Tuesday, February 21, 2006

All hail the geniuses!

This is an interesting story from today's New York Times about professors and e-mail.

(Disclaimer: this blog post applies to professors in general, not any particular faculty member at this fine institution. All professors here are brilliant legal scholars and I'm lucky to get to be in their presence on a daily basis).

Apparently - and this will shock you - most professors don't like when students e-mail them. They particularly dislike it if the students dare to criticize or complain! (I don't blame them for being annoyed when students e-mail to ask if they should buy a binder or because they missed class because they were hungover. Obviously students like that need a lesson in how to function in the real world).

But the gist of the e-mail is disturbing. I mean God forbid professors should interact with students and address students' concerns and woe to the student who dares not to defer to the mighty professor, simply because the professor is a professor. It's especially hard to understand why they hate e-mail when they are tenured profs who walk out of class immediately after saying the last word without giving students time to get to the front of the room and ask questions and then never spend any time in their office because their office is cluttered with books and they have tenure anyway so they're not accountable to anyone for anything...


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with the professors cited in the article who get upset when they get bombarded with e-mails. We all hear the professors tell us at the beginning of the semester that if one of us has a question, chances are that 40% of the class has a similar question. So why not raise your hand?

I don't really understand the need to meet a professor 1-on-1 during office hours or after class. Granted that time is often limited and professors want to cover a certain amount of material, but I've rarely encountered a professor who discouraged questions during class. If anything, not enough questions are asked during class.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Tortious Inference said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Tortious Inference said...

Then let's get rid of the office hours. I thought that office hours encompassed students having the ability to go and ask questions that they may feel would waste class time or are extremely uncomfortable asking during class. I have encountered too many students at MiA that aren't real understanding if a student asks a question during class time that they or a few others deem to be a waste of time. Also what if you do raise your hand and the professor answers the question to that particular professor's liking however you are still left in the dark. That one-on-one meeting time can help the professor access how much that particular student may need in the was of a clearer explanation to help get them back on track.
I understand the bombardment of emails however if you don't want people bothering you there are easy enough ways in which a prof can get this message across to students. Some profs at MiA have mastered these techniques greatly.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One way is to never respond to student emails. Some definitely do that.


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