HOW CAN YOU STAY MOTIVATED WHEN YOUR PROFESSORS DON'T EVEN REMEMBER YOUR NAME?
Hi, my name is Renee Moulton, but you can call me Rebecca or Ashley or Rene. My professors do. It’s week 14 and one of my professors still can’t get my name right. So thank you Dr. Clark Zest-Cooler for being that other professor, the one who actually listened when I dropped by with my essay—you know, the one with comments addressed to Rebecca? However, I’m not giving you a full pardon since, last time I checked, a student’s first name is normally the first word on an essay. But don’t trip; your apology to the entire class ameliorated most of my discomfort.
As for you, Dr. Barbara Finagle, you suck. I thought about cutting you some slack because you’re old, but now I just think about cutting you. The fact remains that there isn’t even an Ashley in the class. Also, I don’t look like an Ashley. You’re failing more than just my name, too! At week 14 you shouldn’t be reading off the roll sheet and looking around aimlessly for someone to respond to each name. We all have our self-assigned seating arrangements, we all have the same names as when the semester began, and none of us have even changed our hair. Should we start wearing name tags at this point? And by the way, Caitlin dropped the class eight weeks ago, so stop calling on her for answers!
“Rene, thank you for your concerns about student-teacher relations in regard to respect. I’ll look into this topic; it seems very comical. Also, can you turn in your essay again? I seem to have lost it.”
I’ve put up with this for 14 weeks, and for all you STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) folk imagining lecture halls with 150 silent faces, let me tell you, these classes have an enrollment of less than 25. Additionally, these are discussion-based seminars, so professors are interacting with me, an outspoken know-it-all, in a face-to-face environment. What’s the excuse?
This week I started asking other students about their names and interactions with their professors. This revealed some disgusting trends. For instance, tenured professors are more likely to botch or entirely forget names (Nicole or Natalie?) and there’s a growing pattern of these professors assigning questions on quizzes like “True or False: Dr. Jeff’s PowerPoints were really cool!” (and there’s a graded answer to that!). Finally, the ugliest trend is lecturing a half-full classroom about the benefits of attending class. We know the benefits; that’s why we’re here! However, if you got some names right, maybe we might feel more obligated to show up!
Most of this shoddy interaction happens in person, but I’m also noticing a spike in bungled names via email. Is it because professors can’t picture my face? But BeachBoard now comes equipped with the option for personal icons, and, if you’re a student that cares to be identified correctly (or totally narcissistic, but then again see: identified correctly), then you probably upload a photo of yourself to make things easier. You most certainly don’t upload a Keep Calm meme or your cat. Icons aside, if a professor is responding to an email which you signed with your name, then how, without just being utterly careless, can they fuck that up?!
So what’s in a name? Well, one extra “E” is the difference between Mr. and Miss Moulton, a semi-casual mistake, but embarrassing all the same. That could be the difference between me ditching class for beers in the Nugget or attending with a gameplan for discussion. Which do you prefer? So come at me pro, and learn my name.