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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Students: Respect your professors

Just a friendly reminder as we start the new semester and the next calendar year: Respect your teachers.

Maybe it’s because I’m a senior who’s spent too much time in too many whitewashed classrooms over the last four years, slumming it with kids who could not care less about what’s on the chalkboard because they’re staring at the clock. Or maybe I have prematurely hit that point in life where I transition into a crusty, squinty old curmudgeon, all too eager to point out just what’s wrong with the young generation. Either way, in the last semester or two I’ve noticed my classmates acting increasingly disrespectful toward my professors—the intellectual men and women who have the floor for either 50, 75 or even 150 minutes a few times a week. First-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors alike are treating teachers like televisions, iPod speakers or meaningless background noise by packing their bags up early or even talking straight through entire classes.

I was in a Knott Hall classroom recently for a Thursday morning science class (the kind they call “science for English majors,” although technically my degree is history) and our soft-spoken professor announced we would no longer be taking a test that day—it was pushed back. My roommate and I breathed a sigh of relief, but suddenly several students stood up, giggled, slung their bags over their shoulders and walked out, 15 minutes into the period. I was stunned, and my teacher took note of it as well.

Even last week—syllabus week, when half of the classes are let out early anyway—my classmates couldn’t help but loudly scrape their notebooks off their desks and into backpacks while my teachers tried to make final announcements.

This isn’t anything new, of course. In high school, this kind of thing would happen every day, but we’re not in high school anymore. We choose to go to this school and receive a higher education, and that is only accomplished by going to—and politely sitting through—each class. If we graduate knowing nothing more than how to sneak out of a classroom undetected, what have we really been doing here all these years?

“The ultimate aim of attendance at Loyola is education,” stressed SGA Director of Academic Affairs and sophomore Ryan Blake when asked to comment. “In the midst of the hectic activities day to day, it is important to remember that academics should come first and foremost.”

Maybe it’s old fashioned, but I believe that we should pay more attention (or at least the same amount of attention, anyway) to our teachers than we do the sticky cans of Natty Light on weekend trips to Craig’s. Even if what you’re learning interests you very little, or you are only suffering through a four-year school to get a diploma, showing a minimal amount of enthusiasm can create a better work environment in class—and maybe even boost your grade at the end of the semester. At the very least, do nothing: if you’re sleeping with your eyes open in the back of Maryland Hall 342, you should stay slumped in your seat for the full period and save your private conversations until you are dismissed and head to Starbucks.

This is not to say that the disrespectfulness of Loyola students is epidemic, but it’s certainly growing more prominent. Loyola University, in addition, is not in any dire state because of these small instances of disrespect. However, that does not mean they don’t matter. Therefore, all I propose during the new year is that we reconsider our intense “need” to rush out of class and back to the dining hall or the warm beds calling our names.

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Students: Respect your professors