Dear bright, young pupils of UW-Madison’s student body,
I have a PhD and enjoy teaching all you lovely children. However, even though you attend a highly prestigious school with a 43,000-student population and lectures of 500 people, don’t you think for one second you are sneaky. You aren’t fooling anyone.
There is this common misconception that we professors are too old or oblivious to see you all texting away in lecture. I might have glasses and remember where I was when Kennedy was shot, but I notice, my little friends—oh, I notice. When you slightly lower your head and keep your hands under your desk, do you honestly think that is sneaky? Let me tell you, it’s not. I would think that since you all got into UW-Madison, you would be a little smarter in your “secret” texting tactics. Act like you’re tying your shoe and text on the ground, text without looking at the screen… Just be a professional about it, okay?
I also notice when you don’t attend lecture. You are probably thinking, “there are 500 people in my lecture, the professor won’t know if I’m not there.” Oh, how you thought wrong. You know, when a lecture hall is completely filled the first day of class and quickly dwindles throughout the semester, I take notice. I take pride in my estimation skills, and I estimate that 50% of the lecture hall is empty for a variety of reasons. I predict it’s because it’s too cold to walk or $2 Long Islands kicked your ass the night before.
For those of you who brave the subzero winter’s of Wisconsin and actually come to class, thank you. However, those of you who come to class and just sleep, what is your thought process exactly? You might as well just stayed in your warm bed and slept instead of sleeping in a small wooden seat. That just sees extremely uncomfortable.
Lastly, I have taken a lot of time pondering the strange addiction to Facebook that all of you possess. Frankly, I just don’t get it, but that is a whole other can of worms. What I want to talk about is your constant scrolling of Facebook during lecture. If I even allow you to use a laptop, I can tell when you are stuck in the cyber world. When you constantly giggle to yourself, point at your screen, and talk to your friends, I know you are discussing the picture of you and your friends from the pregame for the Badger football game last Saturday and not discussing the lecture notes. I may not be able to see your computer screen, but you aren’t tricking anyone.
Students, you think you are so sneaky, and it makes me laugh because you really aren’t. But I do want to mention the students who don’t do any of the things I listed and are active learners in class. I love you all. I couldn’t ask for better students. I love that you are just excited to learn, as I am to teach. Props to all you extraordinary students, and smh (I hear it means ‘shaking my head,’ I’m just trying to be hip with all you 21st century children) to all the others.
P.S See you on Thursday at 9:55am!