With all the money I put into this school – be it in tuition, books, readers (the book’s bastard cousin), parking permits, parking tickets or bad coffee – you would think the least thing the University could do in return is hire teachers who have their shit together. Apparently my expectations of the UC system are a smidge high.
This being my fourth year here at this sunny haven we call school, I have grown accustomed to many of the “back to school” rituals held by the majority of the staff. Things like handing out a syllabus on the first day of class so students know what the hell is expected of them, having the reader already available at the copy shop so we can actually do the homework coldheartedly assigned to us on the first day, or even arriving to class on time like the rest of us. All of my professors this quarter failed to conduct one, if not all, of these seemingly basic rituals.
Now I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for my higher education, the fact that I can go to class with sand and salt water matted in my hair without people thinking I’m homeless, or even my parents’ middle-class income that sustains me, but Jesus H. Christ – it can’t be that hard to photocopy a syllabus. I was under the impression that making a class schedule was one of the prerequisites of teaching a class.
One of my professors actually added an extra step to the process by passing out a “preliminary” syllabus with the promise that the final version would be ready by Thursday. I’m a busy person. I don’t want to peer review your rough draft before you turn in the final version, just give me the damn syllabus.
Another one of my professors arrived to class 20 minutes late both days it was held this week. Granted, the class is in the far east corner of campus, is surrounded by construction and doesn’t even have a sidewalk that leads to the building, but even I figured out how to get there on the first day of class. Twenty minutes late, two days in a row? Come on.
I remember the good ol’ days of lower-division classes when the teachers knew where they were teaching ahead of time, brought enough syllabuses for everyone in the class and even some extra for those poor fools trying to crash, and then they would even spend an entire lecture period going over the syllabus for those of us who mysteriously forgot how to read over the summer. Now, all of a sudden, I’m expected to just guess when the midterm will be given, make up a hundred pages of homework because the reader was printed a week late, and sit around with my thumb up my ass for 20 minutes because the professor strolls into class whenever he damn well feels like it.
The point of all this angry ranting, I suppose, is to let professors, and even TAs for that matter, know that even though we’re just lowly undergrads, we’re people too. People who hold a certain level of respect for our own time and energy, even if you don’t. Just because we’re not working on some fancy-pants state-funded research project doesn’t mean we’re not busy with our own classes, jobs, assignments and social lives. I still consider my time valuable and expect that professors could at least be prepared to teach by the time class starts, not a full week after the fact.
This is going to affect Daily Nexus News Editor Kristina Ackermann’s participation grade, isn’t it?