The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Am I accomplishing 'a lot' of work this week? [DEEP SIGH] Unfortunately, no, I am not. As final exams have gotten ever so much closer for my cadre of students, the frequency, intensity, and gravity of their visits to my office have risen dramatically. I am not sure if students realize that professors also feel the stress of final exam week and the end of the semester every much as students do? In our department (as well as other departments on campus) and in universities across the nation, the end of the semester is followed by "raucous" celebrations of the completion of the semester. This "partying" is of course well know for the student population, but is a surprise to many in that it also is tremendously common in the professoriate.

On my campus, festivities start in the afternoon on the last official day of the semester and start with several large pot-luck style food fests in virtually all departments. This portion usually starts by around 2pm and proceeds until everyone leaves. However, a very important second aspect also begins at precisely 5pm (the offical close of the semester) where various alcoholic libations are brought forth and consumed as well. Due to official University policy, the consumption of alcohol is regulated in that manner, and so that aspect of the celebration does not begin until 5pm.

Many students do not realize these festivities take place, and occasionally a few straggle back onto campus after 5pm to see if they can find their grade from their "prof". The look of surprise on their face(s) as I talk to them a bit fuzzy-headed, with boozy breath, and a beer in my hand is priceless. They are not upset, but very taken aback.... almost as if they did not know that professors were normal people and do normal (relatively speaking) things like everyone else. It is a good learning experience for them. I am looking forward to helping them learn this lesson. [grin]



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