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You’ve got this, Mike. Show these kids who’s in charge. When you walk through those doors, you become the captain. This is YOUR ship.
Professor Michael Jenkins teaches Finance at Rocky Mountain State University. Dr. Jenkins moved into the realm of higher education seven years ago after deciding that his job as a financial consultant left him wanting to do more. Or, as Michael’s ex-wife put it, “I took all of Mikey’s money.”
On the first day of a new semester, Michael Jenkins enters a half-full auditorium, promptly opening up a folder to view the class roster.
“Take your seats, take your seats PLEASE. Before we do anything, I am going to take roll.”
“Is there a Brett Asher here? Brett? No Brett, huh?”
Where could this kid be on the FIRST day of class? This is so disrespectful. I did not get a PhD in Finance to have some little shit walk all over me like this. Brett better hope he is dead because if not…
“I guess Brett had BETTER things to do…”
Jenkins seethes over a handful of other students who could not be bothered to show up to class before finishing up roll call. He then turns to address the class for the first time.
“Hello, class. This is Finance 355 and I am Dr. Michael Jenkins, your instructor. Yes, doctor. For the duration of this course, you will be referring to me solely as Dr. Jenkins. I worked very had to get my degrees, and it would be a slap in my face to not honor me for my hard work. Understood?”
He manages to receive a half nod from three singular students in the front row.
“UNDERSTOOOODDD???,” he reiterates.
Still about half the class ignores his plea.
Michael sighs, collects himself, then turns his attention to the syllabus. He rattles off a laundry list of rules and regulations.
“Attendance? Mandatory. Electronics? Leave ’em at home. Food? …”
It seems his commands are falling on deaf ears as he peers up to see faces buried in laptops.
Did these kids even READ the syllabus? I specifically said NO electronics. It’s not like they didn’t have time; I sent this thing out around midnight. They didn’t even bother to look at it ONCE in the last nine hours?
“Excuse me, people — SHUT YOUR LAPTOPS!” Michael’s voice booms across the auditorium.
“I made myself very clear in the syllabus that the use of electronics will not be tol—”
He stops himself, takes a deep breath, decides it’s not worth it, and moves on.
“80% of your grade will be split between two exams, and the other 20% will be attendance. Exams will not be curved, so I suggest you study if you want to pass. And of course the final is cumulative.”
Prof. Dr. Jenkins notices two girls whispering in the third row.
“Ladies, is there something I can help you with?
A cute blonde speaks up.
“Yeah, I guess we’re just a little confused. It sounded like you said there would be two exams worth 80% of our grade.”
The two girls promptly gather their belongings and walk out.
“That’s perfectly fine. If anyone else would like to leave, good riddance. I only want those who truly value learning around here.”
Four more students find the nearest exit.
What the fuck? They didn’t even give me a chance. Maybe Sharon was right… Maybe I am a loser…
Jenks regretfully powers on.
“There will be regularly-scheduled readings. It is my expectation that you actually read them. 20 pages a night is not asking a lot, people.”
Again, he notices students whispering their discontent.
“What is it now?”
A brunette in the middle row nervously prepares to speak.
“It’s just that 20 pages may not seem like a lot to you, but times that by five for each one of our classes… That’s 100 pages a night, professor.”
It’s doctor. How hard is it to say doctor?!
“What is your name, miss?”
“Well, BETHANY, this is college. If you can’t handle the workload, then you do not deserve the degree. When I was getting my doctorate — to become a DOCTOR — we would have 100 pages of reading per night often. And guess what I did? I read it, like a big boy.”
Bethany sinks back into her chair, dejected.
I guess I showed her.
“Well, that’s enough syllabus for today. I trust that you will review the rest on your own time. Let’s open up the text to chapter one.”
He scans the room to see which students have brought the book, salivating at the chance to roast the ones who have not. Only seven of the more than 50 in attendance seem to have known what was coming.
“Oh, we just decided that bringing our textbook to class was not important? I guess you all already know everything. Maybe a quiz would be in order…”
A guy in the back interrupts the fun.
“Professor, it’s just that a lot of our classes don’t actually use the assigned textbook so many of us wait until the first week to see if doing so is even necessary.”
DOCTOR, how hard is it to say DOCTOR?!
“Well I can assure you that THIS class will be using ours.”
What kind of a teacher doesn’t use a textbook? Do they just freeball it? How do they stay on track with their readings? That seems ridiculous.
“Well if nobody brought the book, then I guess there’s no point in being here. Please come back next time PREPARED.”
The students scatter for the exits. Michael gathers his belongs and exits as well.
Well, certainly not the worst first day I’ve ever had..
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