really dumb. I just don’t know how to say that nicely. All the good subjects at my high school were taught by coaches. Please don’t get me wrong – I am sure GW has plenty of dumb teachers too. But fewer. So that increases your odds of getting someone who is smart and whom you can learn from. Whatever.

I’ve noticed that in college classes, a lot of people love to hear themselves talk. You know, your professor says something about the stock market crash and they raise their hands and say, “Oh, you mean the stock market crash of 1929? I was reading an interesting article the other day about its origins. You see .”

And they go on for 20 minutes while you are thinking that you and everyone else in the class probably already knew what caused the stock market crash. But this kid will talk about it forever while stopping every few minutes to flash a smile at the professor.

You’ll know these people when you see them – they’re the ones with laptops who sit in the front row. And as they leave, they wave to the professor and say, “See you at office hours!” The rest of us can’t bring ourselves to go to office hours unless we have a question. Therefore, we don’t know a lot of our professors. I mean, how are you supposed to get to know Professor Sodaro? You went to class four times – the first day, the day Weimar was due, the day it was handed back and the day of the final. Sodaro didn’t even grade it. The two of you are not exactly down like four flat tires.

However, the professors you do know are the ones who teach foreign language. College foreign language teachers are great. I took French in high school and my teacher was basically a lady who had been to France. She wasn’t anymore French than I am.

But in college, foreign language professors are, amazingly enough, from the same country as the language. And in college, the teachers are really committed to their native country. For example, you are in your Russian professor’s office, you look around and happen to see a framed picture of Joseph Stalin. You then become frightened and hope that no one saw you see it.

Hmm . I probably shouldn’t have admitted that in the paper. Let’s move on.

The most important thing about college classes is the ability to skip them whenever you want. In high school you had to get a note, but in college you just have to sleep in. Or do whatever you want. I try to go to classes as much as possible, but when it comes right down to it, they are really a minimal part of my college experience.

Sometimes important circumstances arise and you just have to do other things. For example, last year I once skipped a class to watch an eclipse. Come on, the moon aligning with the sun or the earth or whatever is more important than any freaking class.

But uhh . just don’t tell my parents.

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