Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A sobering argument for Friday classes

The trend now is to hold college classes Mon-Wed and Tue-Thur. No Fridays no' mo'.

And this has led to more Thursday night binge drinking by students, says this study, quoted today in USA Today.

Of course, the study doesn't take into account the profs who enjoy three-day weekends. And who may do a bit of Thursday night tippling themselves.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Ruboita from Tuleeduh said...

Tsk. You talk about Thursday night tippling professors as if such practice is a *bad* thing...

Cheers!

(mmwwaaahhh)

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i won't lie -- i totally schedule my classes to get out of friday classes, or at the very least have only late friday afternoon classes. thursday is the only night of the week i drink. call me old-fashioned, but i like to be awake during class. i don't binge drink, but i don't like to go out the night before i have anything early, even if i'm not drinking at all.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous ragman said...

Well, following that logic, we can further reduce drinking by scheduling more Saturday classes as well. The reality is that many students will schedule their classes for Tues/Thurs only, which negates the Friday morning class plan.

If you think a four day school week is going to affect the transition to full time work, you also need to consider mandatory 7-8 am classes as well. When I got out into the real world, I had more trouble with getting up to be at work by 7:30am than with working 5 days a week.

I find the four day school week to be more of a benefit than hindrance. Allows you more time for homework or a part-time job.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

Finding MWF classes gets harder and harder to do. I prefer MWF classes because they are shorter and don't tax my attention span as much as the TR or MW classes. The excuse given at my school was that fewer people attended class on fridays. All the better for me.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a silly debate. I went to SMU, graduated in 4 years with a 2.7 something GPA and rarely went to class on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays. To boot, I even managed to get myself into a top tier law school a year after graduating and passed the Bar on my first try. I wish everyone would stop being so hard on good old SMU. The place hasn't seemed to hold me back.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish everyone would stop being so hard on good old SMU. The place hasn't seemed to hold me back.

The story doesn't mention SMU; nor do any of the posters above. Glad you're not my lawyer, Slick.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Profs enjoy a 3-day weekend, so that they can grade one (the reality: two days) and still have one day off!

Besides, after you take attendance in a MWF class (50 min.), it doesn't leave much time for ANYTHING and student grades suffer. Why take attendance? If you don't, students don't come and their grades suffer.

Then the parents and admin are down on the profs.

I'm TELLING you, it's not easy being a college prof now-a-days.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious, who brags on a 2.7 GPA? Unless you majored in Physics, Chemistry,or a combination of two majors a 2.7 isn't all that impressive. At most universities, a 2.7 is something you would expect for some jock to have. You skipped classes frequently, so obviously you didn't take your education seriously, and you're proud of it. You're proud of the fact that your unmotivated behind managed to get into law school, with a subpar GPA, and an obvious lack of focus. In other words, you are the epitome of the kind of student PP had to deal with at The Ol' Hilltop.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Someone needs to get a life. Yes, I am proud of my 2.7 GPA. It means I did nothing, had the time of my life, and am doing fine now. Are you an adjunct with a worthless degree who thinks they are better than others because they regurgitate knowledge about something that is worthless in the real world?(sorry I might have spelled regurgitate wrong, I am just a dumb former frat guy)This blog is a guilty pleasure of mine because it is so funny to see how so many people get so pissed off about the rich kid world of SMU. If you don't like it, don't go to school there. I am an alum, trust me, there are better places to go to school. If you teach or work there, that is your choice. Deal with it. Get another job if it is so bad. I hope this pisses all of you off when I quote a tenured SMU prof. who on the first day of a class that I rarely attended and can't remember the name of said, "Those who can do. Those can't teach. Those who can't teach, teach theory."

11:22 PM  
Blogger David said...

lol. All this hate. Must be from those A students.

A students become professors. B students become middle management. C students - they own the companies and get elected president.

Personally, the only night I didnt go out was Monday.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, I'm an A student... and I can admit you're 100% correct.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha! At my college 2.7 is the AVERAGE graduating GPA. However, we're a top private liberal arts college known for grade deflation. Also, we graduate more students who eventually earn Phds than any other college or university in the U.S. I don't think SMU exactly compares to those credentials... so I wouldn't go about bragging about a 2.7. Chances are, Anon, the reason you were able to gain entrance into a top tier law school was through money and family connections... an SMU tradition in its ow right.

In my case (I'm a first year college student) I like having a minimal number of class hours on a Friday. I work a student job and as I mentioned earlier I'm at a very well respected college. As a frosh I probably have more homework than good ole SMU anon. has at law school. On average I have 6 hours of homework per night, much of which is in a foreign language at an advanced level . So when Friday rolls around I need time to recuperate. I don't drink on Friday nights; I go to services (I'm Jewish) and rest so that on Saturday and Sunday I can get my work done for Monday and Tuesday and maybe earn a few bucks in between so that when I actually do have some free time I can go out on the town with friends. I don't feel that I'm entitled to have Friday off every week, but it's certainly a blessing and it allows me to (at least partially) observe Shabbat.

At my school we rarely have A students, unless they're mildly autistic or completely anorexic. I'm a double major but my GPA is still head and shoulders above Anon.'s and most of my fellow students. So I'm in favor of Fridays off... but I don't think they're necessary at party schools like SMU.

--Freshwoman

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freshwoman,

SMU is, of course, not a top school but I wouldn't call it a party school by any means. I have two liberal arts majors (Psych and English -- some of the easiest majors in the university. For the record, I didn't do them because I'm dumb and they're easy, but because I would like to work with those subjects for the rest of my life.) -- I do on average about 4 hours of homework a night. We just generally know how to work hard and play hard at SMU. I have over a 3.0, work over 20 hours a week during the school year, and I go out on Thursday nights. Having a Friday off is nice, since I definitely don't have Saturdays or Sundays off.

We're not a party school. We're just smart enough to not waste the best years of our lives in books.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous lucille said...

Um, professors don't get to choose where we teach, mostly. Sadly. It's like the military: we have to go where the jobs are. That said, I often thank god that I do not teach at SMU, which sounds like a wasteland, but at a public institution where at least some kids believe in education. Anon 8, I bet you go to Reed.

I loathe Friday classes because the kids either don't come or come hungover, and you can't teach diddly in 50 minutes. Yet my department REQUIRES us to do a MWF quarter every year. I collect signatures at the year's beginning without saying why, then pass around a sign-in book for each class so each person's signature is underneath the previous one, and cross-check it with the original every so often. I tell them anyone with perfect or near-perfect attendance by the end gets the benefit of the doubt if their final grade is borderline. Sometimes I even say that random class days will count for extra credit to those who come. I figure, reward the dedicated ones and let the rest waste their education if they want to.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freshwoman,

If your school is so great and so much better than SMU, why don't you show a little pride and actually say where it is you go? I realize you are only a freshman in college, but I'll give you a little adult advice: You're unwillingness to give any details to your blanket statements about going to a better school that has more alums that get graduate degrees than any other school in the country makes you sound like you are full of it. I have a hunch, maybe it is something I learned at the law school my money and family connections purportedly got me into, that if you actually told me where it is you go to school and I looked into it, it would not have the highest percentage of students who get PHDs. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a hunch that I am not.

Also, if you are doing six hours of homework a night something isn't right. Maybe you are at a school that you are not intellectually fit to attend or maybe you are full of it about that too and you may have done six hours of homework one nigh but not ever night? Hmm. While I have my magical oracle of truth out, I think I am also going to guess that you make "like $250 a shift" where you wait tables too? Because I've never met a person in the service industry who makes less than $250 every shift. You would be the first waitress/bartender I ever met that states their best night ever as their normal nightly take. Finally, when you graduate from the greatest school ever and then go get that PHD and then end up as the worlds most important person, then you can disparage my alma mater. Until then, you are a college freshman who hasn't done much yet and has no right to disrespect the SMU alumni.

That is all. Have a nice day. Get back to studying.

Your pal,
2.7

8:44 PM  
Anonymous lucille said...

2.7,

When I said "Anon 8, I bet you go to Reed," I was addressing "Freshwoman" (I forgot to check her signature line). I'm a Ph.D. and I can tell you that there is at least one institution like she describes in the country; there may be others. And no, I don't teach at Reed.

SMU is an embarrassment to higher education, and your arrogance only makes that more obvious. In my earlier post I deleted a sentence or two about making sure my lawyers didn't get their bachelor's degrees there, because they seemed mean-spirited and personal. But what the hell, you earned it. Just keep blowing hot air: you're doing great PR for SMU. Freshwoman, hang in there. You probably won't make as much money as 2.7 but you might graduate with a mind and a soul.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious, Lucille, but why do you believe that SMU is an embarrassment to higher education?

Because three kids messed up this year and it cost them their lives?

Because the greek system is important?

Because of every other stereotype you hear about SMU that is not necessarily true?

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Ragman said...

"Also, if you are doing six hours of homework a night something isn't right. Maybe you are at a school that you are not intellectually fit to attend or maybe you are full of it about that too and you may have done six hours of homework one nigh but not ever night?"

Six hours of homework is too much? You wouldn't last a full-time semester in the sciences or engineering.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucille,

I'm the one that is arrogant, yet you are the one who has the audacity to call SMU an embarassment to higher education? Don't you think that is a little arrogant? Is your Ph.D. in hypocrisy? You should really apoligize to your fellow P.h.D's that teach at SMU and perhaps to those individuals who are studying to get their P.h.D's at SMU. While your at it, why don't you apologize to all of the fine doctors, engineers, etc., that graduated from SMU? I think it would be kind of arrogant of you not to. It is childish of you to brand everyone at SMU an idiot, just because you think I am one. We can debate my idiocy if you want, however, for being such a half wit, I feel I am doing an alright job standing up to you and your personal attacks on me and my alma mater. Now, I'm going to go get back to reading my comic books and coloring with the rest of the village idiots.

Have a great day.

2.7

9:10 AM  
Anonymous lucille said...

I stand corrected, or rather, need to refine a bit. If even one of those news stories Prof posts here are true, the administration is an embarrassment to higher education. If 2.7 is a representative example -- "apoligize" (misspelling), "half wit" (missing hyphen), "while your at it" (confusion of "you're" and "your") "fellow Ph.Ds 'that'" (the relative pronoun for people is "who"), if you want, however" (run-on)-- then that's embarrassing to SMU. Those are errors that should be gone by high school, and I'd fire any lawyer whose communications to me looked like that.

The faculty, as I said, have to go where they get a job, and I'm betting many aren't very impressed with their undergrads. Maybe the grad students are great and that makes up for it. And apologies to the fabulous undergrads who are stuck there with people like 2.7.

Over & out.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucille,

Most of us aren't 2.7s. Please don't judge us all on that. I would hate to think I'm working so hard to get an education from a place that is an embarrassment to higher education.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 2.7,
I'm 3.89 and will graduate in the Fall. The only difference between me and you is that I haven't had a job my entire life until this summer and my parents are paying my way through so I feel a certain guilt to be a slave to the grade. I never schedule Friday classes because I party hard Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays.
Pahlease GPA doesn't mean a thing (grammar nazi, pssst, grammar nazi... here's a teaser - grammer).
I love that SMU is in the spotlight but maybe that's because I'm entertained by everyone's "Knew it all along theory". Who likes to hear anything positive?
No point to this what so ever...

3.89

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucille,

Thanks for the grammar lesson. Are you the person who previoulsy wrote that the grammar police should stay away because that is not the point of this blog? (Should I have placed a comma after because?) It would be right up your hypocrital alley.

You call SMU a wasteland, and say how grateful you are that you don't teach there but at a public school instead. Then in the next breath you say that you hate Friday classes because where you teach the kids either show up hungover or don't show up at all. So, what is the difference between where you teach and SMU Lucy? Then, you give us your tricky little schemes to make sure that kids come to your class so they are forced to listen to you. Wow. Genius ideas. Got any good pasta and paste projects you can share with us all? I have a sister who teaches second grade and I could pass them along to her.

I'm really not offended that you would not want me to be your attorney, because I would never want you to teach my children. You are clearly that professor who is so self important that your students feel like vomitting not from the booze they drank the night before but rather from having to listen to you spew about Chaucer, developmental psychology or whatever it is you teach in such a self serving pompous manner. Oh wait, I'm sorry. That was mean. But then again, according to you, I don't have a mind or a soul.

Hugs and Kisses,

2.7

8:44 PM  
Anonymous emkay said...

Wow, 2.7, you must've had some bad experiences with profs (Not to be rude, but how, since you never went to class?). I'm gonna be a little politically incorrect here and pull out a phrase that applies very well to the conversation: Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics--even if you win, you're still retarded.

I think the prof has had some bad experiences with SMU, and she is disappointed in the way some of the people there handle their privileged status. While she is specifically pointing out flaws at one university, she is also (maybe inadvertently) pointing out many problems plaguing our society as a whole. Instead of acting shocked about "those awful people/events at SMU," we should be shocked that those things could happen anywhere.

Just my $0.02.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

emkay,

I appreciate your opinion and respect it. I wouldn't say that I had a bad experience with any more professors as a college student than anyone else who went to college did. I really liked some, was indifferent to most, and couldn't stand a few. However, I feel that the academics who post on this blog tend to be very similar to the ones who I didn't like. The origin of "2.7" was when I attempted to defend SMU by saying that I went there, didn't take school seriously, graduated, but eventually went on to be a somewhat successful, happy, adult. However, I was then chastised for what I said, because, in my opinion, there are a bunch of disgruntled people who post on this blog who think there is some sort of corrleation between academic achivement and character. As if the fact that I was indifferent towards my academic achievement puts me in the same camp as a bunch of pedophiles while people who studied all the time and got 4.0's should be canonized. Why is my 2.7 so offensive? If I had studied all the time to get the 2.7 would I still be a souless jerk? I made my bed and I have slept in it. Maybe doing better would have opened more doors from me, but I have never bitched. I would never trade the good times and friendships that resulted from my lack of academic enthusiasm. Academic achivements does not make you better than anyone else just like the rich kids of SMU's money doesn't make them better than anyone either. And yes, I know there are obvious differences, so everyone can save themselves the time and refrain from telling me about "Rich Parents v. One's own hard work in school."

2.7

9:26 PM  
Anonymous emkay said...

I agree that the social/environmental aspect of college is very important. The connections you make at school can be the most lasting ones in your life. Anyone would be a fool not to take advantage of those. It's not what you know, but who you know, right?

I'm a junior English major at Hendrix, a small liberal arts college in Arkansas. I have a 3.6 GPA, a necessity for scholarships. If I think that I'll be prepared for anything except grad school once I graduate, I'm fooling myself. There really is more to college than grades and books. The books I'm reading make for great conversation, so if being able to talk about Jane Austen or William Faulkner for hours on end will get me a job, that's awesome, and probably my dream job. My "B" in Renaissance Poetry is probably not going to be the deciding factor in my job search, so I accept it and move on.

I say if you're happy with the way your life has turned out, then that's just fine. Who cares about a 2.7 or a 3.6? Success can be defined in many ways. There's a line from "College Kids", a Relient K song: "Only but one thing matters/
learn how to live your life." If that's all you do at college, you'll probably end up okay.

Sorry for rambling. I think people should lighten up.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just intuitive, thanks for sharing phantom prof.

andres
(aka 'i'm not that other gal')

8:29 PM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

I graduated from SMU in 1981 with a double major in Pol. Sci. and Econ. with a GPA around 3.5. Got into a top 10 law school and have done well since. My impression of the university at that time was mixed. It had an excellent faculty that, by and large, it's student body did not deserve. But, contrary to the stereotypes, there were some very bright, dedicated students there, especially in liberal arts/humanities and social sciences. Many kids were rich, some obnoxiously so. But there were others who were from middle class or modest backgrounds. And more than few of those from privileged backgrounds weren't obnoxious about it. You could get a good education there if you wanted to, or you could coast on through and get your "Gentleman's C," although if you were smart enough, it might be a Gentleman's B. Like most places, it was neither as good as it's boosters thought, nor as bad as it's critics claimed.

However, I didn't get as much out of it as I could have. I got a good education, but I was (justifiably) concerned with my GPA as I wanted into a top law school. So I didn't take the absolutely most challenging classes that I could have, although I certainly never took any blow off classes. I aspire for my daughter to go to a much better school, and it looks like she will. Georgetown, Columbia, Cal. Berkeley, and Stanford are on her short list. But SMU, at least 25 years ago, wasn't that bad of a place. But I'm sure there were may that were better.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you publishing?

.lermit

4:06 PM  
Blogger Gene said...

for your summer reading list:

Ward Churchill (University of Colorado) And The Diversity Agenda

http://tinyurl.com/2839e2

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badmington? Phantom P.?

There is something about Friday classes going. Maybe beer will set the score allright.



Charlie

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