Incapacitated instruction

Due to an incident of drunken buffoonery and stupidity, I spent the better part of last weekend, from October 22nd until the 25th, lying around my apartment on couches and beds with a tensor bandage around my swollen, bruised, painful left ankle. Ice was applied. Medicine was taken (as was “medicine”). After three full days indoors with no fresh air and the lingering stench of stale bong water, empty beer cans, and cooked food, I began to experience early-onset cabin fever. When the weather is unseasonably warm, and I can see the sun shining through the windows, I certainly don’t want to be stuck inside. But, of course, I was, and had to live with it. I also missed two unrecorded classes of philosophy and Shakespeare. While this may not be an incredible loss, it did bring me to think how unnecessary it is to skip a class just because you “don’t wanna go,” when some of us who want to go to every class and enjoy the opportunity (and ability) to do so can’t because of unforeseen circumstances.

Although my scholarly Monday was a complete failure, I did end up watching a movie of such wonderful scope and brilliance that the day didn’t seem like a complete loss: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I laughed, I was riveted, I got up (slowly and painfully) and hopped my way into the kitchen to make myself a Nutella sandwich right after the rescue of Jones’s father (Sean Connery, naturally). Afterwards, I lay back, scoured Wikipedia, and listened to Illmatic while waiting for my roommates to come home before watching copious episodes of South Park.

If this had been a Sunday, I would have liked nothing more than to watch the movie while lounging in a bathrobe, incapacitated due to my inability to keep from jumping off stationary objects. However, on a Monday, I know there is class, and knowing I was missing class made me more anxious than the prospect that my ankle could quite possibly be broken (it’s not).

While I sympathize with people who skip class in order to study or finish assignments and papers, or who skip recorded classes because they know they’ll have the opportunity to revisit these lectures exactly as they happened, skipping lecture with no legitimate reason seems to me a bigger waste of time than actually going to class. Taking the necessary steps to retrieve notes and catch up on lectures is as wasteful as one can get, not simply when it comes to time, but, more importantly, money. Remember, you’re paying for every course (or your parents are) and skipping class is like throwing money in the garbage.

You skippers should re-evaluate what it means to skip class when you’re watching that episode of The Wire you simply had to watch (which, I admit, is amazing and slightly excusable) instead of going to that unrecorded class where the professor tells everyone exactly what they should study in order to do well on the exam.

Learn to like class, to enjoy your professors’ jokes they told in the same class in the same context last year, and to relish the centuries-old tradition of scholarly and intellectual exploration. Or say fuck it and watch that episode of The Wire. It is amazing, after all.

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