Lessons learned the hard way

David Vergobbi is rumored to be one of the toughest teachers in the mass communication department at the U.

His mass communication law class is specifically notorious for being the one that will test the stress levels of the students who take it.

He requires the best from his students. His workload is heavy, and the subject is extensive.

There are, undoubtedly, classes with teachers just like this in every department at the U. They’re the teachers whom students think twice about before enrolling in their classes.

The typical thoughts that come to one’s head before adding such a class are: Will I make it out alive? Does the teacher want to see me suffer? Would it just be easier to work at the local McDonald’s for the rest of my life?

However, teachers like Vergobbi are the type students should be jumping to take classes from, and with spring registration around the corner, students should enroll in classes that incorporate such teaching.

Vergobbi said he spends the majority of his time working on his class, adding that, because of the continually changing subject he teaches, “(he spends) a lot of time working on what the next day’s class will be.”

He keeps it interesting, too. Rather than standing before a class and speaking in monotone for two hours, Vergobbi encourages class discussions and debate, puts the class into groups to work out case problems and makes students present their findings in front of everyone.

In a way, he allows the students to become a part of what they are learning about by encouraging them to be involved in continuous discussion and class work, all the while enthused about the subject himself.

“My whole goal is to try and figure out ways that would get them interested,” Vergobbi said. “I want to show the students it’s exciting and interesting.”

The desire he has for his students to learn, as well as the time he dedicates to that process, is exactly what makes Vergobbi-and teachers like him-the kind that students should want to learn from.

We are at a university to become educated beings. That line is said so often, with such a morally superior tone, that it may be one of the worst clichs a student has to hear. But there is truth to it.

With each student lies the duty to be responsible for one’s decisions.

If the easy classes are desirable, take them. It’s the road to a quick B, and two weeks after finals, you won’t remember a bit of what the class was about.

But if you’re spending thousands of dollars on tuition for an education that you hope will take you somewhere, pay close attention to your teachers.

A good teacher, a teacher who is hard on you because he or she wants you to actually learn something from the time you spend in the class, is worth the effort because, in the classes they teach, there is an endless amount of knowledge to be gained.