Every college student’s favorite holiday: Syllabus Week. The bliss of going to school without actually doing school. Where everyday is a Friday and a whole rainforest dies while we print our syllabi.
The whole week I got to hear about the many ways my teachers will try to ruin my life, and I began calculating how long I would have to procrastinate their projects. Don’t act innocent, I know you were all doing it too. Amongst the due dates and office hours being read over, I had become desensitized to the what I call “the Kumbaya talk.” You know the one where the teacher talks to you like you’re 10 instead of 20? Reminding you that we ought to be careful when using our first amendment to accommodate to our peer’s feelings, because God forbid someone hears something they don’t agree with. Nothing beats being reminded that for those 50 minutes, your professor has you all holding hands in their safe space!
Then I walked into my Principles of Macroeconomics class taught by Professor Bailiff. The syllabus lecture began like any other, but ended in a reality check. After went over required textbooks there was a long pause, followed by,
“My class is not a safe space. The facts we talk about do not care about your feelings. While my peers disagree with me, I believe my class is not a place for you to complain about being offended. If you choose to be ‘mature’ and storm out of my room because you don’t like a statistic, I ask you that you walk to your car, drive home wherever it may be, go to your room, curl into the fetal position in your bed, and cry until the night takes you.”
No one knew how to react even though that deserved A ROUND OF APPLAUSE. I SUDDENLY LOVED ECONOMICS.
Being his biggest fan, I emailed the teacher to let him know that his pep talk stood out among the rather boring speeches we received during week. This was his rather savage response:
Yes, that’s right. NO SOFT TYRANNY OF SENSITIVITY THIS SEMESTER!
If you happen to not be as lucky as myself, and have a teacher who thinks they can dictate what you’re allowed to say in a classroom, feel free to drop us a hint here. No syllabus can tell you that only some of your rights follow you when you walk through their door.