Professor Dumbledore’s favorite.
Trying to get the chutzpah to ask your professor for a letter of rec? Merely attempting to pass the class as painlessly as possible? Either way, I have just a few tips and tricks for earning the respect of your professors.
Too many times I’ve seen the too-cool-for-shoes hipsters venture throughout east and west campus completely barefoot. First of all – potentially dangerous. Secondly, that’s just gross. How do you think your professors (or even your roommates, now that I think about it) feel when you’ve been treading over dirt, asphalt, hardened gum, and pigeon crap and then strut on in with those same feet onto the shampooed carpet?
Along the same lines of hygiene, please please please wash your hands after doing your thing. My respect for someone gradually decreases every time I see the same person flush and rush. What does this have to do with your professors? Well, the next time you decide to duck out after a flush, it may not be me subconsciously judging you, but Dr. I-Will-Automatically-Dock-You-Points-For-Handing-In-Your-Lab-Outline-With-Those-Disgraceful-Hands.
Yesterday, someone in my bio lecture class was dismissed from class (no more than 10 minutes before the class’s conclusion, and was consequently marked as “absent”) for using his cell. Don’t be stupid. If there’s going to be an emergency, clear it with your prof before class. Otherwise, keep it in your pocket or backpack, not in your hand, in your shirt, or between your legs (because that’s really weird).
Given my preferred choice of attire on any given day (workout clothes, college sweatshirt, and running shoes), you can argue all you want that I shouldn’t be the one to bestow advice in the fashion department. But inside the classroom, I know at least one thing – don’t wear your sleepwear in it. As much as I’m sure your profs would love to witness your love for Batman sleep shorts. I advise this mainly because that if it looks like you rolled out of bed and on into class, it comes off as “I didn’t care about your class enough to wake up on time to make myself look presentable,” regardless if this is true or not. Also, don’t let this be the day when the major marketing company is recruiting aspiring young interns in class and all you have to show for your credentials are your bunny slippers. How are my running shorts any better, you counter. Well, at least my profs will know that I’m dressed appropriately for running from class to class to make it on time. And speaking of being on time…
More than once, I’ve toyed with the fantasy of playing the role of sophisticated college professor. And each time, I’ve made it a point to lock the classroom doors 5-10 minutes after the start of lecture. If you really want to be there, prove it. And to quote the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, “Whoever falls behind gets left behind.”
No, this is not going to be a comment on academic integrity. Because OBVIOUSLY you’ve NEVER cheated EVER if you’ve made it this far in your academic career, right?
Just remember that professors can get glimpses of your character based on what you say/do before and after class. Don’t talk about your plans to score as many chicks as possible this weekend, or how Professor Blah is “soooo lame” (especially since Blah and your own prof might be buddy-buddy), or how your assigned reading is completely pointless (even if it is). Also, leave your vulgarities at home. Just because class doesn’t commence until the minute hand hits the 12 doesn’t mean your profs’ ears are clocked out before then.