At risk of sounding negative, I’ve chosen to review two policies I have serious issues with. Please understand, I do, in fact, think it is important to get a liberal arts education and to attend classes. But I think the rules regarding both are too strict and must be modified. Read on to find out why!
I’m a senior. I mapped out my four years back in freshman year so that I could take a semester off and accomplish everything I needed to in the other seven. Scheduling classes for my major was a breeze. What wasn’t? Trying to take general education requirements!
First of all, I hate biology. It’s the bane of my existance, so I was never exactly eager to take a collegiate bio class. Since I’ve always been busy, I have been looking for plain bio, without lab, for the last three years. There’s only been two options. One, human ecology, which is offered only at 8 am (no thank you!) and the second, human evolution. Unfortunately for me, I already took that in high school. And boy, once was enough!
So, lucky me, I’m stuck with some 300 level Marine Ecosystems Bio lab for 6 hours / week my final semester senior year!
Let it be known professor, I dislike bio and sure don’t need to know about marine ecosystems where I’m headed! I want to apologize beforehand for the six hours of daydreaming I’ll partake in during your class.
Perhaps, the folks who came up with this whole Gen Ed thing will take sympathy on me and change their ways. My two cents for them is:
-offer a wider selection of gen ed classes every semester, especially biological sciences without labs!
-adopt a lenient policy, wherby students can skip one or two Gen Ed requirements of their choice.
Factor everything else out, and the Rollins Student pays approximately $150 per class. It’s all prepaid before the semester with the lofty Rollins tuition bill, so classes go on whether or not you’re in them.
So why should our teachers enforce attendance policies?
The average college student balances work, school, and social activities. We live in mold-infested dorms with poorly circulated air. Our diets consist of Dominoes and Natty Light. We cram late hours in Olin after serving stuck-up Winter Parkies at a job that pays for the next tuition bill. Face it, many of us average less than 6 hours of sleep a night and fail to be in peak educational conditional.
Sometimes the ideal use of class time is a quick hour of shut eye or a serious internship, not a lecture. And if the past four years has shown me anything, it’s that one solid night in the library with my Econ book can teach me more than seven hours spent pretending to listen in a classroom.
The real key to getting classroom attendance up is an enthusatic teacher. My Investments teacher, Dr. Lewin, doesn’t have an attendance policy, but the classroom is always full. Any teacher who feels shafted by their “slacker students” should take a page from Dr. Lewin. Love your subject, share that love with us, and we’ll attend.