Monday, June 4, 2012

REASON 4: Lecture Classes

Don't forget your binoculars.

Imagine heading to your Introduction to Philosophy class on a cold winter morning.  You are running late because you slept past your alarm clock.  Because you had to work late last night, you only slept for three hours.  To say the least, class is the last place you want to be right now.  But if you don't go, you might miss out on information that will be on the next test.

Even though you paid a ridiculous amount of money for a campus parking pass, all of the parking spots on campus are filled this morning.  You circle the parking lot four times before giving up and finding a street across from the campus to park at.  You notice a sign, informing you that you can park your car at the street for two hours before you get ticketed.

By your calculations, you will be able to make it back to your car two minutes before the time limit expires if you run fast enough.  Since you are not training for the Olympics, you briefly wonder if you will be able to run fast enough to get back to your car in time.  But your professor frowns on tardiness, and you can't waste anymore time negotiating parking.  You decide to take the gamble and park several blocks away from the campus.

Just as your hair is starting to freeze into icicles, you enter the liberal arts building.  According to the clock on the wall, it is 7:59.  Good, you have 1 more minute before you are late.  You run up the stairs of the liberal arts building and sprint to the auditorium where your lecture class will be held.

When you open the doors, you step into a mini-colosseum, filled with slumping, apathetic college students.  They also would prefer to be somewhere else.  

Because you arrived at the last minute, you are only able to find one empty seat.  It is in very last row, right in the middle.  You push and squeeze past your fellow classmates to get to your seat.

As soon as you boot up your laptop to take notes, you stare forward at a miniature dot who appears to be fidgeting with a projector.  That dot is your professor.  Sounds that you can barely hear emit from his mouth.  Today's lecture has begun.

For the next hour and a half, your professor reads from a PowerPoint presentation that he created when he began teaching this class seven years ago.  You soon realize that today's lecture is a summary of the textbook readings you were assigned last week.  

The student next to you is finishing her breakfast, a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin.  Your empty stomach starts to rumble.  The student infront of you has his head down and is taking a nap.  While sleep is tempting, you resolve to be better than that.  But after ten minutes of lecture, you need a break from your professor's dull, uninspired voice.  So you open your internet browser on your laptop and play solitaire for the rest of the lecture.

The sound of backpacks unzipping and notebooks closing lets you know that class will be over in five minutes.  Remembering your car, you pack your bags and poise yourself to push past your classmates and dash to your car.  

You feel your lungs burning as you run to the street where you parked your car.  You think about what a complete waste of time this entire morning was and how you could have just stayed home and read the textbook to obtain the same information that was covered in today's lecture.

When you get to your car, you realize that you made it back thirty seconds before your time expired.  It's your lucky day.  You pant loudly in exhaustion as you unlock your car door.  

As you drive home, you wonder why you even bother to show up to your philosophy class.  The professor wouldn't even notice if you ditched the classes and only showed up for exams.   You don't even know or talk to the other students in your class and there's no camaraderie.  

At the beginning of the semester, you were very interested in philosophy.  Now you only care about the information that will be on your final exam.  Suddenly you realize that all of your freshman and sophomore classes are a waste of money.  You spend thousands of dollars to sit elbow-to-elbow with hundreds of other students in an impersonal "learning" environment.  You can tell from the apathy of your professors that they enjoy teaching as much as you enjoy being lectured at for hours on end.

As you make a left-hand turn into the parking lot of your apartment complex, you come to the realization that college lecture classes are like graveyards where intellectual curiosity goes to die (See Reason 1).

1 comment:

  1. that is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo true