Skipping class is truly a great
experience. Just the knowledge that you are doing something besides
sitting in a crowded auditorium brings a certain smirk to your
face. The knowledge that you won’t fall behind at all can
only add to your carefree attitude. Despite that, I can’t
bring myself to willingly blow off a lecture or discussion. I used
to hate that fact about myself.

Doug Wernert

This isn’t to say I’ve never missed class. Personal
reasons, sickness and scholarly obligations have all led to me
being marked absent from time to time. However, no matter how
enticing an extra hour to write a paper or sleep may be, I
can’t bring myself to do it. Last year, I had the wonderful
experience of having Spanish 232 at eight in the morning. Four days
a week, my morning went like something like this:

7:30 a.m.: Alarm goes off. I turn off alarm and lay back
down.

7:31 a.m.: I think to myself: “You know, Doug, you should
really get out of bed and get ready.”

7:32 a.m.: I drift back asleep.

7:37 a.m.: I sit upright in bed, afraid I slept too long, but
breathe a sigh of relief when I realize I can still make it to
class.

7:38 a.m.: I get out of bed, being extremely careful not to wake
up my roommate, who I consider to be a whole lot smarter than I am
because he didn’t schedule eight o’clocks.

7:40 a.m.: I trip over a chair or some other object in the room,
causing my roommate to wake up and me to feel like an idiot and
mutter an apologetic “sorry.”

7:48 a.m.: I leave for class, amazed that other people are
actually on the street at a time I consider the middle of the
night.

When I got to class, I would usually find other people in a
situation similar to mine; clad in pajama pants with their heads
down on their desk and a Starbucks cup sitting on the floor by
their desk. Nevertheless, they were there day after day.

There are many reasons you could point to as to why I and other
students show this kind of dedication. Of course, there’s
that classic argument of the large amount of money we pay for just
one hour of education at this university. Other might argue that
skipping class would lead to poor grades, which would lead to a
disadvantage when it came to finding employment in the
ultra-competitive job market. But we all know that every once in a
while, there’s that lecture that you can easily afford to
skip. The material may be easy or you may be watching a movie and
you can have someone fill you in later.

I, however, have another theory: You go to class because going
to class is fun.

Hear me out. Going to class, even though you have to take notes
and pay attention, is always an entertaining experience. You can
scan the crowd for attractive people, make wisecracks about what
you’re learning about and hang out with other students.
I’ve become friends with quite a few people, simply by
sitting next to them in lecture the first day or having them as my
partners for a group activity. An eccentric or quick-witted
professor can keep you on your toes and their antics are perfect
fodder for a good story to tell your friends. Also, a interesting
and argumentative discussion bring out the best in people and
strike you with the realization that “this is what college is
all about.”

Plus, there’s always a chance for a classic moment. Once
in class, the professor’s microphone wasn’t working,
resulting in a half-hour of hilarity as three people were called in
to help, one of which did a celebratory dance when the problem was
fixed. It’s times like that which make you happy to have been
there and experienced that moment, no matter how much reading the
professor makes you do.

See you in class.

 

— Doug singlehandedly set the curve in all of your
classes. Vent your rage and contact him at
“mailto:dwernert@umich.edu”>dwernert@umich.edu.

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