SOME THINGS THAT UPSET ME
- 9. People who "lurk" outside my office door. If you come
to see me and I am already talking to someone, do not sit right
outside the door and stare in at me. Move to one side (so that
I can't see you) and wait patiently. I won't rush the person I
am talking to and I won't rush you when it is your turn.
- 8. The statement "I understand the material perfectly, I should
be getting an A" I can't look inside your head. I can only look
at your work--and if your work isn't correct or is inferior, then you
haven't achieved a sufficient level of understanding--the fact that
you didn't do the problems implies that you don't understand perfectly...
- 7. The question "What happened in class yesterday?" If I could
say what happened in a sentence then class would be 1 minute long. If
you missed class, you must get the notes (and talk to) a friend who
- 6. Answering your cell phone during class. I understand that
it is hard to remember to "mute" the phone before every lecture--but
if it rings during class,
DON'T answer it (just look around as if it is someone elses phone
and mumble "...how rude...").
- 5. Reading or sending text messages during class. Training
yourself to ignore text messages is an extremely valuable skill. (If
you even glance toward your phone in a job interview, you can kiss the
job goodbye--and don't get me started about texting and driving.) The
whole reason texting was invented was to provide a way to communicate
that did not require immediate attention. If you text during class, I
will do my best to point out your addiction and use you as an
example for the rest of the class.
- 4. Saying "I don't understand anything" during office hours.
This is particularly annoying when it happens the last 2 weeks of the
semester. There are two great things about math. First, it can be
broken into small steps, hence is understandable. Second, if you use
lots of those small steps, you can prove amazing things. This means
you have to get help as soon as you are lost (not months later) and
you have to be clear about where you got lost. (So if you are lost
after the first day of class, you'd better be asking questions in the
second lecture--or even in the first!)
- 3. Paper torn out of spiral notebooks. Handing in work on paper
torn from spiral notebooks, or work that is sloppy in any way is
an insult to your profession. All homework should be done
on 8.5x11 white paper, writing on ONE SIDE only and stapled in the
upper left hand corner. Of course, NEATNESS COUNTS.
- 2. Coming late to class and being rude about it. Everybody
gets into traffic jams occasionally, but if you do come late, don't
be proud of it. Get into the room and into a seat as quietly as possible,
without parading in front of the entire class.
If lateness becomes a habit, I will start locking the door at the
start of class and you will have to knock.
- 1. The question "Will this be on the exam?" This is
just another way of saying "What you just said is not worth my effort
to understand--I will try to get a superficial understanding of it only
if you say I have to." While I can handle insults to me, insulting
mathematics will not be tolerated--if this is your opinion, keep it to
yourself. Besides, the answer is always "yes".