This is why people hate the Millennials

November 11th, 2013 · 285 comments

Writes our submitter, a college student in Colorado who I would really like to smack some sense into: “We had a change in professors midway through the semester in my fiction workshop. The new professor does not understand that his class is not the absolute most important thing in the universe.”

(just click the image below to enlarge)

Rather than write a lengthy explanation of why it is a bad idea to come to my class without reading the material, or why typing away on your laptop or checking FB while I am speaking (or worse, while yours peers are leading discussion) is rude, I decided instead just to thank those of you who consistently come into class prepared and enthusiastic.

related: So, you were hoping to get an A for “asshole-like entitlement”?

FILED UNDER: actually totally reasonable · college life · Colorado · kids today · most popular notes of 2013

285 responses so far ↓

  • #1   jen

    wait…what? sounds completely fair to me. i don’t get it. is the bash at millenials regarding the entitled submitter?

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Tupelo

      I would think so, yes.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   poopypants

      The professor is petty and small-minded. College students are adults, they should have the choice how they spend their class time.

      If your class isn’t engaging, maybe you should check first to see if you’re doing anything wrong. I say this as a former student who would screw off, because the classes were often pointless, and also as a current teacher (and not just some pathetic overseas ESL teacher who doesn’t care, and just took the job because that’s all they could get).

      My philosophy professor in university was so bad 1/3 – 2/3 of her 200 students would just skip instead of showing up. Her response was to make attendance mandatory with sign in sheets. When professors (far moreso than teachers) add in pop quizzes and attendance as a “Gotcha!”, then they’re addressing symptoms instead of underlying problems.

      If I can pass your class while jerking off to bikini pictures on facebook (unless you add obnoxious pop quizzes/mandatory attendance/whatever), then maybe it’s not me that’s the problem, but your class.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Tom

      I once had a professor realize that I already knew literally everything he was already teaching in his web development class. So what did he do with me?

      He set me to work doing his work for him – helping fellow students solve what they did wrong in their programming.

      I still don’t know how I feel about the whole situation. He was a cool guy and at least it was something to do during his class period, but I feel like I should’ve been able to test out of that required class. He had an extremely strict attendance policy so I couldn’t just not show up and get As on the tests.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   BrianH

      I had a prof who took attendance and failed you at missing 5 classes. I missed one class the morning of 9/11 and he counted it as an absence. That’s when you know your prof is a loser at life.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 3:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Tesselara

      I’m team Poopypants on the whole college issue. I felt that university treats students as though they were children, rather than customers, and as such, a lot of growth in teaching skill, content, and value was lost due to that. Granted, professors are experts in their field, and should be treated with respect. At the same time, they should also make an effort to be 1) good teachers and 2) relevant to the student’s goals. It’s a weird system where people pay tens of thousands of dollars to be then treated like a child, and not allowed a lot of input into the spending of that money. But then, 18-20 y.o.s are ridiculously immature, silly, and short-sighted, so there’s that. Of course, treating them like children isn’t going to achieve that important maturation process.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   Kupo

      As a college junior who is 34 and has a lot of experience out in the work force, I have to say that the entitled 20-year-olds in my classes behave like they’re high school kids. It’s obnoxious and it affects those of us who actually want to learn something. I’d be super pissed if the professor’s solution was to start throwing in pop quizzes–don’t get me wrong–but there’s a serious problem when kids come to class and goof off the whole time. And attendance is optional in all of my classes, so there’s no reason for them to be there if they don’t want to actually pay attention. The professors try to treat them like adults, and 90% of them act mature enough, but that other 10% are incredibly distracting and sometimes the professors lose their patience. So do I, especially when I’m on a group project and I have to explain for the 3rd time something the professor already told us we need to do and no one will listen to me.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #1.7   Tesselara

      I think the business plan of colleges and universities is kind of bizarre. We get people to pay a lot of money, and then basically dictate to them how they get to use the item that they bought. So many of the tests that my professors wrote up missed the mark of relevancy by a mile. I went to college to learn what I needed to learn, and approached grades as a necessary evil that you did what you needed to do in order to get the grade thing over with. It felt patriarchal and condescending and I could NOT wait to graduate. I learned a lot from college, and I learned a lot from my professors, but it definitely wasn’t necessarily what they hoped that I would learn. College would have been a lot more valuable if I had more say in what I was learning. But, hey, you need that degree to go anywhere, and taking a wide range of classes is vitally important for developing your understanding of the world. I just don’t like the idea of giving the professors the power that they have in whether you end up wasting your money or not. Of course, again, college-aged people don’t really “have it together” so the process does end up being paternalistic.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.8   ShadeTail

      Tesselara, when you go to college, you aren’t buying an item. You’re paying for a *service*. And when you pay for a service, you don’t get to dictate how the service provider provides it. Instead, you shop around in advance to find a service you like and pay for that one instead of the others. If you didn’t like how your college taught you, that’s your fault for not choosing a different one that better suited your wants and needs.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm   rating: 93  small thumbs up

    • #1.9   Tesselara

      If everyone thinks that schools should determine just about every aspect of a student’s learning, and just about every school I know of has subscribed to this philosophy, then the idea that there is choice in the way you can get higher education is effectively invalid. We’ve really fallen for the status quo, and we don’t examine it much. So, I got out of school what I wanted, got the grades that I needed, and got my degree. I lost a lot of respect for the process during the entire thing. I did choose a school that didn’t have an attendance requirement, so when I did have a class that was especially ridiculous, I just followed the class insofar as was needed to get a passing grade and focused on the classes that I valued.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.10   Turbo

      If you don’t like your class, skip it. Don’t go and sit there and goof off and disrupt things for others or be disrespectful of the professor. Team Not-Poopypants.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm   rating: 93  small thumbs up

    • #1.11   Tesselara

      Right. That’s a given. No douchebaggery. Be respectful of people. Skip class, don’t be rude during it. BUT. To be balanced, the best teachers were ones that kept people engrossed and engaged without need to shame. I had some really excellent professors. And also some professors who were dialing it in as much as those students were. My point is that the assumptions we make about the way universities are run may not be correct. Teachers in elementary schools work very hard on their teaching practice. I don’t think those skills are even considered in college.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.12   Kay A. Ess

      @Tom — as counterintuitive as it sounds, teaching is the best way to learn something. So, by having you teach, the professor was allowing you to sharpen your already present skills. It’s one thing to do it right, another thing to recognize when it’s been done wrong and yet another to be able to see where a person made a mistake and present the solution in a way that the other person can learn. I can understand why you are conflicted, but what you did was a good thing.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.13   poopypants

      Don’t lie Turbo, everyone likes poopypants!

      But professors often care about their subject matter far more than they care about their students. I went to a university that prized research over teaching, and it definitely showed with several professors.

      As for the “shopping around” idea, that’s not financially feasible for the vast majority of people. There isn’t a university part of town where you can check out the 15 in your state. You have to have the time and money to actually drive/fly to many universities.

      Cars are often less expensive than universities and we can test drive those for free. The higher education system has serious problems with regards to the professors, their teaching practices, and how it is funded.

      If students are being actively disruptive, then no, they should not be in the class. But if they’re facebooking, that harms nobody else. If your class isn’t engaging, that’s not the fault of the student, but the professor. Often educators just blame the kids for being unmotivated, but it’s OUR job to motivate them. Many people go to college because they’re told they have to to have a good job, lead a good life, and give themselves more options to succeed. It’s every bit as much a requirement as middle and high school, so it’s still on the professors to demonstrate why it’s relevant, useful, and interesting.

      Threats are a pathetic way to motivate your students. I admit I use them sometimes as well, and in many ways that’s a personal failing. But the societal and scholastic structure of the school I work at and country I live in don’t provide adequate support. Does that make my threats better? No. They’re still petty and pathetic. Moreso the older the students get.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.14   ESL Teacher

      Poopypants, I’m quite worried about your opinion of ESL teachers, especially since you yourself are an educator.

      As an ESL teacher myself, I can tell you that the majority of other ESL teachers truly do care about their students and classrooms. Is there an increase of young, broke First World nationals who are trying their hand at teaching ESL because they think it will be an easy gig? Of course. Have their always been jerks who have given ESL teachers a bad name? You betcha. But the truth is, these folks don’t last long in the ESL world.

      Please don’t hate on a group of fellow educators. It’s quite unbecoming of you.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:23 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #1.15   poopypants

      I probably should have been more clear. I have legitimate respect for ESL teachers who do their job. I draw a dividing line between those ESL teachers (who do a job I actually value), and the jackoffs who go to other countries just so they can travel and make good money without caring about their students.

      Those teachers who don’t care (in the overseas situations) often do last for several years though, because they see it as an easy job where they don’t have to try hard, but they still have the money to frequently go out and do whatever they want. They often fail to take into account that the students are people and not products.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.16   Jaylemieux

      Kupo said, “there’s a serious problem when kids come to class and goof off the whole time. And attendance is optional in all of my classes, so there’s no reason for them to be there if they don’t want to actually pay attention.”

      I think the solution is to reverse the logic of mandatory attendance–the class should be administered under the assumption that students want to be present and to learn, with no enforcement of attendance, and people who disrupt that environment should be kicked out of the room. Do that and most disruption will quickly cease. Of course, the consequences may conflict with university policies for grading distribution. While I’m king, let’s go ahead and say those are changed as well.

      What is especially patronizing and obnoxious is when grades are tied to attendance. If I can otherwise get an A without attending the class, it’s because you’re testing to the lowest common denominator or your teaching style is deficient or both (resulting in an environment I like to call “thirteenth grade” as opposed to “college level”). Grading attendance unjustly shifts these responsibilities from the instructor onto the student.

      If you teach and test hard and I can still pass without attending, then it should be accepted among adults that I am doing what needs to be done. At Columbia (an admittedly non-representative sample), many challenging classes had what appeared to be about a 50% attendance rate, and it worked fine for all adult parties. The absent students either caught up on their own time or paid the grading price for their crappy worksmanship, in which case they received no sympathy from anyone on campus.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 1:15 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Carole

    I’m confused about this one. Are we making fun of the person who sent the email or the person who sent it in?

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Zoe

      “Writes our submitter, a college student in Colorado who I would really like to smack some sense into: “We had a change in professors midway through the semester in my fiction workshop. The new professor does not understand that his class is not the absolute most important thing in the universe.”

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   james

      We’re applauding the passive-aggressive content of the note. P-A, when done correctly, can be hysterical. This professor is reminding the coddled-to-the-point-of ruin kids starting college and the work force that even though your parents showed up with you on the first day of the job or to college with you, at some point, you’re going to be responsible for yourself…Admittedly, the note is sublime enough that a lot of doofus cakes aren’t going to get it.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Tom

      Fiction Workshop. That told me what this is about.

      Everyone in this class is only taking it as a required general credit towards English. None of them give a shit. English is important for things like letter and form writing but when you’re busting your ass for your core Engineering, Information Technology, Business, or Biology (as examples) degree you really do not care about your general credits and their namby-pamby classes.

      Frankly, I did the same thing in my nutrition class and got a C. Didn’t care, was busting my ass getting my portfolio done every other second of the waking day – you know, the thing that actually got me a job out of college. The thing people actually care about.

      I really do wonder why colleges require some of these classes. If you haven’t learned how to string a sentence together or do algebra by the time you get to college, it’s already too late. And I mean seriously, forcing all majors to take two general art classes? Even the art degrees themselves (except it had to be outside your discipline)? Why? WHY?

      Anyway the professor DOES have a very reasonable statement but at the same time…dude, you’re teaching a general credit class.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Francesco

      When I read post like Tom’s, I momentarily become Christian, thank God for having been born and educated in Italy, then I resume my usual atheist self.
      I want my university or college not to cram me full of concepts specific to my field but to provide me with a general span of knowledge and open my mind.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   Molly

      Well put Francesco!
      I have spent my entire career cleaning up content for the lazy engineers that didn’t think anything but their engineering classes mattered. The attitude that anything but what you care about it a waste of time just goes to show you that even though people can become “book smart” on certain topics does not mean they are generally intelligent or have common sense. I’m sorry, but if you can’t put 10 words together without someone needing to edit your work then as far as I am concerned, you may as well not have en education at all. It is amazing how arrogant American’s can be (and I am one!) :)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   Will

      I loathed my required English classes because my major, History, had much higher standards for writing than the English department did. However, that did not give me license to be a jerk to the professor.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   kermit

      If you were born and educated in Italy, chances are very good that you didn’t incur $50,000 of debt to get your degree, paying for courses that you didn’t want to take.

      And you probably received a well-rounded education in high school. That’s where it’s appropriate to expose people to all disciplines, so that by the time they get to university they got a little taste of everything before deciding to major in X.

      And not for nothing, but if somebody in the sciences is a poor communicator (in writing or orally), a couple of mandatory humanities classes isn’t going to make them into a great communicator.

      Science students who are poor communicators are poor communicators because they really don’t understand a given concept and therefore can’t explain it to others. The way to fix that is not to make them take humanities classes, but to change the way you test them in the concepts they’re supposed to learn. Of course universities don’t want to do this because it would involve spending more money on actual teachers/grad students who understand the concepts they’re teaching.

      Unfortunately, the ability to be a good teacher counts for diddly squat when considering tenure or promotion, and as such you have mostly crappy professors who are really really really “poor communicators”, i.e. good hiding their sources when they essentially cheat on their comprehensives. That Tom Lehrer “Lobachevsky” song isn’t as much of a joke as people would like to believe.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.8   JoDa

      Yeah, what Molly said. I took business communication to fulfill a composition requirement, since I thought that would help me understand what businesspeople would want from someone like me who would eventually be doing very specific topical analysis to assist their decisions. I came out of that class knowing I would hate working with these myopic numbskulls.

      I now work in a situation where we work on teams – technical analysts with the account manager who ultimately presents the recommendations – and I cannot stand the managers. I’m always cleaning up their portion of the reports because they’re full of jargon (YEAH – the technical analysts avoid this while they embrace it, half the time using it wrong), typos, and I’ve even seen what look like a direct inclusion of the notes they took (complete with abbreviations, sentence fragments, and jumps from topic to topic).

      Forget history (in the sense that, I agree, the writing standards were high in the courses I took – AND ENJOYED), we had more stringent writing standards than I witnessed in that business class and now in the workplace in ECON. We were expected to be able to translate high-minded theory into understandable communication, and explain complex analysis in a way that someone who never took an econ or math class could comprehend. I think it’s a credit to my professors (and apparently those at at least one other college) that an economist friend and I were able to explain what heteroskedasticity is to a waiter who overheard our conversation (which was not at all as serious as it sounds…true nerds end up discussing annoyingly academic things like this in relation to, say, baseball) and asked what that cool-sounding word meant, and leave him basically understanding the concept (though confused as to how it related to baseball…teaching application takes a smidge longer than we had).

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.9   Susie

      Listen up folks: If you don’t want to pay for extra courses, don’t go to a liberal arts college. Go to a tech school where you can be in and out and on your way with a 2 year degree.

      And I disagree about the courses you can take in college vs. already having a well rounded exposure in high school (which is just a basic minimum requirement.) I majored in anthropology after taking intro to anthro on a whim.

      Finally, “fiction workshop” sounds a little beyond a simple degree requirement. I checked my college’s catalog (which is liberal arts) and the only English requirement is 101 and 102. Fiction workshops were 300 and 400 level courses (junior/senior level.)

      Team professor. No one expects your world to revolve around one class, but it’s not unreasonable for your professor to expect you to pay attention while you’re there, nor should you get your panties in a wad if s/he calls you out for not doing it.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.10   betty lou

      Can’t believe nobody’s bitched Molly’s apostrophe in “American’s” yet.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.11   Tom

      Thankfully I had a full ride through college, but when you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars like you do at American colleges you want hard results. Opening my mind and learning things is great, I do that all the time. Don’t need college for that. What I need from college is an education that is actually worth something in this economy. Sorry, I wish it was all happiness, rainbows, and expanding my mind, but right now my generation has two generations above us screaming about how stupid we all are for wasting our time on things like literature and anthropology degrees. All the economy cares about is what you can do for it. So while some of us like you Francesco are there to lay back and let the learning envelop us, the rest of us are looking at what exactly we will learn towards our future jobs (frankly a lot of universities and colleges are still too academic and don’t prepare for actual job requirements). Unless we’re majoring in dance, nutrition, philosophy, or theater, requiring those sorts of classes for all majors just seems like a waste of time and money.

      I remember taking a “History of the 60′s” class towards a requirement thinking it would be fun, and it was the biggest mistake due to the professor trying to monopolize time on what was simply filler in my senior year (along with the fact the class ended up only being about the civil rights movement in the 50′s somehow…). As they say, “ain’t nobody got time for dat”. I had more important classes relevant to my major to pay attention to.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.12   Stacey

      Well good luck with that.

      I was in a business meeting the other day with a client and we were waiting for a few people to show up. Someone mentioned a book they were reading which in turn, spiraled into a conversation about re-reading old classics. We had a full blown conversation about To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, Wuthering Heights, etc., etc. The only one who couldn’t join in the conversation? The 24 year old recent grad who actually said out loud in front of this client, “I skipped that class”. This stuff DOES come up in the business world and if you can’t even hold a conversation about the basics, you look stupid.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.13   kermit

      Other stuff which comes up in business small talk that most 24 year olds can’t necessarily converse with ease about:

      golf, art, architecture, complaints about contractors who are renovating your fancy house, your children’s achievements/troubles, tax planning, etc.

      Stuff which 54 year old business people may not necessarily be at ease talking about: new programming languages, IT infrastructure, monetizing business on the Internet, current pop culture.

      In other words, it isn’t hard to make anybody of any age look stupid and uncultured.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.14   jazzgirl205

      Kermit, did I detect a note of distain when you spoke of art and architecture? Do you view it as just an “old person’s” topic or something only rich fancy people discuss?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.15   kermit

      There’s no disdain at all. I’m just saying that unless you’re a polymath, you can’t know everything about everything.

      It’s extremely easy to make somebody look stupid, especially in a work setting when you’re not necessarily familiar with the personal interests of your bosses and/or clients.

      All you have to do is start talking about something they’re not familiar with.

      “Oh, you don’t know the difference between a Dorian and the Corinthian column?”
      “Oh, you didn’t know that Markov was inspired to form his theory of stochastic processes from the meter in Pushkin’s poems?”
      “Oh you don’t see the parallels between the Peloponnesian war and the current conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq?”
      “Oh you don’t know that you’re not supposed to use a nine iron when [whatever]“?
      “Oh, you didn’t know that Lady Gaga sung that song?”

      See how dickish that is? And I’m not just harping on this because it’s dickish. This is exactly the sort of thing that John Le Care talks about when he’s asked about the current crop of spy hires, and how they’re hired based on the camaraderie that revolves around common cultural markers instead of their ability to do the spying they’re hired to do. (For those who don’t know, Le Care worked as a spy himself for the British during the Cold War and has been a big critic of the Cold War and of the way current intelligence is being collected.)

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.16   Tesselara

      I think that young’un’s comment was a case of not applying this following piece of advice, “better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

      Nov 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.17   kermit

      You’re right, Tess I’m a moron and that 24 year old was/is a moron.

      How dare they not be familiar with the cannon of English and American literature when the client loves that stuff?

      And when the client happens to be Indian, Asian or African, then we can all continue to pronounce the aforementioned 24 year old a moron for not being familiar with the literary cannons of those cultures, too, no? Oh, I forgot that the English and American literary cannon is somehow superior and everyone is supposed to know it. See how easy it is to be a jackass?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.18   Stacey

      For the record, Kermit, I’m 34 years old. Not 54. And there are plenty of subjects that I could not hold a conversation about. But I do my best to educate myself when I can, not totally avoid even the most basic of subjects. I certainly wouldn’t pop off and admit I’d purposely skipped a class. What I would do is say, I don’t know much about that. Tell me about it, etc. What bothers me about this is the idea that you should only be educated on things that directly apply to your job rather than seeing the value in learning a bit of everything.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #2.19   kermit

      “What bothers me about this is the idea that you should only be educated on things that directly apply to your job rather than seeing the value in learning a bit of everything.”

      Stacey, that wasn’t my intention or point at all. You would have had a completely different reaction to your 24 year old co-worker if he/she had successfully pretended to have read “To Kill A Mockingbird” instead of just saying that they didn’t care for it. There’s likely millions of people out there who pretend they like golf (or whatever) just to get clients, and many more who pretend that they’ve read something they haven’t (like a report, a piece of legislation, etc). Ultimately competency about doing a job should matter, not your ability to bullshit your way into appearing knowledgeable about an unrelated topic.

      While curiosity about different things is important, it’s also okay (and necessary) to be discerning in your genuine interests. Sorry, but I don’t think I need to watch “Fox News” with the same attention as Jon Stewart to know that their commentators are ridiculous. (Maybe some of them aren’t.) And I don’t think I need to read “Pride and Prejudice” all the way through to figure out that I hate Jane Austen’s writing.

      And it should be socially acceptable to be honest about this stuff without having to lose a job/clients. Pity it isn’t.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 3:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.20   madrugada

      Doric. Canon.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:09 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.21   L

      Uh… I dropped out of high school and I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird.

      Things I’ve not read:

      Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger, do you think they’re going to make a movie now that he’s dead? Wouldn’t that be amazing/tragic? Great American Novel, that is.

      Wuthering Heights – great romance or abusive narrative arc that shouldn’t be taught to easily impressed teenaged minds that might not be able to differentiate between the two? (Also thousands of teenaged girls have read Wuthering Heights SOLELY because it was mentioned in Twilight.) Heathcliffe, yada yada.

      Dude sucks at faking talking about pretty well-known stuff, though, that’s true.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.22   common

      Hey, if you want to feel superior for having read certain books then more power to ya. We all like to feel special sometimes.

      If you are reading Catcher in the Rye or any of the other books you mentioned in COLLEGE, then you have bigger problems. The books you mentioned should all be read in high school. I, too, skipped English in college. My English credits were earned from my AP scores.

      I love, though, that you seem to think you all were having some intellectual conversation about books a 14 year old should be reading. I would sooner lie and say I hadn’t read them then sit around with a bunch of adults discussing effing Catcher in the Rye. Just shoot me in the face at that point.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 10:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Tupelo

    I don’t see the confusion; the submitter is the one being ridiculed here. And if she’s not, she should be: the professor has very reasonable expectations.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Karin

      Why do you assume the submitter was female?

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Ry

      You’re trolling, right?

      We need a gender-neutral pronoun in English. If Tupelo had typed “he” instead of “she,” you’d be asking why Tupelo assumed the submitter was male…

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   FeatherBlade

      We have a gender-neutral pronoun in English, but it’s considered rude to use “it” to refer to people.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Ruby

      I believe ‘they’ is the preferred, if not very formal or polite, option.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   pittipat

      Ruby, use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single individual is neither preferred nor formal or polite. If you must be politically correct, use “he or she,” but please, don’t bastardize the English language for the sake of your own convenience.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   Kim

      I have to admit that I thought it was a girl too based on the exaggeration and wording…”as if… universe.” Even the introducer sounded like a female because based on my original assumption that the submitter was a girl, I assumed that a man wouldn’t say, “smack some sense into”. Gosh! I had no idea that make such wild subconscious assumptions! actually, thank you for pointing that out. And I agree with the other person, we need a gender neutral pronoun. I usually employ ‘they’ even in the singular sometimes.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.7   Dan

      pittipat – The use of ‘they’ as a gender-neutral singular pronoun goes back many centuries– even Chaucer used it. It is a part of normal, accepted English.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.8   Rachel

      pittipat, *bastardised

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.9   VM

      Pittipat, thou art indeed a stout defender of the purity of English! I shall not bastardize it by calling thee by that plural second-person pronoun “you,” like many a foolish scribbler doth, thinking it to be polite usage. Alas, so many do the like that I fear the noble “thou” shall be utterly lost, only to remembered by religious folk and bad Shakespeare parodists.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.10   Raichu

      pittipat, did you seriously just unironically call someone out for “bastardizing” the English language? LOL. The English language was never “pure”. We are not only a ragtag mix of other, more ancient languages but we’re constantly changing, evolving, and picking up new vocabulary.

      I totally understand expecting people to speak English *correctly*. But defending its purity? lol.

      And, yes, it’s becoming more and more acceptable to use “they” as a gender-neutral third person singular.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 8:32 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.11   Dana

      Love the contradiction of discussing proper English and “we” the English speakers whilst using the american spelling of bastardising !!

      There is a subtle difference between American English and English English :)

      Nov 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.12   Excuse me...

      Their IS a gender neutral pronoun – it’s ‘ze’. People who identify as genderless or transitioning often use it, although it’s less well know outside of LGBT circles. ‘Hir’ is used instead of him/her in case you were interested.

      (My other half’s brother is transgender, I got huge lectures on this before he settled lol)

      Nov 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.13   Raichu


      And actually there are different versions of “ze” and “hir” but most people just use “they” ime.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.14   FeatherBlade

      Personally, I prefer using “one” as a gender-neutral third person singular pronoun. It has the advantage of not being made up within the last 20 years, and sounds less confrontational than using the second person singular.

      Of course, I’m also one of those regressive barbarians that ~doesn’t~ think that the use of the masculine-inclusive pronoun is discriminatory and oppressive, so…

      Nov 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.15   The Elf

      I don’t either mind the masculine inclusive either, Featherblade. It’s just a reflection of our linguistic and social history. Or is that herstory? Hirstory? Onestory?

      I like using “one” for singular sensations.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.16   Excuse me...

      Lol sorry yes THERE not their – I was in the wrong frame of mind.
      I was just pointing out a fact btw not saying it was necessarily the best way to combat it. They’re pretty clunky and unwieldy to actually use, but the point was they exist.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Arianna

    This is really nothing new. Every teacher/professor ever thinks that their class is your only class

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Al

      For the time that you are in that class it is the most important in the world. Unless it is like a total BS class that I had to attend to discuss social matters in science. The class had no credit either. I also had a lab class that was only in sync with 1/3 of the class. I refused to attend after I had my grade on the material that would be covered later on.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Mark

      Are you a millennial? If so, you might not have gotten this one.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Rob

      Wow. It’s almost like the professors have similar expectations to what your future boss will have, and that means it’s almost like the professors are trying to prepare you for the real world.

      Nov 19, 2013 at 8:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Marie-LaLa

    Uh… actually, that is comparatively mild to some of the nastiness I have had professors spew. I think their requests are actually reasonable… sorry, I side with the professor. Don’t be an ass and type away during class – it’s distracting to other students. And oh my gawd, facebook? That’s as bad as having your phone out – I’ve had teachers that would’ve kicked you out!

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Francesco

      The point is, that while you are in a class,
      THAT CLASS SHOULD BE THE FU***NG CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE, If anything out of respect for the teacher and your peers (not to mention your parents’ money).
      College is not mandatory. If you don’t like the class, get the he** out.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   JoDa

      Most of my professors just started knocking points from people who weren’t prepared or didn’t participate, no warnings issued. Of course, I went to school long enough ago that laptops only started appearing in the classroom late in grad school, but there were people who jerked off even without them. I took a philosophy class that had a participation grade – fairly large, as one might expect from a PHILOSOPHY course. After 2 weeks, a friend and I were the only two whom had spoken in class. The professor tried to encourage other people to speak up, but when that failed, he just said “suit yourselves, remember that this course has a participation grade.” Still, only one or two other people spoke up, and, on the last day, the professor told us the highest grade anyone who never spoke up could get was a C, and they deserved that grade. I have to agree…in college, you’re an adult paying to be there. Do the work or suffer the consequences.

      And before you argue – yes, that course was generally taken by non-majors to fulfill a general requirement, but there were other courses that would fit the bill on different topics. Don’t want to take mid-level philosophy? There are literally 5 more departments you can take courses from to fulfill that requirement. Don’t like that college comes with “core” requirements? Well, maybe reconsider your decision to attend a liberal arts college, then. Everyone also has the choice to knock those courses out at community colleges, as well, where the courses will likely be easier and far cheaper. I’m glad a got a broad-based education with high standards, and the most interesting people I know can converse on philosophy and literature just as easily as whatever it is they do for a living.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   JK

      I agree with JoDa, however, as a liberal arts major I had core requirements too. Fairly tough ones given my school. It’s not some get out of jail free card to attend a liberal arts college/university. In fact, if the submitter hates the fiction workshop, they’d REALLY hate a liberal arts program. They’re always obsessing about not only preparing you for your career but expanding your ability to analyze and interpret things through exposure to other areas, esp. the humanities. If you want someone who can adapt to a changing world, that’s the kind of education that accomplishes that. I’ve helped people in disciplines I had no specific knowledge of better express themselves for things like grants. When I try to learn something new, I can tell I often pick it up faster than someone who’s had blinders on about their field.

      Honestly though, I think one benefit of that kind of education is that, when joined with the more focused disciplines, we make a stronger society. We need both types–that said, engineers still need to take English classes. For the sanity of everyone that has to read what they’ve written. (This isn’t to slam the profession. I’ve got engineers in my family and nearly became one.)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.4   Sarabe

      JoDa, not all community colleges are easier than universities. The main focus of many community colleges now is to “weed out” as many students as possible so that they can maintain a reputation of producing students who go to X university and get the highest grade. It’s how so many students get stuck at community colleges for upwards of 2 years.

      Dec 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   M King

    Kudos to the professor. If students want to pay for classes and then expect to earn a grade, or respect, for doing nothing…then they should just skip class and allow those who value education to contribute.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   sarah

    as its filed under “actually totally reasonable” I’m going to go with making fun of the submitter.

    It’s not like they pay for their college education or anything.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Wendy

    Yeah I am Team Professor on this one.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   jen (not the jen above)

    sounds like a perfect professor.

    and yes, the bash against millenials was at the entitled submitter. i sometimes wonder if it was better in the prehistoric days when we went to class with paper notebooks and took notes on what the professor was saying.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   uncreative

      Oh indeed. I went to college before everyone had cell phones and brought laptops with them to every class. And we distracted ourselves the old-fashioned way – with doodles, notes to classmates, reading other material, working on other assignments during class, etc. None of this new-fangled Facebook in class.

      I side with the professor, but this isn’t a generational thing. Some students will always goof off in class. Some classes actually deserve to be goofed off in (most of my classes were great, but show me someone who went through college and never had a class that turned out to be pretty worthless), and some people focus better when they have something to do with their hands. I used my doodles as part of my referencing and mnemonic system for studying. Young people being immature, almost as if they aren’t done maturing yet, is kind of an eternal problem.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Snowflame

      Oh, Lord, I only graduated six years ago and now I’m from the prehistoric days. :)

      And the trouble with taking handwritten notes, is no matter how careful I started off being, I always ended up with at least one paragraph in every lecture that I never figured out what the hell it was supposed to say. Think I prefer having a laptop these days, even if the internet is incredibly distracting.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   maughta

    The submitter is the asshole. That’s why we can’t have nice things.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   LP7

    Stupid commenters are stupid… yes, the professor is completely reasonable that people should concentrate on the class for the (very small amount of) time the students are there each week. And yes, the submitter is an entitled prick who apparently believes you can behave however you like in class if you’ve paid the fees.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   jen

      yeah, my bad. i always read the snippets/follow the link from facebook. didn’t read the blurb above the image.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Annie

    Erm. Your university-level class needs to be “managed”? Seriously?!? You guys sound like high-school kids… Wow. Turn your priorities around, now, will ya?
    -a girl who has a master’s and who T.A.ed in many classes, never having to “manage” anyone.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Amurana

    But… what if the typing on the laptop is the student taking notes? I thought you were supposed to take notes in class? I type FAR faster than I write by hand and if I’d ever had that option I’d have used it!

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Kupo

      Trust me, you can tell the difference. I take notes on my laptop (my carpal tunnel wouldn’t allow me to write that fast by hand) and the professors can see me watching their faces, raising my hand to contribute to discussions, and keeping engaged, so they’ve never called me out. On the other hand, when 2-3 people are hunched over one laptop smirking and not responding when the teacher addresses them, they’re clearly not taking notes.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   FeatherBlade

      The colors of the Facebook wall screen also apparently reflect really well onto the student’s face and/or glasses, so even if you aren’t smirking, the professor can always tell…

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Jolly

      Facebook/internet browsing requires almost no typing for the most part, just mousing around with a blank look on your face. It is a night and day difference to tell someone who is engaged and taking notes from someone who is staring at a website, even for someone who isn’t actively trying to engage a class/encourage participation/gauge interest.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   JT

      You can definitely tell the difference between note taking and goofing off on their laptop. I didn’t have to deal with it in undergrad, but in grad school, it was very common with the students who were only a few years younger. It’s usually them chatting with friends. You have a rush of fast typing, a pause while they wait for a response, a reaction when they read the response (smile, laugh, etc), and then another rush of fast typing. And this happens even when they professor isn’t really talking, so no reason to take notes. I would hate to be in undergrad now.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Kupo

    Submitter, how do you figure that by expecting you to come to class prepared and not goof off on the internet during class, “the new professor does not understand that his class is not the absolute most important thing in the universe?”

    Team professor. I actually do the work and I’m getting pretty sick of the students who feel put out by having to actually do their homework and then complain when they get under a 2.0. And it’s pretty distracting when you’re sitting there glued to a YouTube video while we’re trying to listen to a lecture. Seriously, don’t come if you’re going to sleep or goof off.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Drew

    I guess since I’m a stupid millennial, I’ll never understand why rewarding those paying attention, (or possibly those just typing notes during lecture), with pop quizzes would cause for any enjoyment. Discourse is fun, not tests.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Kupo

      That’s the passive-aggressive part, silly!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   Dawn J

      I believe the prof. was being facetious in an attempt to get the attention of the rude students that are not paying attention in class.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Jaylemieux

      “Discourse is fun, not tests.”

      Can’t see how that’s the case. Tests are far more enjoyable.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   rushgirl2112

      Even aside from it being facetious, it is possible for it to be a true benefit. If the professor is grading on a curve, a basic pop quiz that the prepared students are sure to ace – and unprepared students are sure to fail – is going to give the prepared students a bump up in grades.

      BTW, I had a high school teacher who always used to refer to quizzes and tests as “opportunities,” so this made me feel all nostalgic. :)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   rapevine

    No, the student is right, the professor is some major dufus. in my country, we don’t have any unannounced tests at university. sucks to be amerikkkkkkkaner idiots.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   William

      I always have wanted to visit your country. I hear that Douchestan is lovely this time of year.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Susie

      You hate America? Please, tell me more while listening to Lady Gaga and playing on your iPhone.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   Susan

      Hmmm, I am guesing “rapevine”s country is the one where they hire in folks from other countries to do the actual work. But then, perhaps I’m reading too much into his lovely name.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   Dana

      The iphone was designed by a Brit and build with Chinese Japanese parts and probably used their technology too !

      Also Lady GaGa is half Italian !

      I think there are far better examples than those two !

      Nov 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.5   Lita

      I can’t substitute anything for the iPhone – alas, 3 AM.

      But if you reeeeally want a substitute for Lady Gaga, how about Justin Bieber or Rebecca Black?

      (off to clean my fingers)

      Nov 16, 2013 at 2:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.6   Tosker

      You’re cleaning your fingers at 3 am…?

      Don’t you have anything more important to be doing? Like, I dunno, drinking the blood of your neighbors or something normal like that.

      Dec 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.7   Lita bang

      What, haven’t you ever showered at 3 AM?

      Dec 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Darcy

    I will never stop being amazed by students who act shocked that they are expected to pay attention in class or at least not actively distract the class (which, yes if you are on Tumblr and giggling and pointing stuff out to your friend you are being distracting). Or read class materials assigned to them. Like, I don’t think of myself as a hardass as a teacher, but those are like, the bare minimum requirements and some full-grown adults still struggle with it. I honestly don’t even care if you don’t read or participate as long as you don’t whine when you don’t get an A. Which, a lot do.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Nim

      I get the sentiment, but did you really need to insert those ‘likes’ in there? When you type you can control your words.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Shannon

    Ummm tell me why university students need to be managed during a lecture? The people paying attention will get rewarded with a better grade on average than those who are not, this sounds like a high school class. I’m guessing that this class has mandatory attendance policy so that’s why they come to class and “goof off”. Sounds like a community college class to me…

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   FeatherBlade

      On the contrary, students at full-fledged universities spend a fair bit of time on Facebook or other class-irrelevant websites during class.

      Why? Most likely because they were never taught how to behave in a professional environment (and make no mistake, college classes are professional environments) and are under the erroneous impression that college is jumped up version of high school, where they can skive off and still pass, if they complain loudly enough to the right people.

      This is also why they think it’s appropriate to come to class in their pajamas.

      Source: I work at a university and take classes as a non-traditional student.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   theresa

      A fiction workshop is not a lecture.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.3   JT

      Not necessarily a community college. I think it has to do with students feeling entitled. I went to an Ivy league college for grad school and it was hard to pay attention to the professor because of all the distracting loud and fast typing around me. When I took a few classes at a community college, not all the students pay attention, but they aren’t annoying about it. :P

      Nov 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.4   AP

      I have a lot of friends who are in academia and teach. The class’s grade distributions, as well as the course evaluations at the end of the semester, go into the professor’s personnel file and affect their tenure, raises, promotions, etc.

      Invariably, Princess Facebook and Sir-Tweets-A-Lot do poorly, because they weren’t paying attention, and then give the professor a bad evaluation- and then the professor gets in trouble for it at his review.

      Emails and pop quizzes, etc., give the professor tangible proof of who the bad students are- so when Job Review time comes around, they can prove who the bad students are and defend themselves.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.5   kermit

      Student evaluations stop affecting a professor’s career once they get tenure. The only time a student evaluation even remotely matters is if the “student evaluation” is an accusation of the professor behaving inappropriately (i.e. sexual come-ons, etc). Nobody gives a shit about student course evaluations or even looks at them once they are completed. They’re just a futile feel-good exercise meant to give students the impression that their concerns about teaching quality are heard.

      Publishing record and the amounts of grants/funding are the only things that are really deciding factors in tenure and promotions.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.6   JoDa

      When laptops became a fixture in classrooms, I saw what Feather and JT speak of. Now, that’s not to say that I was 100% innocent in classes where I had computer access (labs and writing). But I’d sign into AIM, put my “away message” to “in X class,” and then only respond to the friend who was like “coffee in 10?” near the end of class. A “yep, where?” and “k, cya” aren’t all that distracting, to me or anyone else. But the grad student who spent the entirety of one of our seminars (as in, all grad students, centered around discussion, and only 10 students in the class) tip-typing away on chat was ANNOYING.

      Most college classes aren’t that long. An hour or two, usually. If you can’t pay attention for that long (often with a break if it were 2 hours), how WILL you survive in the work world? When we go “in the field” to design our projects with the clients, we spend 10+ hours a day, first in meetings for 2 days hearing what they want, and then working intently with one department after another to understand their systems and then develop the framework of the end result. 5 full days of not even remembering you have a Facebook account for more than 5 minutes at night. THE HORROR.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.7   Tupelo

      I don’t teach academics (thank god, although I considered it for a while) but I do instruct yoga and gymnastics. For yoga, it is all adults and there still needs to be signs telling people not to leave early, not to have phones with them (and they still bring them with them out on the mat)! and all that. The teenagers in gymnastics try to bring their phones out from time to time and act taken aback when we tell them no. I don’t understand this need to be attached to social media. If you can’t take a yoga class without the person next to you texting during their half moon pose, what CAN you do? :P

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Munkie Wrench

    Team Professor. If you cannot stay off social media and keep your phone in your pocket for a few hours throughout the week, perhaps you should speak to the school therapist about a possible addiction.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Monica

    Submitter: “The new professor does not understand that his class is not the absolute most important thing in the universe.”

    No, the class is not the absolute most important thing in the universe. But it’s probably just important enough for you to consider doing the reading ahead of time, and maybe even put away your fucking phone for the fifty minutes you’re in class.

    I know, I know–your head will probably explode by the ten-minute mark, and there’s that small risk of the space-time continuum collapsing on itself if too many people start following your example, but I think you should give it a try anyway.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Red Delicious

    Totally Team Professor on this one. Having been involved in the academic arena for more than ten years now, I see the sense of entitlement students bring each year multiply exponentially. They think that simply because they pay tuition they have the right to act however they wish in class and still receive credit and immaculate grades. Many of them have absolutely no respect when it comes to class etiquette, whether it’s for the professor or their peers. It absolutely sickens me. I have seen professors that plague their students with assignments and reading material that takes up their entire allotment of time and feel seriously that their class really is the only class their students take, but more often than not I see professors like this make simple, reasonable requests so that their class time can function appropriately, and therefore won’t need to have students complete greater amounts of work outside of class time.
    Fair points by the prof. If it were my class, part of their grade would be class participation, and the asshats that don’t pay attention, disrupt things and don’t come prepared get zeroes for that day. They’ll straighten up real quick.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Sir Puke

    Thumbs down to both the teacher and student. There is too much pettiness all around.
    It’s a weak submission and does not merit being posted here. A bad day, nobody’s perfect.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   SirDurable

    I guess if you pay for your own education (or earned a scholarship, or Daddy pays..whatever) you can do what you want. But I gotta say that having a professor that actually cares is semi-rare and students should take full advantage of that.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   theresa

      I would tend to agree, but a fiction workshop, or any other writing class, hinges on participation, and those who don’t pay attention or participate are, at best, a distraction or, at worst, an obstacle to the function and purpose of the course.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Janet W Hardy

    To those who commented regarding the possibility that the laptop-tappers were taking notes: This class is identified as a fiction workshop. That makes it a creative writing class dedicated to improving its students’ work by “workshopping” their drafts – having group discussions about what works, what doesn’t, what can be improved, etc. The only reason to be taking notes might be if you were the student whose work was being critiqued – or, possibly, if someone mentioned a book or article that you wanted to take a look at later. More to the point, distracting yourself with social media during the intimacy and intensity of a fiction workshop is unimaginably rude.

    (I confess myself puzzled, though, about what kind of pop quizzes the prof is planning to administer. Maybe quizzes about the content of the workshopped material, just to prove that the students were listening/reading? Yikes.)

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   rushgirl2112

      I’d imagine that the quiz would be on whatever reading material the professor has assigned that some students are failing to read prior to class.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   Taunia

    Am I the only one who sees the problem with a PHD from a “fiction workshop” (presumably writing) has an email riddle with poor grammar? While I want to be on Team Professor, I’ve changed sides based on that alone. I don’t think you should be making demands of your students if you can’t even take the time to fix your own grammar mistakes before sending an email like that!

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Judith

      Hang on: I see one split infinitive and an un-capitalized weekday. What poor grammar is this email “riddle” with (guessing you meant “riddled”)?

      Also, think you meant “having,” not “has,” in Line 2.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   Taunia

      LOL – hence why I teach music and not grammar. I think the capitalization alone is enough. You can’t send a snotty email to all of your students and then make a silly mistake like that. I’d be triple-checking before I sent that!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.3   Taunia

      And PS – I tried to click on “edit” to fix my own personal errors, but it hung up and crashed my Google Chrome twice. :)

      And PPS – Poorly written from a writing (presumably) professor with a PhD!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.4   theresa

      Fiction writers don’t use, or even need to use, perfect grammar. In fact, fiction written in Standard Written English would be rather dull.

      If this were a grammar or academic writing professor, your expectation would be fair. I guess you made the point pretty well yourself: not all teachers have good grammar.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.5   rushgirl2112

      Different contexts call for different degrees of attention to grammar, spelling, and usage. An academic paper requires strict attention, but casual writing does not. Email is casual and conversational, so the same rules don’t apply.

      I’m a freelance editor and have a BA in English, and I can say from personal experience that a fiction class is very different from an editing or even regular composition class. With fiction, it’s primarily about style and less about mechanics. Of course, some professors care more about it than others. But it’s not at all uncommon to see writers who produce great works of fiction with mechanical errors all over the place. That’s what editors are for. :)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.6   Taunia

      I suppose those are all fair points, but I’ll say this: I agree different types of writing have different sets of tools ,but I still content that if you’re going to email your entire class about their lack of motivation and interest, you should probably make sure that email is error -free.

      I get the luxury of making mistakes since I am a music teacher (though fairly literate in writing) and I also didn’t send a mass email to my students. :)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.7   Lythande

      Normally I wouldn’t do this, but if you’re going to keep harping on the English mistakes of the professor, I’m going to point out that you meant “contend” (among other things I will charitably assume are typos).

      You’re in a similar situation in that you’re making a public comment calling someone out on his mistakes while your own aren’t perfect. This is why we don’t mock people – beams and motes in eyes and all that.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.8   sennimoto

      No, you just sent an email to the entire Internet. And I think you meant ‘contend’.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.9   kermit

      Sorry, but the context of a professor email to his/her students DOES call for proper grammar, punctuation and correct information. A response to a blog posting? Not so much.

      And just because he/she teaches a fiction workshop doesn’t mean that they should get a free pass from being a professional who communicates appropriately.

      His/her behavior is especially dickish since the email wasn’t sent to the entire class but only to the students who behaved well. To top it all off, in between sarcastic whining about the behavior of students NOT copied on the email, the professor informs them that their reward for good behavior is pop quizzes.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.10   poopypants

      proper grammar and syntax are not always called for

      it’s entirely contextual, and people who think we should be anal about it all the time dont understand the adaptability of language nor it’s natural evolution

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.11   Susie

      Wait, kermit, what??? Where above does it say the professor emailed only the “good” students?

      There are 14 names listed above in the screenshot, and that list wasn’t complete, as evidenced by the fact that the names are in alphabetical order and stopped with J. I’m assuming there’s about 25-30 students in the class, since a workshop can’t function with too high a number, so I highly doubt the professor e-mailed just a few students. And, if there were a only 4 or 5 not participating out of a class of 30, I don’t think the professor would have said anything, because the other 20-25 would’ve created the discourse the professor was seeking.

      Here’s my interpretation:
      1. Professor is frustrated by lack of participation
      2. Sends email to entire class, thanking those who do participate and letting all students know of possible impeding quizzes (passive-aggressively warning the non-participants while letting participants know they will be fine.)

      My final thought is for Taunia: No, you don’t get the luxury of making mistakes if you’re going to choose to call out someone else for those same mistakes. Pot. Kettle. Black. I’m a teacher too, and I tell my students repeatedly that I’m not perfect, and it’s okay to make mistakes. As demanding as music is, and the amount of outside-of-class hours required by students to practice, I’m surprised you are with team submitter, because clearly he or she wouldn’t have time for anything required of your class. Hope you don’t mind if I check Facebook instead of practice that interlude again.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.12   Rachel

      People with PhDs know that there are more important things in life than spelling and /or grammar. People who focus on these types of errors don’t.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.13   kermit

      “…I decided to instead just thank those just those of you who come into class prepared and enthusiastic…Therefore I will be giving you opportunities to shine with pop quizzes any time I feel another day like thursday [sic] happening”

      So the email wasn’t sent to everyone, just the “good” students, to warn them of upcoming quizzes.

      And if PhDs are allowed to decide when the rules of proper grammar and spelling apply, then the students should also be allowed to decide that for themselves, too.

      If this idiot was really that smart, they’d know that changing the grading scheme is violating university policy. And may result in disciplinary action, if one of the diligent students decides to report him/her to the department chair.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.14   buni

      It is my opinion that anytime you wish to be taken seriously, your spelling and grammar should be perfect. Otherwise, your credibility goes straight out the window.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.15   rushgirl2112

      @Taunia – you can’t have it both ways. You can’t get all nitpicky about a couple of very small errors in another teacher’s email while giving yourself a free pass because you teach a different subject and your mistakes are in a casual forum.

      That’s not the point. Whatever form of communication you’re using to nitpick someone else had better be pristine. Otherwise, you’re falling victim to Hartman’s Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation, also known as Muphry’s Law (that isn’t a typo). Those of us who specialize in English find that tremendously amusing, much more so than the original error. Just an FYI.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.16   Igorina

      Kermit, can’t tell if you’re being obtuse on purpose. I agree with Susie. 1) If you think the ‘you’ from the piece you quoted refers only to the good students, what about the ‘your’ from this line: “…while typing away on YOUR laptop…” 2) If this was only addressed to the good students, why would the professor make the effort to add musings about why not paying attention isn’t proper, and suggests the recipients of the email “rededicate themselves to the class”?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.17   kermit

      I don’t think I’m being obtuse. There’s nothing in the email that indicates to me that everyone was included. The email clearly states that the point of the email is to thank the good students and inform them of upcoming quizzes, a warning that the bad students don’t have. The tone of the email sounds exactly like some TAs I had who voiced these complaints in person to the class, and acknowledged that the students who needed to hear it weren’t there anyway but the TA needed to vent.

      I found the rest of the musings to be sarcastic (how the class is a blast and they’re the luckiest people on the planet to take it).

      Nov 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.18   Igorina

      We don’t have the right answer, so this is just an educated guess, but I still think you’re wrong.

      The email thanks the ‘good student’ subset of the recipients, while implicitly warning the ‘bad students’ about the impending consequences of their actions. This works because the ‘bad’ students could turn ‘good’ based on this incentive.

      It’s a lot more likely that the teacher is attempting this email to get MORE students to be ‘good’, so only sending this to the good students wouldn’t do much to improve his classes.

      The portion that says ‘this class should be a blast’ – I didn’t take this as sarcasm at all. I took it as reprimanding the ‘bad students’ – also a subset of the email’s recipients – those who are lucky enough to be ABLE make improving their writing a priority rather than toiling fields or what have you, but choose to just blow it off.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.19   poopypants

      Buni, that was an incredibly stupid/ignorant statement. How’s your knowledge of Calculus or Discrete Mathematics? How about the biological functions of squids? Can you tell me how to design a nuclear weapon? What about the entire history of Burma?

      Because if you can’t tell me every single detail of every single one of those questions your credibility goes straight out the window.

      See how I took mastery of a completely unrelated subject and made it a prerequisite for me taking you seriously? Grammar and spelling are exactly the same. People who put them on a pedestal do so because they’re intellectual elitists, nothing more. You know a lot about ONE thing, good job, do you want a star?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.20   buni

      That is why it is my opinion. You don’t have to agree. If you want to be seen as an authority on any of the subjects you listed, then your spelling and grammar should be perfect when you write about that subject.

      I read a lot of technical blogs and business-related newsletters. Some are written by professional writers and others by amateur writers. All of these writers want to be taken seriously by their audience. I have a hard time taking a writer seriously when they make mistakes in their writing. It makes reading what they wrote difficult and detracts from their message.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 8:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.21   Rachel

      You must be a big fan of Maxwell Perkins, Buni.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.22   poopypants

      Opinions can be wrong Buni. Just because it’s your opinion doesn’t men it’s unassailable. Many people are smart enough to look beyond grammar and syntax to see the underlying message. If you think they have to be perfect then you are severely limiting yourself for possibly one of the dumbest reasons on the planet.

      “This form of communication that is constantly evolving and changing isn’t perfect to MY standards?! CLEARLY, they MUST be wrong, even if the written rules of English aren’t even in agreement with common usage or consistent in their application!”

      Your spelling and grammar have nothing to do with your expertise in any area BESIDES spelling and grammar.

      I hope to God you’re not a teacher.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.23   Taunia

      All fair points and I’ll take the hit: if I am calling it out, I shouldn’t make mistakes myself.

      However, I still think if you’re a writing teacher sending out a snarky email to all of your students (or any students), you sure as hell should make sure it’s correct. I teach music and I was immediately called out. I can only imagine what the PhD’s students had for a response when they got that poorly written email.

      If I get called out – he should too. I find his behavior far worse. He’s an educator communicating with his students. I’m reading a funny blog and commenting on it. Two very different things.

      (And whooo, boy! Couldn’t you all wait to call me out on it! lol)

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   Mary

    As the mom of a terrific teenager (and that has at least SOMETHING to do with active, involved, consistent parenting); someone working 60 hours a week at a demanding job in my chosen profession and volunteering at church, my daughter’s school and her dance school; a homeowner with all the attendant responsibilities; the actively supporting child of very elderly parents and as a part time student with a 3.8 average, I say: STOP YOUR FUCKING WHINING and pay attention. Hooray to this professor.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   Ry

      As a person in similar circumstances, I can tell you for sure that listing your responsibilities in a list colorful enough for (correct!) semicolons comes off as self-righteously whiny. Pretty positive you didn’t mean to sound that way, so just FYI.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #26.2   Rachel

      I read to the end of your comment Mary and was disappointed not to find out how I too, can make $1264 a day workinng from home :)

      Nov 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Ry

    Yep, the site and the professor are right: the submitter and his/her slacker homies suck.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   Mary

    Ry, not intending to be whiny at all. I am so blessed and I know it. My point was more that, as I recall from my younger days as an average student, my responsibilities then were 1. school 2. work 3. social life. I paid my way through school then and it was hard, as it is for everyone who has that opportunity. But I did it, and I sucked it up and I didn’t complain because I knew so many others who wanted to go to college but couldn’t. Of course every professor thinks their class is the most important. Are they right? No. But even if a student is dumb enough to attend but not learn from a class, the professor as a human being is still entitled to basic respect and courtesy, regardless of what else is on the student’s plate. You signed up for the course, for God’s sake. My generation, sadly, has raised the current bunch of nincompoops. And also some great people, I’m not saying that generation is all bad; I know some terrific young whippersnappers. But someone taught them that the world revolved around them and I think it was their mommies and daddies. Who are probably my age.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   poopypants

      “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
      authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
      of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
      households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
      contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
      at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

      Quit bitching about following generations. People have been doing it for thousands of years. It’s pathetic that people always look back with nostalgia instead of recognizing the amazing things the current generation of students are doing and capable of.

      I grow tired when people bring out the old “In my day” bullshit. Let’s talk about the racial discrimination and homophobia of your day. The current batch of middle schoolers in the United States is one of the most compassionate and accepting groups of people I’ve ever met. I’d take their whiney entitlement over the previous generation’s any day.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.2   kermit

      Mary, if you’re old enough to have teenagers, you’re old enough to have experienced college in the days when a course probably cost $50 (instead of the current ~ $1000), and were therefore able to pay for it by working part time during the summer alone.

      So kindly spare us all your nincompoop whining, and consider the possibility that just how your college experience wasn’t like “Animal House” today’s college experience isn’t like [more recent college life movie].

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.3   FeatherBlade


      “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

      The more things change…. ^_^

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #28.4   Tesselara

      Poopypants: I’m loving everything you’re saying today. I was JUST listening to NPR today, and hearing a bunch of, “young people these days” nattering, and thinking–boy do I hear that a lot. Is it just NPR, because it caters to an older audience, or do people really not understand that young people are immature, and always have been immature, and always will be immature? Generational identity is a bit of a crock, I think. There’s some validity to the idea, I guess, but mostly–the theorizing about the younger generation sounds like revisional nostalgia. (Yeah, I made up a word).

      Nov 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   Tard

    I graduated college the same year the personal computer was invented, so are calculators were the only electronics in the room.

    If I were a professor today, I’d be very angry at the inattention and associated disrespect shown by the Slackoisie.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   theresa

    As a former professor, I often heard the comment, “You think your class is the [only/most important] thing we do.” I never understood equating that extreme with the expectation that students would come to class prepared and pay attention. I also never understood why these students were even in college (I taught at a community college, so it wasn’t parental expectation that held them there). Is this how people approach their jobs? Is this how current students will approach their future jobs? The real kicker? These are the same students who complain about their average or crappy grades at the end of the semester.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   Wendy

      The only time we did this was with a new professor, fresh out of MIT, who was assigning us 20 hours of homework a week, in an engineering curriculum with 4 other very intense classes (with between 8-12 hours homework/week for each). We actually got one of our other professors (also an MIT grad with 20 years of professoring at our school under his belt) to speak to him. He dropped the homework to about 10 hours’ worth per week and we were eternally grateful.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   Bree

    I think this is fine. You try to teaching a distracted class and see how you get on. And he’s right. They are priviledged and should make the most of the opportunity.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #32   Will

    The quality of this site has continued to decline. Now it’s engaging in millennial-bashing, the current, preferred social critique of the dull. Unsubscribing.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   Tard

      See Ya!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #32.2   The Elf

      There’s a subscription?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #33   David

    Let me break some news to the Millennials. Once you are on the job, you will have a wide variety of responsibilities and tasks that fall well outside of your “Job Description”. You will not have one boss. You will have multiple bosses who each think that their particular task is your only and/or most important assignment. You must develop the discernment and discipline to understand how to juggle these contradictions. These boring and seemingly useless classes in college offer you the opportunity to develop these skills. And, like it or not, the professor is the “boss”. But, ultimately, control rests in your hands. Step back and take a look at the big picture.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.1   kermit

      Let me break some news:

      Nobody is going to give you a job based on the fact that you aced your English electives, not even Starbucks or Barnes and Noble.

      They will however give you a job based on your GPA in the courses that are relevant to your job. Part of being discerning requires estimating that the hissy fit* thrown by a temp humanities post-grad – the people who usually teach these courses – isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

      *And make no mistake that it is a hissy fit when the person can’t even bother to spell “everyone” correctly or format their email in the professional manner he/she expects the students to behave.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.2   more news

      My turn to break news (not to be confused with breaking wind):

      Interviewers don’t look at your individual grades, they look at your entire GPA.

      David is right, there is more to one’s job than the skills taught by the classes supposedly most “relevant” to one’s major.

      I am an engineer with an extremely demanding job. Often the most demanding parts of the job are those requiring skills taught by my non-technical classes: those dealing with people skills, negotiating, communication, etc. The technical stuff is relatively easy. That is why I became an engineer–I love that stuff. But lately I find I have to be a babysitter, a lawyer and even a hostage negotiator. With all the people-wrangling I have to perform with humans all over the world, my job would be impossible if I was unable to handle the basic aspects of my own language.

      Dismissing a class’s importance or relevance, refusing to participate or pay attention because you think it doesn’t really apply to you, only illustrates your own ignorance and self-importance.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.3   Tard

      I’ve been electrical engineer for 32 years, and agree completely. It seems as though personalities and peoples ability to work together are more important than the technical skills, which was a real eye-opener for me.

      I used to get mocked for trying to get the very best grades possible by people who said my GPA wouldn’t matter. I graduated during the recession, and was the first person to get a real design job in my group.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.4   kermit

      More news, I don’t know what jobs/employers you have applied to (or when) but all my prospective employers requested (unofficial) transcripts with my application package.

      And I don’t know what engineering classes you took, but most of the science/computer science courses I took in my undergrad required group work and presentations where those skills like team work, negotiation, leadership were learned quite well.

      The only thing that my English electives courses taught me is that humanities grad students are generally stupid people with no discernible skills beyond the art of bullshitting and working the university system to keep themselves employed.

      If you’re sending me an email that reads “Hey eveyone”, you invite my ridicule. And remind me of that ignorant TA I once had who seriously did not know what “et al” meant.

      Tard – Grades do matter, which is why when you have 5 courses a term, 4 of which are related to your major, it makes no rational sense to put in but the minimum effort required.

      (And for the record, I loved my English electives because even with minimum effort I still ended by getting As in them, much to my dismay).

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.5   poopypants

      Shockingly most jobs I’ve acquired after university haven’t asked for my GPA. My profession (teaching) requires a masters degree in many places, and usually if I have that they’re happy.

      Jobs are often obtained through networking more than anything else. Being a friend of a worker gets you much further than nailing that college fiction course.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.6   Tom

      Yeah, nobody cared about where I went or what my GPA was. Nobody asked for my transcript. They looked at my portfolio and that’s all they needed to know to hire me. I thank the stars that I shoved my nutrition and history of the 60′s classes to the side and took the Cs there in order to spend my time on what ended up mattering – the portfolio. My profession’s a bit different in that respect, but seriously, I got everything I needed out of my major classes – socializing, group work, negotiating – it was all there. Not so much in anthropology or astronomy where it was just essays about books or math problems I’d never use again.

      Still though, astronomy opened my eyes to the stupidity still prevalent from shitty high school educations – the professor revaled that on a multiple choice question as to the cause of the seasons, 50% of the class answered “the earth getting closer and further from the sun in its orbit” (NOT the tilt of the earth as it orbits the sun, the correct answer)

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.7   kermit

      Poopy – Try applying for a teaching position at some fancypants private school like Andover, and watch how fast they ask. Or try applying being a trainer at tech company or a bank and see how fast they ask for your transcripts.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.8   The Elf

      Adding my agreement: Employers looked at my overall GPA, not my transcript. So acing the general education requirements I was forced to take really padded the hell out of my GPA. There’s absolutely no reason to blow it off (unless, like Tom, you’re also producing a portfolio or something similar).

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.9   Wendy

      All I remember from my writing workshop class I took as an undergrad was that there was a fiction-writing sample that had to be submitted before you were allowed in. The assignments consisted of actually writing fiction and reading the other students’ submissions which would be critiqued by the professor and the students in class. You know, like a real workshop.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.10   Kupo


      So if you’re in a computer science field, you probably have to do a lot of documentation, no? I’d say the one thing that sets the devs I’ve worked with apart is their ability (or inability) to communicate, especially in written form. Those English core and elective courses are pretty much the only thing addressing that skill specifically. Trust me, when someone can’t make sense of your functional or technical specification, you’re not doing your job well.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.11   Tesselara

      Poopypants! AGAIN!

      Never ever had anyone ask for my GPA. In fact, when I see it on a resume, I know it’s someone who just graduated.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #33.12   poopypants

      Really fancy schools tend to demand a Ph.D., at that point I’d wager your undergrad transcripts are fairly unimportant, but I could be wrong. Mainly because my desire to work in fancy pants schools isn’t very high so I’ve never looked into it. Some schools DO look at transcripts, but usually they never actually take them into consideration when they do. They just want to make sure my degree is valid.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #34   Bo

    I have an idea. Let’s expand the scope of vocational education to include Engineering, Accounting, perhaps a few other disciplines. Then we can leave college for those who value an education. Everybody will be happier. I’m an old fart, but I remember working very hard for an opportunity to receive an education. I remember being absolutely astounded by my fellow students and their dedication to the same.But then creative writing was one of my favorite classes. Now that I work in Finance I wouldn’t mind going back and doing that again.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #34.1   Tard

      Remember all the cute freshmen girls in Psych 101? Good times. Go back and take that class again!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #35   Amesicle

    Reading these comments is far more entertaining than the post. I most definitely side with the professor. Come on, your parents (or if you’re a self-sufficient student, yourself) paid the tuition. Come prepared and get your money’s worth out of the class. You pay to learn, whether or not it’s related to your major, each class helps to develop your holistic knowledge. It was so annoying being around students who didn’t want to be there. (Laptops and iPhones were just starting to become popular in class when I went to college). Luckily, as I went into higher educational courses, those students became fewer and far in between. But yes, pop-quizzes on the discussions in class are great! It helps weed out those who are not serious about their education.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #36   Les

    So glad college is a thing of my distant past.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #37   Redheadwglasses

    I don’t much care for sweeping generalizations based on age.

    I am 45. The millennials I know are wonderful, interesting people.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #38   Redheadwglasses

    Also, I’m kinda hot for Francesco.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #39   Jeremy

    Click. Bait.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 10:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #40   1deprogrammed1

    Based on the number of people who managed to graduate and don’t know the difference among their, there and they’re, I say the teacher should flunk the ones who are looking for an easy A. That would certainly determine whether the class is important. You signed up; do the dang work. When (if?) you get out of school I dare you do only what interests you, and piss off the rest. The latter is what will happen to your career, too.

    To sum it all: grow the fuck up.

    Nov 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.1   Tom

      Doing what you want to do and piss off the rest is called getting a job. I don’t want to do food service so I get a job that doesn’t have that requirement. Didn’t want one with lots of essay writing either. Done and done!

      My career is doing quite well, thank you. I chose this career for a reason :)

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #40.2   1deprogrammed1

      What exactly do you do?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #41   shawn

    I find the whole complaining about the professor thing ridiculous. It’s not like the professor wrote a manifesto, declaring THIS class is the only class worth investing time in. It’s a matter of consideration, not just for the professor but for the students who aren’t bored, and maybe… just maybe like education. The sense of entitlement and need for entertainment is making me want to pop the eyes out of my head.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 12:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #42   Poltergeist

    I’m all for paying attention in class and being respectful of teacher and your fellow students. I completely side with the professor on this one. The note was, of course, beautifully PA, but it was warranted and done in a tasteful manner.

    My problem is with these comments. Filled to the brim with generalizations about current college students, “in my day…” stories, and self-congratulatory crap about how perfect your attitudes were when you were in college.
    “Oh, *I* wasn’t like that.”

    Many college kids today are just like you – they want a career in something they’re interested in, something they will find fulfilling, and they’re willing to work hard to meet that specific goal. To accuse them of being spoiled and entitled just because they’re frustrated over certain aspects of their education is stupid. Even if you do everything right, school is expensive, it’s time consuming, and there is no guarantee you’ll see the fruits of your labor anytime soon after graduating, if at all. And no, not everything that is required of you will actually be useful to you. Certain skills outside of your major are good to have, while others are of dubious quality depending on what direction you head in. Anybody who claims otherwise is full of shit.

    Is this ever an excuse to act like a lazy douche towards your professor, be disruptive, and browse Facebook in class? No. But for those reasons I mentioned, it’s only natural to feel uncertainty and even anger. Of course you’ll be a bit closed-minded to the advice of others and question how they could possibly know what’s best for you. Of course you’ll question whether what you’re doing is actually worth it.

    Look at your sweeping generalizations of the submitter just because of his one sentence. How do you know he’s an entitled punk who doesn’t value his education and expects to half-ass his way through school? Maybe he works really hard in the things he values but just doesn’t think this “fiction workshop” is going to benefit him, which is a very valid concern. Part of growing up is realizing you need to take control of your own life and focus your efforts on things that matter the most to you and will have the most impact.

    College students today don’t know it all. The college students of yesterday didn’t know it all. And all of you commenting here now certainly don’t know it all, so stop pretending like you do.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 5:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.1   kermit

      + 1 million internets

      Nov 12, 2013 at 7:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.2   FeatherBlade

      Yeah, that’s the thing about generalizations: they don’ t necessarily apply to all members of a listed group.

      On the other hand, generally speaking, the college students to whom the generalization does apply will, in general, get all offended that you are promoting negative stereotypes about college students, and they aren’t all that way, you anti-intellectual pig.

      The college students to whom the generalization does not apply will, generally speaking, understand from context that the generalization does not apply to them; will, in general, agree with the generalization; and will, often-times, contribute an anecdote about the time two sorority chicks sat behind them in class and spent the entire lecture discussing how wasted they got at the party, oh em gee, and who they might have screwed if only they could remember the weekend.

      …Generally speaking.

      Besides, old fogeys love complaining about the young people today. This has been an honored pass-time for old fogeys for thousands of years. Why would you deny them that joy, that heritage left to them by the old fogeys of ages past?

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.3   uncreative

      Because the best response to bigotry is to increase it? What if you put in a different form of bigotry? Pick your choice of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, etc. Obviously the “good” people in the minority know that when we insult the group we don’t mean them, and they will help by throwing another member of their group under the bus to help keep the bigotry going?

      It’s particularly obnoxious because we’re picking on the millennials, a generation that appears to be statistically better than average. They are more politically engaged than most generations were at their age, they volunteer more for their age than most generations did, they use recreational drugs less, they are less prone to violent crime, etc. Part of this probably has to do with the decreased lead exposure, since the end of leaded gasoline, which seemed to have been increasing tendencies toward violence in past generations.

      The millennials aren’t perfect, and the young of every generation have greater narcissism, less life experience, and more immaturity than older folks. But for their age, they show fantastic signs of being a really good generation. Which is good, because boy did the boomers screw them over. They are stuck with a terrible job market and ridiculously inflated costs for the basic education required for their generation to have much chance in the job market. Sure, in the old days a High School degree was good for a job and any college degree would nearly guarantee you a good job. Now many jobs demand a college degree even when the job doesn’t really require it, but having a degree does not guarantee you any job, but it usually will guarantee you massive debt. So, seriously, speaking as someone from an older generation, cut these kids some slack already and stop picking on them just because it is trivially easy to pick on the young. Or go all out and mock toddlers, because they can’t even keep from pooping their own pants. While people in our generation have generally mastered those skills. Because if you’re going to be a bully and a bigot, you might as well pick on the easiest targets.

      Also, some old fogeys have enough self-esteem to not need to pretend that their generation was perfect to feel good about themselves.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.4   Tard

      Oh, I wasn’t like that! :)

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.5   tirsden

      + 1 million more internets, Poltergeist.

      Without more information than just the email and just the submitter’s whine, it’s difficult to tell which side is closer to correct. I still don’t own a laptop or a smartphone, and having something like that in the classes I took years ago would have been inconceivable and highly disrespectful… though I can see how it would be handy to take notes on a laptop. That being said, I never had a problem with my own notes on paper.

      On the flip side, I’ve had teachers who were very frustrating individuals who were clearly there to do something other than teach, or didn’t actually know how to teach. Day 1 of Calc 2, I walk in, sit down, and the professor says, “The problem I’m going to show you today isn’t in the homework, but we’re going to work on it anyways.” He then proceeded to work on a problem on the board that was of notably higher difficulty than what we should have been working on. I said to myself, “I’m so going to fail this class.” I did, but that was after doggedly attempting to slog my way through the entire thing, including the final, only to get a big fat E (that college’s version of an F). I’m guessing the teacher wanted to be a professional mathematician (forgive my ignorance on whether or not that is an actual job) and was “stuck” being a college professor with “dim whits” like me in a Calc 2 class.

      Most of that class is now a blank in my memory. The textbook was horrible and useless, and there have been many courses I did fine in because the textbook was readable and explained things well, even if the teacher sucked. I know I fell asleep in some of the Calc 2 classes, probably doodled a lot, and generally learned nothing, because the teacher did the same exact thing every class. “This isn’t in the homework either, but…” Most of the students checked out mentally in that class, or dropped out completely, while the two students who could program calculators in their sleep were rapt with attention.

      So yeah, tl;dr: maybe the teacher sucked (shouldn’t be a news flash that they can), maybe the students suck (definitely possible too). It’s mildly obnoxious to see people defending one side or the other without taking into account the fact that there is very little info given either way. A fiction workshop class would be totally my kinda thing, but I can’t deny that I could be one of those “goof-off” kids simply because the teacher sucks… and that would be frustrating to me, especially if I were paying for a service from which I expect at least some competence.

      Jan 27, 2014 at 6:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #42.6   tirsden

      I suppose I should also clarify why I didn’t drop the class. At the time, I was being heavily manipulated by controlling parents, and concepts like failing a class, dropping out of a class, or changing majors, could not be remotely contemplated. So yeah, if you’re that teacher seeing the student goof off in some way, don’t assume they’re lazy or not wanting to learn. There could be underlying issues you don’t know about, especially if you never ask and just slap a “have fun with the pop quizzes I’ve decided to add” email across the board.

      Jan 27, 2014 at 7:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #43   cardykid

    I’m definitely team professor on this one.

    I recently went back to college to do a design MA. Part of the reason I went was to get input from other students as well as tutors but with the exception of a couple of students who always turned up and always contributed, the majority of students were a total waste of space. They actually held the course back with their lateness and total lack of interest or contribution because the tutors spent way too much time trying to get them inspired into action.

    Why spend all that money on a course and then not bother with it? Needless to say, there was a very high fail rate this year (but thankfully not me).

    Nov 12, 2013 at 6:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #44   The Elf

    I feel like this particular PAN is not getting enough responses. We need to shake things up a bit. So, with that in mind, let me suggest that you should keep your college students indoors, and if you must let them out, please put them on a leash.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 7:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #44.1   Kupo

      But what if they get away from you and get their leash caught on a tree branch? That’s cruel!

      Nov 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #44.2   Ash

      Are you people crazy? College students are evolved to live outside- keeping them inside is the real cruelty. You should be ashamed!

      Nov 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #44.3   kermit

      Elf, isn’t the whole problem that they’re already on the leash that is their laptop/Internet and not out roaming free?

      Nov 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #45   The Elf

    One of my favorite college memories was seeing the freshman fail-out. See, I went to a local state school. It’s a good school, but also the most popular choice for my fellow high schoolers. So, my freshman year was filled with familiar faces. As the year went on, I saw fewer of them in class and more of them puking in the bushes. Some failed out that first semester, but others managed to stick it out until June. Then came my sophomore year, where I noticed that so many of those familiar faces were gone…..

    My guess is that my unloved and unmissed fellow students also thought their professor’s classes were “not the most important thing in the universe”. You know, for those three hours a week and however many hours you require to prep for that class, IT IS the most important thing in YOUR universe. Or else you end up spending more time puking in the bushes rather than studying, and then failing out, and then seven years later you’ll be working as a bouncer in the bar where I’m going to celebrate my promotion. (That was a particularly beautiful moment).

    Nov 12, 2013 at 7:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.1   kermit

      And fast forward to when you’ve reached retirement age and you’re both working as Walmart greeters because you got laid off from your well-paying government job and your savings/pension won’t cover your living expenses.

      In other words, Schadenfreude can come back to bite you in the ass if you think you’re better than people you don’t really know.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.2   The Elf

      Oh yeah, it’s possible. We’re all one catastrophe away from completely broke. And who knows? Maybe he hit it rich with a helluva idea and is raking in the big bucks now. But I sure did love that day when it happened. The reap/sow connection was pretty clear.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 9:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #45.3   jazzgirl205

      What did the ancient Greek, Solon, say? “Judge no man happy until he is dead.”

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #46   Sarah

    I’m on team professor, but sheesh, s/he is a writing professor and has a split infinitive in his/her email.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #46.1   uncreative

      That’s probably because most people who study the English language know that split infinitives are proper and accepted in English. The “rule” against them was invented during a time when there were suddenly a bunch of newly rich people who wanted to look more like old money, so they would buy books on rules, which would usually advertise the number of rules they contained. This led to inventing rules that didn’t actually exist. The split infinitive rule comes from Latin, where one truly cannot split an infinitive. So, yes, it’s wrong (and I think impossible, but I never studied Latin personally) in Latin, but transferring a grammatical rule from one language to a different one doesn’t actually make sense. It is not wrong in English, but many people got tricked into thinking that it is. Other fake rules are things like don’t end a sentence with a preposition. These are kind of the language equivalents to teaching somebody that good manners involves holding your little pinky finger out at an angle when drinking tea. Most etiquette authorities actually say that it makes you look pretentious and silly. It apparently came about as a practical matter when people had thin tea cups that transferred heat too much, so you wanted to touch the cup as little as possible. With most tea drinking these days, it is completely unnecessary. Unfortunately, too many people, even within the field of English, still pass on fake rules. Oh, and if you really want a shocker, the use of “they” in the singular is not only acceptable, but it was done by Shakespeare and in the early translations of the King James Bible. It’s been around for hundreds of years, and the only reason people started ranting against it and declaring it ungrammatical was as a backlash against feminism. I had a psychology professor dock me once for using “they” in the singular in an essay once, even as my English teachers were teaching me multiple options for how to best handle gender in writing, which included the option of the singular “they”.

      There’s a poem I am too lazy to look up about a little learning being a dangerous thing. You might want to go read it in full. It’s so often true.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 5:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #47   Jody

    Frankly, when you are in that professor’s class, it IS the most important thing. If you can’t “show up” to a class you are paying for, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #48   Karen

    Seems like maybe kids should work for a few years first in low paying jobs, mature, save money to pay for college,
    and then go to college.
    They would understand to pay attention in class, and behave like a normal adult, and not a immature brat with too many gadgets.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.1   The Elf

      Actually, I think a great many high school graduates would benefit from a year or two “off” – so long as that time is spent working or doing something else constructive rather than just lazing about. Part of it maturity. Not ever adult is actually ready to be an adult.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #48.2   Tard

      Agreed, but then 75% of them would end up married with a baby and car loan, incapable of affording college….

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #49   KHandcock

    One of my university professors used to lay it out on the first day of class: you pay X in tuition per term for five courses; each course is a total of Y hours; therefore each hour of class you miss is $Z. At the time I was going, if I skipped a class, or didn’t take full advantage of being there, that was the same as about $180 down the drain. It REALLY stuck with me.

    There are classes that are frustrating, where the teaching is poor, or that you don’t want to take even though they’re required. But it doesn’t matter if it’s the worst or the best class, it’s still the equivalent of burning money not to get the most you can out of it.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #50   redheadwglasses

    Gee, I wonder why the first professor bailed on this class.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #51   Phoenix

    I cringe at all the comments excusing a student acting that way if a class isn’t important to them.

    1) I sincerely doubt a fiction workshop fulfills a gen ed

    2) Even if it does, it isn’t the ONLY ONE at that school. Take something more useful and more challenging.

    3) Even if you are somehow at at a school that only has one class to fulfill a gen ed requirement, and that class somehow is a fiction workshop, it’s a workshop. That means other students rely on everyone’s cooperation to make the most out of THEIR education. You’re pissing on their tuition, not just yours.

    4) Even if this is a gen ed, and the only option to fulfill that gen ed, AND every single student in that class doesn’t care, there is still no reason to be on freakin’ facebook during class.

    5) Jesus people, sometimes you have to deal with things that aren’t exactly what you want to be doing at that exact moment. If you expect otherwise, good luck finding a job and keeping it- or finding and keeping friends or lovers.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #51.1   ShadeTail

      If you ask me, it’s even worse than that. On top of all of that, they chose both that school and that class in school. Neither of those things have been forced on them by the school or the professor. So they are there willingly, and yet they’re still slacking off and being asses about it.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #52   Excuse me...

    As a teacher I’m disgusted at the childish attitude of some people. ‘Don’t treat us like children’ is only a valid counter point if you’re not acting like children! You’re paying for your education, so choose something you want to do. If it’s an opt in class (I don’t understand the concept because I’m English, educated in England where you don’t get to choose your own modules) then opt out and into something else and if you can’t do that because they’re all full and moving isn’t an option then admit to yourself you picked it for a free ride, found out it wasn’t and are now too scared to try. If it’s not optional, suck it up and grow up – we all have to do stuff we don’t want to. English universities enforce modules on you within your chosen subject – it’s the only reason I’ve studied Hamlet. I hated it, was bored as anything during the work, thought the teacher was unispired and one sided, wanted to kill someone during the performing, and I still showed up, got involved, did the studying and kicked ass on the acting and the essay because I thought university was about being an adult even if it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. University lecturers are not meant to be all singing all dancing, they’re meant to facilitate you doing your own sodding learning. A tutor emailing round to try get people to take their class seriously is a blessing – he or she has every right to just fail you outright and where would you be then?

    Nov 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #53   a professor who has taught the likes of poopypants a thousand thankless times over

    Poopypants – What you find “engaging” might require Jim Henson Studios level presentation, while your more mature classmates are able to find engagement in, to be redundant, more mature material. You have no right to act selfishly distracting during class. What you think of the professor is not the issue; what is fair to the students who actually belong there is the issue. Don’t rob those who actually belong there just because your previous teachers robbed you by passing you along. Drop the class and find more academic thieves, i.e. spineless faculty who will continue passing you along until you’re out, so you can sit on your mother’s couch checking Facebook while your father eats breakfast muttering things about you and getting a job between swigs of Mylanta and coffee.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.1   poopypants

      There’s an awful lot of assumption going on there. Maturity has nothing to do with what you find engaging. I’m a teacher with an M.Ed in education now, and I have had to sit through a 55 minute powerpoint presentation by students. I didn’t sit through it because I’m more mature now, but because as the educator it’s my job. When I run a classroom I almost never show powerpoints and do my best not to merely lecture, because that is lazy and unengaging teaching.

      I believe that you are a professor, but you sound like an entitled educator who think the students should conform to what you have to teach instead of adapting your teaching to matching the needs and interests of your students. That is poor teaching practice.

      If you can’t engage your students then you should get out of the profession. You’re doing them incredible harm by remaining, not only are you teaching your subject poorly, but you’re teaching them that education sucks.

      Me facebooking in class is not distracting. Perhaps if you can’t lecture through it you need to work on your “maturity”, which I’m assuming we’re just throwing around to insult each other based on nothing whatsoever. It’s a new definition, but I’m quite adaptable and willing to work with it.

      I know how to apply myself in school, and I know how to do what needs to get done to get myself by. There was nothing you could easily say was “spineless” about the faculty who passed me (solid assumption there by the way, based on nothing).

      The things about my family were just weird though, I’m not really sure why you said them.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.2   The Elf

      You facebooking in class is certainly distracting – the screen of your laptop, tablet, or phone lights up. If I’m behind you, I see it and it is distracting. The same thing happens with note-taking, but at least the screen is static except for the text appearing on it.

      Thankfully, I went to college before all that stuff, so the students who didn’t want to be there either just plain didn’t show up (no skin off my teeth), doodled, or slept. Far less distracting to the people actually there to get an education.

      FWIW, yeah I goofed off too. Everybody does. The difference is that if my butt was in the classroom seat, I was paying attention. If I was goofing off, I wasn’t in class to distract everyone else. It’s just plain rude – rude to the teacher and rude to the other students.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.3   poopypants

      I said this lower, but if it’s more than a momentary distraction you should work on your self-control or get checked for ADD/ADHD.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.4   JT

      You could also work on self-control and be able to be away from facebook for an hour. Why should I be even momentarily distracted from the class that I am paying attention to and paying for? In some classes (granted, probably not a fiction workshop), that moment could have been pretty important. You don’t have the right to distract your fellow classmates. If you don’t like the class, either drop it or skip it.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.5   poopypants bang

      Do you get distracted when a bird flies by outside? What if they’re doing construction up the street?

      I often only needed to half pay attention to class, but when I was fully into it somebody facebooking in front of me would pull me out of the lecture for at most 5 seconds. “Oh somebody is facebooking, back to the lecture.”

      If you seriously can’t pay attention to your lecture with something so minor going on around you, and I don’t mean this offensively, but you should probably get checked for ADD or ADHD.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.6   JT

      Wow, you really don’t get it. You do NOT need to check facebook during class. Like I said, even a distraction of 5 seconds can cause you to miss important information in a hard advanced class.

      Construction and birds are natural and expected, so don’t cause distraction (to me at least). People being rude cause they think they are special snowflakes is not, so it does cause distraction. It’s rude and when people are being rude, it ends up being distracting beyond the initial 5 seconds, because I then think, “wow, what a rude little….”

      And you really need to stop using ADD/ADHD as an insult, but that was nice of you to say no offensive this time. It’s so nice how concerned you are about everyone. Eye roll. Maybe if you can’t go an hour without distractions, you should get checked out. Cause NEEDING distractions is more classic of ADD (which yes, I do have) than being distracted by rudeness.

      If someone told me that I was distracting them, I would be apologetic and not do it, I wouldn’t act like I can do whatever I want where ever I want and tell them to get over it and get their ADD under control. Because you have no idea what your fellow classmates are dealing with, if they really are struggling with ADD, you shouldn’t add to it, because you’re bored. Drop the class or skip it.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #53.7   poopypants

      Distractions are distractions. If you’re picking and choosing which ones give you ADD then you’re just being picky.

      If it’s distracting beyond that because you decide become extremely mentally judgmental then that’s a choice YOU make.

      I was never using it as an insult. I was legitimately saying if people cannot concentrate then they should get checked for it, because that could be a big help. I suspect you actually don’t have it though, if things like construction aren’t distracting to you at all. You probably just make the choice of what you find distracting or not based on your priorities. I (and many others) do the same thing.

      So if you have ADD your classmates should all work around your disability? Who’s being the precious snowflake now? You’re prioritizing what YOU want over what OTHER people want.

      Do you stop paying attention if somebody ties their shoe? If they yawn and stretch? Those are also 5 second distractions.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #54   Mean Prof

    I used to teach a required class and some of the students didn’t want to be there. I got tired of babysitting them, so I implemented similar rules. I would also bust on you if you were late and would fail a student for not pulling their weight in group projects. (students could chose group projects instead of individual ones so it was their choice). I even called a mother once (who I knew was paying the bills) to give her a warning I was about to give her little angel an F for the class if she didn’t start showing up and participating in group work.

    The results? My life was easier, the classes went much more smoothly, the classroom discussions were better, the engaged students thanked me for settling own their peers and the average gpa went WAY up after the rules went into effect. Even the girl who almost failed (who was ummmm …not a fan after I called Mommy) managed to get to class and pull a C.

    That said, the good students FAR outweighed the bad. I was always blown away with how many of the students in my mid-tier college were so smart, ambitious and engaged. The whiners and bad apples just get all the attention because the good kids are too busy studying or waiting tables to speak up.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.1   redheadwglasses

      Can you legally call the parent of an adult student to warn her about an impending F grade? When I was in college in the ’80s, parents had zero legal access to grades.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.2   poopypants

      You legally cannot (unless you have written consent by the student). Federal law prohibits it. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects student privacy after the age of 18 or after they begin university.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.3   GirlNamedTsu

      When I started college, I was 17 and this was a very real possibility for me.

      …I also had the incredibly embarrassing experience of having to call home and have signed permission slips sent over to the school before I could go on class outings. Mortifying…

      Nov 13, 2013 at 8:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.4   poopypants bang

      It shouldn’t have been a real possibility. It’s turning 18 or entering university. Whichever comes first.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.5   Mean Prof

      FERPA also permits a school to disclose personally identifiable information from education records of an “eligible student” (a student age 18 or older or enrolled in a postsecondary institution at any age) to his or her parents if the student is a “dependent student” as that term is defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, if either parent has claimed the student as a dependent on the parent’s most recent income tax statement, the school may non-consensually disclose the student’s education records to both parents.[2]

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.6   Mean Prof

      I checked with our legal department, knew my rights and until you pay your own bills like a grown-up you can be treated like a dependent. And if you don’t disclose to the parents what is going on with their dependent child you can you end up getting flack from them. I saw colleagues facing Mommies who would want to sue the school because precious princess got an F. The best defense is a good offense. Want to be treated like a grown-up? Then grow-up.

      Still loved most of my students and was in touch with some of them for years. Most college students are awesome and I wish I still had time to teach.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.7   poopypants

      WHAT?! I definitely feel like that information should be right in the front of any FERPA information site.

      Although maybe I looked at the wrong ones.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #54.8   Mean Prof

      I agree with you but the Fed does not necessarily put a premium on making regulations clear, available or even consistent:)

      Nov 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #55   Shannon

    Professors can’t keep people engaged with the material if they show up completely unprepared. That’s not how education works past 2nd grade– how are you supposed to engage an audience in any deep or meaningful way when that same audience can’t be bothered to read or pay attention to lectures? Our submitter right here is why I left academia– I did not have the patience to teach a room full of supposed adults basic life skills like being able to sit for 45 minutes without checking your phone.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #56   collegekid

    Hi there. I’m currently a teenager in college and I’m just going to say that I’m upset by all this. So you want us to act like adults yet you coddle us like babies? That’s some kind of bullshit (excuse my language). Also, it isn’t the kids job or the teachers job to make kids more mature. I’m pretty sure that’s what parents are for. You know, the people that are supposed to raise us, teach us right from wrong, and gradually give us more responsibility until we’re ready for big things like college? Also, I dont like the assumption that all kids my age don’t have it together at all. I’ll admit that some kids just don’t care. However, we’re going to make life a living hell for the ones that are trying because a few aren’t? Well that’s cool. Then you just create another person that hates education in general. Good job.

    That’s really all I have to say. Yeah, legally I’m an adult but I know I can act like a kid sometimes. I just want how people react to me to be because of what I do, not what others my age do.

    Nov 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #56.1   Turbo

      The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #56.2   redheadwglasses

      She’s not protesting too much. She’s defending herself against unfair generalizations based only on her age.

      I have friends that I hang out that range in age from mid 50s to 25, but the majority are younger than me.

      Heck, if iphones and similar fun devices were 30 years ago, there would be college students checking facebook and email, texting, etc. It’s not about age.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 2:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #56.3   ShadeTail

      Team collegekid. Complaining about the students who really are being bratty slackers is perfectly fine, but let’s not lump all the students together. Plenty of college kids are driven and take their work seriously.

      And it isn’t generational either, so these complaints about “Millennials” are equally unfair. There have always been a few slackers spread among the larger group, and the teachers have always made efforts at dealing with them.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #56.4   Rachel

      All I got from this is how it is always somebody else’s responsibility.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #56.5   JT

      I’m in a training program where the youngest person is 29. We can’t have our phones with us during class, but every time there is a break, almost everybody (including the people in their 50s) immediately goes to their phones to check messages and facebook.

      I’m an older millenial, and I agree, its not really entitled millenials. But it is a generational thing, because anyone older than say 25 even can say, “Oh, I and my classmates weren’t like that in class.” without really thinking about how it’s just a different time and you and your classmates were doing other things that were just as annoying and distracting. I do remember being shocked when students only a few years younger than me were on laptops all the time in class in grad school, because I never would have thought of doing that. I ended up never goofing off on my laptop during class, because I just wasn’t comfortable with it, because I hadn’t grown up that way. But I’m sure I was annoying too. Like when I doodled all over the place during a boring lecture.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 3:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #57   GirlNamedTsu

    Ironically, I’m typing this while sitting in a Neurology lecture…

    I am usually fooling around on the internet during classes. I try to be respectfully quiet, and take notes of key points, but I learn very little during lectures, as they aren’t geared toward my learning style. This is not, by any means, the professors’ fault, as they have 73 other students to teach, but it means that I need to occupy myself and learn by private study outside of class. As a grad student, I’ve settled into a pretty good rhythm, and this is normal for me, and I’m thriving in this way. I’m punctual, present, quiet, and noting key points in every lecture.

    If some obnoxious professor decided to crucify me for typing during class or monitor my screen… I would think that person was not focused enough on presenting their material and too concerned with micromanaging their students.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #57.1   BDizzle

      Neurology lecture =/= fiction workshop. The two in this scenario are not analogous.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #57.2   Rachel

      Of course it’s their fault that you’re distracting them. The other students who are also distracted should just focus more. I mean, they should take into account that the format just doesn’t work for you, and not expect you to take into consideration that your wants just don’t work for them. After all, we wouldn’t want to interrupt your ‘fooling around on the internet’ time.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #57.3   poopypants

      If you can’t pay attention while a computer is on somewhere in front of you, you either need to work on your self-management or checked for ADD/ADHD.

      It’s not disrespectful to anyone. Nobody is harmed, nobody (except possibly you) loses out.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #57.4   redheadwglasses

      My exbf was a PhD student and he was taught to accommodate the four major learning styles in each lecture, and he worked hard to do so. i wish more teachers and professors would do this.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #57.5   GirlNamedTsu

      This is an entire classroom full of people typing. If typing at a normal rate and force is distracting to a professor or student, well, yes, I would think they do have a problem, Rachel.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 7:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #58   Tard

    Sitting in a college class texting and surfing means you are disengaged, actively not participating.
    That’s disrespectful to the prof and the other people in the class; your age is irrelevant.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #59   AlyInSebby

    Aw man!

    I read the WHOLE thread waiting for the ‘Great-Indoor/Outdoor Cat Debate’

    (dagnabbit! no frowny laughing emoticon!)

    Nov 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #59.1   Cat Fucker


      Oh yeah, fuck those indoor cats.
      fuck ‘em all.

      Nov 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #59.2   redheadwglasses

      Am I the only person turned on now?

      Nov 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #60   Liz

    @Tesselara – You say schools should treat their students like paying customers rather than children,but I think you’re missing the point. If someone is acting like a child, their prof is doing them a favor by calling them out and preparing them for the real world. THAT’s what you’re paying tuition for, not “getting to choose” to blow off a class that bores you.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #61   JoDa

    Will anyone see this? Have we just found the nerve that beats the indoor/outdoor cat insanity?

    Nov 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #61.1   kermit

      The indoor/outdoor cat thing was largely contrived. A few people felt strongly about it and the first (?) time a cat related note was posted there was a troll in the comments who never returned for the second cat note.

      To me, this is entirely different because some people are being personally insulting and downright bigoted/ageist (proudly so).

      Nov 13, 2013 at 9:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #61.2   JoDa

      You should be careful who you throw slurs at, kermit. Depending on who you ask, I’m frequently classified as a millennial (I sit right on the border of the generations). The last co-worker I told to put his phone away and PAY ATTENTION is *9* years older than me. It’s not about age, for the most part (I will gladly admit that I use technology more than MOST of my older friends/family/co-workers, but I DO try to use it productively…I can see live anyone who rings the doorbell on my house wherever I am and me, my housekeeper, and my dog walker work the lock on my door with an app and bluetooth, FE), it’s about focus and purpose. I would have scorned that same co-worker (or any other) for doodling as much as putzing around on the phone. We were trying to do a job, and not paying attention was unacceptable. Yes, yes, the headline feeds into the stereotype of lazy youth, but it’s not always youth (and I don’t consider myself all that youthful), just sloth and distraction. The only *somewhat* generational thing is that now that distraction is more obvious if you are staring at your phone or typing on a laptop when it’s not called for.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 2:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #61.3   kermit

      Maybe you should read my comments more carefully, JoDa. I never implied you did.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 3:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #62   M

    Team “Excuse Me…” all the way.

    And poopypants, you are hardly in any position to raise points about maturity when you are posting under the name “poopypants.”

    The problem with kids texting during class, being on Facebook, and having conversations is exactly the same as that friend you have that texts when you’re hanging out. It’s disrespectful because it’s taking your attention away from the people you have chosen to be around (no matter what way you cut it, you have chosen to be in college, taking those classes.) It’s no different than taking a phone call in the middle of the class. Disruptiveness is a secondary issue. The primary insult is that you are saying going “LOL CUTE CAT PIC” is more important than the authority of the teacher, the effort they put in to be a teacher, the effort they put into their lectures (boring or otherwise), and your classmates whose parents actually taught them that the world does not revolve around them.

    By the way, opting to go to college means you are agreeing that the teachers are in positions of authority. That’s not negotiable. That’s how it is.

    The “make the lecture more interesting or you don’t deserve my attention” argument is– and I’m sorry, but I can’t think of a nicer way to put this– egotistical. That’s not how school works. Yes, engaging lectures are more effective, but that doesn’t mean you get to spit in the face of your professors and classmates my browsing Tickld all of class because it’s PowerPoint day.

    PS. I’m sorry, Tickld. I love you.

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #62.1   poopypants bang

      That depends entirely on your definition of maturity. Shakespeare made poop, dick, and vagina jokes constantly, was he immature? I pay my bills, I do right by my family, my students, my coworkers, and my friends. My sense of humor or appropriate online names has nothing to do with my maturity, single letter of the alphabet.

      In the current economic climate, college is very much not a choice. Can people succeed without it? Yes. People can also succeed without high school diplomas, but realistically, long-term financial wealth is heavily tied to education. You are paying the college for a service, that doesn’t give them a right to give you a shitty service, or dictate how you accept their service. If you are being a serious disruption, yes, that service can be withdrawn to guarantee others their service. But facebooking and/or texting are not serious disruptions.

      Teacher authority IS negotiable. That’s why we have other governmental and university associations designed to help with a misuse or misapplication of that authority.

      The idea that students should accept your lesson as-is is the egotistical argument. It’s putting one person’s personal preferences and laziness over the needs of an entire class, whether it’s 15 or 200 students. I’m a teacher myself, and if I found lecturing from powerpoints to be the easiest way for me to teach and I did it, that would be incredibly egotistical, especially if it was obvious that it didn’t work for all my students. My job as a teacher is to help them further their education and better their character, if I demand they match me, I’m not doing my job. Same goes for university students.

      If I’m being a shitty professor, why should I expect stellar students? In addition to that, as an adult I have the right and ability to decide what is and what is not in my best interest. If half-paying attention in class is all I need, then that’s all I should have to do. You shouldn’t attempt to force me to do more because you feel like it’s naughty naughty.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 2:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #62.2   Ashes

      To be fair, texting/Facebook can be a serious disturbance to other students, like when you’re suddenly thrown into a group situation and have to carry dead weight. This happened to me a LOT and was one of my major issues with college (if they’d let me forego groups and just work on my own, I’d have been fine, but noooo, somehow group projects prepare you for real life, where you are forced to do the work of others and they still get rewarded for it, lol)

      Nov 14, 2013 at 3:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #62.3   poopypants bang

      Agreed, in group work you shouldn’t be doing those things. At that point you ARE holding back the learning of others.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #63   Juniper

    Just that quote from the submitter makes me want to slap them silly. Maybe it’s just me, but this is the difference between the bad apples of yesteryear and today – the bad ones in the past at least knew they were assholes and disruptive – now the bad apples just think everything is about pleasing them and if they have a problem – it’s your fault. Entitled little shits.
    That said – I do think more should be done about absolutely horrid teachers. Two from uni spring to mind – one history prof that was so mind-numbingly dull that everyone honestly struggled to stay awake in his class – so he implemented a mandatory attendance in his class. I think if you missed two classes you failed. The other was a huge (mandatory for lots of majors) bio class. Again – monotone talking and just writing on whiteboard. And it was at 8:00 am. That one just about killed me.

    Nov 14, 2013 at 3:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #63.1   Ashes

      The history prof reminds me of one of my business profs. Everyone complained about how boring he was (even me at first) but I eventually figured out that yes, while he was incredibly boring, I retained the information in his class, because he repeated himself.

      I learned that that was his plan all along, and I think that’s pretty brilliant. I guess if nobody’s going to “actively listen” in your class, make sure they passively learn while they check Facebook!

      Nov 14, 2013 at 3:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #64   WittyPseudonym

    Being two years a college graduate, I may or may not technically qualify as a “millenial”, but as it’s pretty much being used as a slur here, I’d prefer not to. Either way, I think both the submitter and the professor are out of line.

    Attendance policies and pop quizzes should be the stuff of high school. In college, you are there by choice (more or less, in the current state of education), and nobody should be forcing your attendance or attention. If you aren’t physically or mentally present, you aren’t getting what you’re paying for, and there are better ways of making your grade reflect that than basing grades on attendance or surprise quizzes.

    A major theme of the professor supporters is that “college prepares you for the real world, therefore you have to attend and do the fussy work”. The real world cares about results, and will spit you out without very many second chances if you don’t live up to expectations.

    There’s no need for laptops in many classroom situations, and none for phones. If you need to use them for personal reasons, you may leave, and miss out on your class. If you’re negatively impacting the ability of those around you to do their job, you should get ejected.

    If you’re in a class where laptops are deemed appropriate, and you use them as a personal distraction, you’re not learning. That should be its own punishment, and reflected in your grades.

    If your class isn’t interesting to you, hopefully there are more interesting alternatives that fulfill that requirement. If not, you’d better hope that your career won’t be too badly harmed by transferring to a technical school.

    In my own experience, I found class discussion, group projects (on creative subjects I was already interested in, with similarly engaged students), and videos the most engaging. Lectures held the least interest for me. Every student learns differently, but that’s not often reflected in our education system, which has been so industrialized that most students cannot hope to fit the cog shape they’ve been assigned. College is supposed to be the place where that starts to fall away, but when it became a prerequisite to not living in the gutter, it got that treatment as well.

    Nov 14, 2013 at 3:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #64.1   The Elf

      You’re a Millennial, by definition of birth year. (I am assuming you were a typical-age college student, which puts you in mid-20s now). The Millennial generation was once known as “Generation Y” (as in, comes after Generation X). There’s some debate over the split between the two, but most agree that it’s around 1980-1985. Those born between 1980-1985 may be Generation X or Millennial, depending on how you want to define it. But if you’re born after 1985 and before the end of the 20th century, you’re a Millenial.

      FWIW, Generation X definitely covers the baby bust years of the 70s, but there’s some debate over start and end too. Start would be 1960-1965, end would be 1980-1985.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 7:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #65   Ashes

    My college experience (started at 26 after dropping out of high school and working crap jobs) was far from perfect, but I can say this: I am so glad my school had a strong focus on student satisfaction and success.

    It was mandatory that profs keep students updated on work, readings, etc online, so my crippling social anxiety didn’t completely ruin my chances of graduating.

    And yeah, I had some amazing profs who were personable, engaging, and, well, brilliant educators who had issues with 18 year olds getting pissy when told to stop talking or turn off their phones or actually SHOW UP to class once in awhile, and their response was mandatory attendance *cringe* or pop quizzes.

    I’m also glad my school had the option to opt out of required classes based on “mature student status” or prior learning (oh, you already know about computers? Do this test and you don’t need to take the class to graduate)

    I am beginning to suspect my college experience is not the norm though, especially in the U.S. And that sucks because, while not perfect, I felt mostly respected and that I got good value for my investment (time and money)

    Nov 14, 2013 at 3:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #66   GirlNamedTsu

    I’ve found that the strictest professors are usually those that know attendance/attention is not necessary to pass their class.

    I had an evening health class I could have passed in my sleep…

    She used to deduct 3 points from a student’s final grade for every lecture missed and if students were taking notes on a laptop, she walked in large circles of the classroom, policing computer use and making sure everyone was actively taking notes at all time.

    …When a hurricane was blowing through, and the town I commuted from had a mandatory evacuation, I called her and she said I had to come to class or lose 3 points. I couldn’t evacuate with my family.

    Alternatively, I have had professors that said if you didn’t come to class and couldn’t handle the material as a result, failing was your punishment, and it wasn’t up to them to be your parent.

    Maybe some people need the pushier teaching style, but I daresay those students aren’t prepared for the university experience. I’ve taken classes at community colleges, and they’ve all been reminiscent of high school. Maybe those not ready to stand on their own feet should take a year or two of community college classes first.

    Nov 14, 2013 at 7:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #67   Sasha

    As a professor, I find it funny when students argue that they paid for it so they should be able to do what they want with it. For those in the class that want to learn, this is just a passive way of saying you are lazy. The real world doesn’t let you do what you want and when you want, the purpose of college is to prepare you for those expectations. Sure, don’t come to class and miss the quiz. Sure, don’t show up to work and get fired. Hell, it’s YOUR job right? You earned it, do with it as you will.

    As a side note, this isn’t even about coming to class for the most part. It’s about being respectful in class and being prepared. Do you want me to stand there and lecture for 3 hours, or would you rather have an interesting conversation? Being prepared contributes to that. Grow up.

    Nov 14, 2013 at 11:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #67.1   SuperProf

      I agree. I think too what most of the complainers above don’t think about is that web surfing, texting, chatting, sleeping, etc. is distracting to the other students who want and need to learn. It’s this type of selfish attitude that I can’t stand. There is a sense of entitlement on the part of some students (no matter what age) that they have paid and they therefore deserve and A. Many administrators and teachers think of it in terms of, “You have been accepted to our school. You are paying for the privilege of being taught by our professors.” That tension is at the center of this issue. The truth lies between the two. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Learn to be polite. Learn to respect the other peers in your class and think of them like your teammates. Participate. If you think you know it all, prove it. I’ve never once had anyone pass my class with a 100% and usually the students who claim that they already know the material fail quickly when they learn they don’t, or they stop trying and they squeak by with a low D because they want to do the bare minimum.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #67.2   GirlNamedTsu

      I fail to see how my surfing is a distraction to the theoretical diligent student doing everything within his/her power to focus on the lecture. I sit in the back row, and, if someone is sitting next to me and doesn’t want to see what I’m doing, they should probably not look at my screen.

      On that note, yes, texting can be distracting because you’re pulling out another device and moving something around. But literally every single student in my classes have a laptop out during lecture (it’s required for my program), if mine happens to have an extra window open, is that really harming my fellow students?

      Nov 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #67.3   tirsden

      I agree that just because I or someone else paid for my college classes, doesn’t mean I can faff about and do anything I want. It’s really not even an issue of “I paid for it,” unless the teacher is one of those that simply cannot do their job or is very bad at it. Back in my college days, and any other time really, for me it’s always been about “I should be respectful of my teacher and fellow students.” Even the Calc 2 class I had with an awful teacher, I didn’t intend to nod off, and certainly wasn’t showing up in class just to flop my head down on my arms and take a nap.

      Jan 27, 2014 at 7:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #68   College Admin

    The thing that most people don’t realize is that attendance is directly tied to financial aid. The college takes money from the government in the form of loans to help pay for your tuition. If you register for classes, but never show up, and the college knows about it, then the college is committing fraud by claiming you are there and accepting the money. Most schools have strict attendance policies the first 2-3 weeks of every semester for this reason.

    Also, most attendance policies are tied to financial aid fraud on the part of students. Refund checks are the remainder of loans (the amount given minus the cost of attendance). They are meant for books, transportation, etc. while students attend classes. Many students scam the system by attending classes until their refund checks arrive. Again, if this occurs and we do not report it, the college can be culpable in the fraud students are committing.

    Students also have to meet requirements for how many credits they complete in order to receive financial aid. If a student does not meet this requirement, he/she cannot apply for aid the next year. So, again, if the college allows a student to withdraw instead of fail the course due to attendance, we are lying to the government about the reasons that the student did not pass.

    Attendance policies are sometimes used punitively by poor instructors, but ultimately, they are usually put in place by institutions for financial and legal reasons. “Cool” teachers tend to ignore this, not understanding the serious repercussions if they don’t report correctly– loss of federal and state funding, loss of accreditation, accusations of fraud, etc.

    Nov 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #68.1   The Elf

      Couldn’t you get around that by taking attendance at 1st day, midterm, finals, and other such atypical days?

      I just find it odd, since not a single one of my college professors took attendance other than those designated days. None of ‘em. Not the “cool” teachers and not the hard-asses. Maybe things have changed since the dark ages when I got my degree…..

      Nov 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #68.2   kermit

      Sorry, but that’s a blatant lie, admin. Federal / state funding for education is linked to attendance at the elementary and high school level. It’s not linked to colleges at all.

      An obvious reason for this is that all people in elementary school and high school are minors, and by law they are required to be under the guardianship of adults. Not only that, but officials have to know how many kids are attending a public school (as opposed to being home schooled or private schooled) so that adequate resources (buildings, teachers, taxes) are in place to handle their education.

      If a kid does something bad while they’re supposed to be in school, the law holds the school partially accountable for not keeping track of the kid’s whereabouts and behavior. The parents are partially off the hook because they did their job by dropping off the kid at school, entrusting the officials to care for their kid. Part of this care involves sharing the kid’s report cards and getting the parents to write a permission slip if a kid is going to be absent.

      The same is not true at all in college. The kids aren’t minors for long. And unless you’re taking something like theatre that requires group presentation/participation on a daily basis, no class makes attendance mandatory. Besides, most colleges are funded from tuition, sports and letting businesses operate on campus, not state/federal funding.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #68.3   Jen

      Kermit – Actually we are required to report attendance for our university students. Not all of them, but the ones receiving certain types of federal funding. Every semester I get two emails spaced at different points that provide links for me to sign in to. I then have a list of said students and must affirm that they are attending and when the last date of attendance was.

      Nov 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #68.4   kermit

      Sorry, but as a student who received government aid, I call b.s. on that. The only thing the school is required to report is if the student is still enrolled after the add/drop date in the courses he/she claimed when they applied for funding. The amount of funding you get depends in part on your course load.

      Just because you are enrolled in a course doesn’t mean you have to attend. And just because you attend doesn’t mean that you’re going to pass, or that the government is going to care that you went to class despite failing it. If you’re not progressing in your program, beyond a certain point your funding gets cut off, no matter your attendance record.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 8:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #69   Tapadance

    How do you do a pop quiz in a fiction class? Write a paragraph on how you explained to your parents you are wasting their money on this class?

    Nov 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #70   Skyle

    I was in a major with a really wide age range of 20-60 years old, and we had multiple two-hour lectures per day. Professors read their powerpoints verbatim and encouraged everyone to have the slides open on their computers to take notes. Lectures were even broadcast online so that one didn’t have to be physically present to learn, so only half the class was in the classroom. Due to the sheer volume of science/medical information being covered, there was basically no time for discussion in class. Even the 60 year olds were checkin’ the Facebooks and reading celebrity gossip. Anyone who didn’t succeed in that class failed because they were slackers, but the people getting the best grades were the ones who succeeded despite their slacking. The A students were the ones who showed up everyday and listened to the important nuggets of lecture between browsing cat videos. Even the most vocal participants in discussions were not necessarily good students. Distractions in class does not a failure make. Having a good information filter and good study habits negates the occasional space out in class.
    Were we all disruptive? No, everyone was doing their own thing quietly. Were we being kind of rude? Yes, but it was all of us, even the old guard, so don’t pull the Millennial bullshit.

    Nov 15, 2013 at 5:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #70.1   Ash

      Yeah, distracting yourself during class transcends generations. The only thing that stopped older generations from browsing the internet during class was not having the option.

      I’m only in my 20s, but when I was in middle school I would sometimes hide a book under my desk for pleasure reading during a boring class. I passed many hours of 8th grade French that way. (An entire period on why ‘le’ and ‘la’ are separate words? Book time.) No internet access is not an obstacle for the determined slacker.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #70.2   Katimomkat

      Yes, back in the dark days before laptops—hell even personal computers—we used to have to amuse ourselves by passing notes in class and hoping the teachers’s didn’t catch us. But then, that was back in Jr. High. In college I paid attention, took copious notes, and participated in class discussions. And on the rare occasion I didn’t apply myself enough, I didn’t whine about my poor grades when I knew they were what I deserved, unlike today’s students, who think that they are special and are entitled everything they want because that’s what their mommies and daddies taught them. Their parents even confront their elementary and secondary teachers when their grades aren’t as high as they think their special snowflake deserves (even though their kid doesn’t pay attention in class or turn in their homework, and has low test scores.) As a former middle school teacher, I know of where I speak.

      I just don’t understand why anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars to go to college if they aren’t going to apply themselves. What a waste of a valuable opportunity.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #71   SS

    The purpose of college is not only to teach you the specific course topic, but to also teach you life skills. Major pieces of life skills that are being more and more neglected are ‘Respect for the people around you (whether coworkers or classmates)’ and ‘Paying attention to the person in front of you’. This professor was attempting to teach you how to behave properly in a civilized society but is fighting the growing attitude of ‘my amusement is more important than anything else around me’

    Nov 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #71.1   Haribo Lector

      Were I in my late-teens or early-20s I wouldn’t have much respect for the older generation either, given the appalling and borderline-malicious destruction that baby boomers have wrought on the younger generation’s future.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #72   Haribo Lector

    Seems to me that the number of baby boomers in here ragging on young people is in pretty poor taste, given what you’ve done to future generations.

    Nov 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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    Nov 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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  • #75   The Elf

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    Nov 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #76   Victoria bang

    There are many good comments on this thread and I’ll try not to repeat too many of them.

    Here are a few a thoughts to ponder:

    How do you know a teacher/professor/speaker is not engaging, if you never shut up, turn off the Facebook, and actually listen?

    Many people have told me I’m a fascinating tutor and they love all the different real-world applications I can bring to an apparently abstract problem. Others have complained bitterly that I am a horrible teacher and a horrible speaker, sometimes to the extent that they have gone to the head of department and tried to have me fired.
    The difference? The ones who like what I’m trying to do let me get to the end of a sentence and sometimes even a paragraph before they jump elsewhere, interrupt, argue,m and go back to playing games.. Duh.

    How do you know a subject is interesting or not, if you never even give it a chance by reading the material and discussing it with other people to see why anyone would bother? If you do not like the material — and I’ve been in many classes where the reading was just plain awful — maybe you can strike up a good debate on why you think so and why others might think it has some value.
    But if you dismiss it out of hand after less than an hour, how will you ever know?

    I do try to treat people like adults. My reward? A few people act like adults. Many others act like prisoners or drunken sailors out on a spree.
    It’s sad really to see how many so-called students are so used to being controlled by threats and manipulation and candy bar rewards that they immediately react to being off the leash by trashing everything and everyone in sight.

    My European exchange students have always been utterly shocked by the threat and manipulation and candy bar approach of North American high schools. They all say that after the age of twelve — yes twelve — they either do their homework on their own or take the consequences, including failure and the possibility of losing their place in the college-bound program. They do their own homework; it’s just what you do as an intelligent person over the age of twelve.
    This threat and punish and bribe crap is spreading up through college and university and it is a shame.

    In one college I got excellent reviews as a top instructor in one semester and terrible reviews as the most awful teacher ever the next semester, in the same course. The difference? In the first semester there were a few serious students in the class, returning to school after a few years in the work force, and they took a pro-active approach to their own learning, asked questions, and got involved. We were able to have genuine class discussions in which I was able to answer their questions and help them get over difficulties. It was fun and interesting. But in the second semester there was a group of friends suffering from way too much entitlement, and every attempt at class discussion turned into a bitch session about how I wasn’t doing exactly what they wanted.

    Another time I was teaching “developmental” math. “Developmental” by the way is pronounced “very low remedial”. These were students who had been pushed through high school and had arrived at junior college with less than Grade 9 level in math. I worked very hard and tried to offer room for questions and discussion, to little avail. At the end of the semester came the student questionnaire. A couple of students in particular gave very interesting answers. I was the worst teacher they had ever had. Their high school teacher had been amazing and they had learned so much from her. Uhhhh- if they learned so much from her, why were they in that “developmental” class again?? My interpretation of the replies were that the high school teacher had babied them and petted their self-esteem, but had not taught any actual high school material. I got stuck as the horrible bitch because I was the one who had to do those silly adult real-world things like make sure they knew enough to pass a basic exam and could become employable.

    Facebook per se is not the problem. Laziness, rudeness, ignorance, and stupidity are the problems, and those know no generational boundaries. A generation ago I had a so-called student who spent the class looking at Mad Magazine. He failed. So did the guy who came to class every day, signed in, and then went “to the bathroom” for the rest of the class. So did the ones who copied each other’s work and didn’t even have the sense to copy passing students. I still wonder how these people think we are too dumb to notice, or have they been convinced by non-functional schools that teachers don’t care either?

    You want to be an adult, you want to make your own choices, you want to decide what you learn and how and when, you want to decide your own learning style — but it is the teacher’s responsibility to be flexible, to learn to reach all of these supposed (scientifically non-valid) learning styles and do everything your way. How is that not (at best) entitlement, and to be more honest being a total spoiled brat? The real world of adults does not adapt itself around your personal preferences.
    I don’t get to choose what the college rules are or what classes I get to teach or who is in those classes or what the college curriculum is or what the schedule is; I teach the standard curriculum from the standard text on the standard schedule to whatever students are assigned, and make sure my students can pass the standard tests. That’s my job and I do it, whether or not I agree with every single thing on that list.

    In other words’ make a decision: Decide to be an adult, to try to fit into the work/classroom requirements, to get outside of your comfort zone and leave your little playground for a while and try something different. If you do that consistently, you will fond more and more people treat you as a responsible adult.
    Or conversely, decide you are still a helpless child and need the teacher to do all the hard work for you. In that case you can be expected to be treated as a child, to be pushed and prodded and micromanaged at every turn. And yes, if you take on the child position, it is indeed the teacher’s place to correct your manners, your speech, and everything else.

    You say that is your family’s place? Fine, go back to home-schooling where you belong. The college could use your place for someone who wants to learn what someone outside your family can offer to teach.

    I am constantly amazed by people who have a perfect crystal ball and can predict the future exactly. Wow, as you entered college at the age of eighteen, you knew exactly what your future career will be, you know already everything you will need to know for your entire lifetime, for at least the next fifty years. You know everything that will be invented in that time, you know what jobs will exist and how technology will change those jobs. You know how society works from top to bottom. You know every subject of conversation you will even need. Fascinating. Please let the rest of us in on your amazing secret.

    The rest of us have to muddle along in an ever-changing world. People who swore they would never ever ever use science and math find themselves working with ever-more sophisticated computer systems and having to understand them. Engineers who scorned having to learn to write because “that’s the secretary’s job” find themselves in a new world where everyone does their own typing on computers and the secretarial pool has pretty much disappeared. Teachers who, when asked what they taught, used to stick their noses in the air and say “I teach children” find themselves having to explain some fairly advanced concepts in statistics or how to write a research essay. Women who trained as secretaries, thinking they had a lifetime career, find themselves having to move into other parts of business. Specialists who learned typesetting are totally out of work unless they changed over from lead type to computer screens. Nurses who thought they would be holding hands at people’s bedsides find themselves managing complex drug treatment regimens.
    Ah, but you are so much smarter than all these people — you know exactly what you must learn and you aren’t going to waste one brain cell on anything else, ever. Good luck with that!

    Nov 25, 2013 at 2:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #76.1   kermit

      No offence, but if this is how you speak in real life to your class, I can’t blame anybody for wanting to get you fired from teaching.

      Students don’t pay a shitload in tuition to hear a rambling professor read off Power Points they probably got from the publisher or opine pointlessly like you just did.

      Nov 25, 2013 at 7:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #76.2   Victoria

      Read Powerpoints? Where? I don’t see any, where do you? You are setting up what is called a “straw man” argument: set up a false statement, something I didn’t do, and then knock it down. Apparently you need a few lessons in basic logic.

      My little darlings were complaining because I did *not* do things in Poweroint. I make a statement and back it up from experience, reading, and/or proven scientific fact. You might try learning to do the same. That would be called getting a real education.

      Opine pointlessly? Buddy, that wasn’t pointless. Not that you can see the point, but that’s your problem. BTW, “opine” is not a real word; it’s what’s called a back-formation. You could go to school and learn something about English too.

      N o, I don’t talk to my classes like that. I talk like that to somebody with a chip on her shoulder the size of a house, a person who is not only wasting her own education but is making it very difficult for her instructors and for anyone else in the class to do what they came there for.
      If you can’t tell the difference, you should go take a class in critical thinking.

      Dec 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #77   WGS

    Some day, likely soon, these little darlings will graduate and join the working world where bosses are boring, people are expected to show up at work with their shit together, and Facebook browsing during the work day is discouraged/forbidden.

    What’s wrong with these expectations being put on them before getting in the real world and discovering that future employers will have the same expectations?

    Nov 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #78   Cooper

    I understand both sides. Yeah, I can understand teachers being frustrated with ‘goofing off,’ but at the same time, I often think teachers forget what being a student is like.

    I usually sketch during class, and I’m always on my computer, but I always do well, and I’m usually paying attention. (They know it too. I’m very outspoken and opinionated.)

    So I guess there’s nothing for me to say here except: Not all millennials are like that*

    * I may not even count as a millennial. I often also get called Gen X.**
    ** I’m 19.

    Dec 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #79   notPassiveA

    I’m another one who at this point can say I do honestly hate millennials, even though I am one, technically (’83). I have always gotten along better with people slightly older, mostly I think because there is not that lacking empathy thing. Millennials are like yuppified cardboard cutouts of real people.

    Dec 7, 2013 at 12:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #80   Haribo Lector

    Team Student on this one; and I’m not even a millenial! This professor, like many professors, doesn’t understand his role. Professors don’t teach, and classes are of very little use. This isn’t high school; at undergraduate level the vast majority of learning is done via self-directed study. Lectures and such actually get in the way of the business of learning. A professor’s job is to provide an outline of the subject to give the student an idea of what reading they should be doing; but it’s the self-directed reading that is where the learning takes place. I tend to find that professors in the sciences understand this, because most of their time is taken up with genuine research and they view teaching classes as something that gets in the way of that. Whereas arts and humanities professors tend to think that the teaching itself is the most important part of their job. Maybe this professor would have been happier as a high school teacher instead.

    Dec 15, 2013 at 12:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #81   v

    You can slack off in class when you are paying the tuition fees. Otherwise, just I am on team professor. Show a little respect for the teacher and your parents.

    Dec 18, 2013 at 11:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

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