Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning I get up at 9:20am in order to eat my bowl of Total and raisins, drink a cup of tea and get dressed so that I can be sitting in my seat with five minutes to spare before my 10:20 a.m. class. Others around me must have similar routines, as they are also situated in their appropriate desks with enough time to send that final text or pull out their notebooks before the teacher walks in and marks down who is present in her little green note pad.
There is one girl in this class (for confidentiality purposes we will call her Patty) who has a similar routine, except hers must be set back several minutes because, more often than not, she waltzes into class at least ten minutes late. Patty whips the door open, drags her feet across the room and slams down into her seat as if she’s rolling in right on schedule. Students get disrupted, she misses ten minutes of class and I get furious.
Part of what is so vexing to me is the frequency with which this happens. It’s not just Patty that does this, but also Teddy and Shane from my Tuesday/Thursday class and Cynthia from the class right after that.
These are the same people who, along with several others, show up but haven’t prepared anything for that class; they haven’t done any of the readings, haven’t bothered looking at the course syllabus and haven’t even brought a pen half the time. Yes, you heard me right: there are college students here who don’t even bring a writing utensil to class.
There are two yahoos that sit next to one another directly in front of me in another one of my classes and fool around on their laptops for the entire 90 minutes. First of all, they Facebook chat each other the entire time. Each other. Are you kidding me?
One kid plays Minecraft at the same time while the other students splits his time buying junk on Amazon.com or mindlessly wasting time on StumbleUpon. And then, of course, when the teacher walks around during his lecture, these students know exactly how to minimize all the windows and pull up the “notes” they’ve been taking the entire class.
Recently I overheard a group of three students spend at least 15 minutes talking about their individual methods for skipping classes.
“I always make sure I go to my Monday and Tuesday classes so that I can always skip a class Thursday or Friday.”
“No no, that’s dumb. Just figure out which classes don’t take attendance and just make sure you show up for the important classes, like before tests and when there is review stuff.
The third student even had the nerve to say, “I haven’t been to one class in over two weeks.”
I am speechless. I have no words (except that I’m writing an article right now, so my saying that I have no words is merely a form of figurative language used to get a point across). Part of the limitless frustration here is that I thought I had seen the last of this kind of behavior when I graduated high school three years ago.
I had hoped that I would be moving on to a place where people legitimately wanted to improve themselves, expand their knowledge and learn things like academic discipline and persistence. Instead, however, I go to classes Friday morning where only a fraction of the number of students in that class show up because Thursdays are “College Night” at the bar.
Students have got this whole “skipping classes” thing down to a science. People dedicate so much time learning to get out of showing up or putting in any effort that there is no time leftover to read the chapter assigned for class the next day or start working on a paper due at the end of the week.
I pity those who pay the bills for attending McDaniel College. Not only are these people paying hefty sums of money for tuition, but half of what that money is going to is thrown away by the students who don’t deem classes necessary or worthwhile.
To some students this campus is just a big hotel, seeing as all they do is sleep, eat and partake in recreational activities. We shouldn’t have to force people with grade penalizations to do the assignments and show up to class and pay attention; we, as responsible adults, should just inherently know to do these things so that we can move on to be informed citizens with the knowledge and ability to survive as humans.
Go to class, do your work and, for the love of God, pay attention. You might learn something.