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One Down, One To Go

One of my classes ended last night. It may be premature of me to write about this before final grades are submitted, but I suspect with the professor’s busy life he’s not spending much time on-line searching for blogs by his students. So here goes…my rant for the day.

I liked this class. I really did. I liked the fact the the professor was passionate about the material (a very dry/unhumorous material that he managed to care so much about). He’s one of the few professsors I’ve ever had who actually made it seem as though his goal wasn’t just to hear himself speak – but to actually pass on his impressive knowledge to other people.

However (you knew there would be a however), after arriving 10 minutes late to the first class, the professor said that he won’t ever get to class until 5-10 minutes after it’s scheduled to begin because he works on “Harvard time” and that nobody at Harvard is ever punctual.

Now, I’ve always been a punctual guy. It’s a trait I got from my anally-retentive parents (we could never be fashionable people because it’s impossible for us to show up fashionably late). Apparently, most of my classmates fall into the same category because class is supposed to start at 5:30 and I’d say 98% of the students are sitting there waiting. The professor typically shows up at 5:45.

I’ve also taken 11 classes at Harvard so far and not one other professor has shown up late like this…not even for one class. So, his generalization of “Harvard time” apparently only covers himself – because I’ve not viewed it in any other environment.

But what REALLY gets to me is that he has no issues keeping class late. Because he’s still trying to cram in 2 hours worth of teaching into an hour and 45 minutes, he always has kept us until the very last second possible (when another class is trying to come in). It becomes a huge distraction as the entire class is looking at the clock, putting on their coats and unzipping book bags. An even bigger distraction is the students in the next class constantly opening the door to see if the room is available yet (our class ends at 7:30, the next class starts at 7:35).

And none of these things are noticed by the professor who just keeps going on and on. Last night….our last class…he kept us there until nearly 7:40.

Perhaps it’s just my sinus congestion crankiness – but it really pisses me off. I mean, all of the students can manage to arrive on time – why can’t he? And many students have class after his and have to run across campus to get there. This just makes them late. And, I recall when I lived in Salem that if I didn’t leave class right on time I’d miss the 8:00 train and get stuck at North Station for nearly two hours until the next train. After 10+ hours of work and classes, the last thing anybody wants is to have to stay any later than necessary.

OK – I feel better now. I just needed to let that out. Thank you for indulging me.


  1. Comment by karyn on May 16, 2006 11:36 am

    Yup, it’s inconsiderate. Same as secondary school though; the one with the chalk can show up whenever. I suppose you could draft a complaint to the administration and see where it gets you…and hope it doesn’t get you in trouble. I had a teacher in 9th, 10th & 12th grade who was perpetually late for class and I mean EVERY DAY. Who in their right mind would leave a room full of adolescent head cases alone for 20 minutes??? One day we moved all the furniture around. Another day we moved it out of the room and into another room. One day we all just left. The dean was flabbergasted at our temerity and disgusted with the teacher but things never changed. *shrug* I think the whole class should have got up and left your professor in the dust when he runs over like that to compensate for his own tardiness. People’ve got lives; take a big subversive step and overthrow his Harvard Timing Ass.

    Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  2. Comment by Will on May 16, 2006 12:04 pm

    Consider yourself indulged.

    Seems to me like either a psychological problem or a case of raging arrogance. The psychological problem could be some kind of fear of “performing,” or a major lack of personal discipline. The arrogance would be all too common of some in this field: a kind of “I’m the tenured prof and you’re just the dumb kids and you can bloody well wait for me” syndrome.

    On the other hand, you were well enough to go to class, and that’s great.

  3. Comment by Sean on May 16, 2006 12:25 pm

    I don’t think you’re being cranky at all. I agree with Will, your professor is either perenially tardy due to some psychological issue or he’s an arrogant ass. Especially if he’s teaching a business course. Brilliant or not, he should lead by example. You’re not going to go far in the business world by showing up late for meetings or running into someone else’s scheduled conference time. Plus, he’s there for you, not the other way around. Without a paying student body, he wouldn’t have a job. If any of my professors acted that way, I’d be pissed, too.

  4. Comment by Dana on May 16, 2006 3:03 pm

    I think when someone does not start or end on time it is disrespectful of those your keeping. When they come in late I feel they are saying my time is more valuable then your time. When they keep talking after their allotted time I feel that it says that you have nothing more important then this. It is one of the things I rave about as well, so it is good to see someone else on the bandwagon with me on this issue. It can also set off a chain reaction. If your late getting home, then the baby sitter is late leaving, then the sitter is late getting home to feed her kids or whatever. It definitely disregards everyone elses life.

  5. Comment by Brad on May 17, 2006 10:41 am

    The professor is a jerk! At least if he arrives late (and holds people over), he should give you the option of leaving at the appropriate time so that, as dana say, a chain reaction doesn’t start. Being one of those people who try to run rehearsals and be considerate of other people’s time, this kind of thing drives me insane.

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