I agree with Harsha Nahata’s “Take Notes or Temple Run?”that educators often ask the wrong questions of students. But her column begs the question: are today’s students asking the wrong things of their teachers?
Nahata is absolutely right that professors and GSIs have a duty to make content useful and relevant. Students, meanwhile, are faced with a great many distractions. But, there is a shared burden of responsibility. Learning, to use her analogy, is sadly not entertainment; it cannot always be riveting; it’s often tedious and, yes, requires a seriousness and diligence from students that’s beyond the teacher’s control. Ms. Nahata’s question to teachers — why aren’t you doing more? — sounds not a little self-satisfied and entitled. She and many of today’s students would do well to ask it of themselves.
Ethan L. Menchinger
Rackham Graduate Student