Professors work hard during midterms season

By Tommy Block, Columnist

We students put our noses to the grindstone during midterms season, so much so that we may forget that professors work just as hard. Scratch that — harder.

You might not get along with some of them, but as for their qualifications, I trust the judgment of the University, which is a reputable one. You should trust them, too; it should be easy for us to do so. At the time it hired these professors, the University saw only a resume. After they’ve completed countless hours of lecturing and office hours, we’re able to see their passion and commitment to higher learning.

My request: please stay respectful of your professors, especially before and after midterms. What may sound in your head like a polite suggestion for how to rework the curriculum may be interpreted by your professor as a shot at their merit.

Some of your professors may even invite feedback. Talking back to them, however, is not the same thing as giving feedback. It’s just uncalled for.

I don’t want to jump the gun here and call anyone rude. It’s not hostility that bubbles up in prickly situations like these; it’s frustration. I mean it when I say it hurts to take a beating on a midterm, and it feels plain awful. Every single time. For every hour you spend studying late into the night, you can spend two more wondering what went wrong.

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Or maybe you think that you did nothing wrong. Maybe you lost a couple points on your test or paper because of a mistake. That’ll happen. The people who grade your work aren’t supercomputers. Maybe the issue you have with your grade is deeper and reflects a larger concern about how tests are written, or even how the class itself is organized. That’ll happen as well. Different brains work in different ways.

Just remember: A professor is a professional teacher. You, as the student, are a professional learner. As with any professional relationship, there’s an etiquette for all of us to follow. It’s our responsibility to stay patient and keep our emotions from getting the better of us. Both of these roles call for composure, diplomacy and, dare I say it, a certain empathy for the other perspective.

Having a healthier relationship with our teachers is better for us as well as for them. They care about what they do and what we have to say about it. The wording and conduct we use to express our concerns, however, is up to us.

Tommy is a sophomore in Engineering.

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