The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Timeliness is next to godliness

“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”


Anecdote: So I was sitting in class yesterday, listening to my prof’s lecture, scribbling indecipherable notes in my notebook, trying to make sense of postmodern theory, when somebody walked in late. Now, I don’t mean three minutes tardy. We’re not even talking 15. This kid, this nincompoop, waltzed through the door, jiggling his backpack and almost karate-sweeping the professor, no fewer than 40 minutes late.

This was a 50-minute class.

In the words of mothers everywhere, “Who do you think you are?”

Yeah, who do all you “tards” out there think you are? Tardiness is an implicit “birdie” to the professor-and fellow students. It means you don’t care enough about anybody but Y-O-U to consider common courtesy.

But this isn’t an uncommon problem. One could make millions betting on late students. One could start a racket; it’d be great! But that’s beside the point. It’s embarrassing and distracting to have you tards barrel in, all but announcing your presence with a fanfare of thrust-open doors and lumbering movements.

Since when is it acceptable to figuratively take a dump on our professors’ desks, to exhibit such a fundamental lack of respect?

History lesson: Only in recent years have students been permitted to enter classrooms in street clothes. In eons past, students were required to wear suits and skirts. They stood when the professor entered the room. They actually focused on the lecture. They felt fortunate to have the opportunity to explore higher education.

I went to a small liberal arts school my freshman year and experienced a modified, 21st-century version of this mentality. Nobody dared be late to class, not out of fear, but out of sheer reverence for the professors. They sat erect and rapt, scribbling at warp 10. They wanted to be there. They didn’t take it for granted.

Lateness is symptomatic of a larger cancer at the U. It indicates that we no longer take education seriously.

When a student walks in late, it shows that he or she not only lacks respect for the professor, but also doesn’t respect the class itself. When a campus has a preponderance of students who routinely come to class late, it illustrates that the student body as a whole doesn’t value the education it’s receiving. Sure, we all have other things to do in our lives, and I’m not making any value judgments. But we must appreciate the indispensability of education. We must realize that what we do now will delineate the rest of our lives.

What does it say about our futures if we don’t even care enough to show up on time now?

Come on.

We can pull the iPod headphones out of our ears, wipe the vacuous, occasionally hung-over looks off our faces and treat our professors like the sage, Ph.D.-wielding intellectual warriors they are.

Let’s not substantiate the old folks’ indictments. Let’s not appear apathetic, oblivious and vapid. Let’s show that we care!

We’re pretty lucky, after all.

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