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Top faculty pet peeves at PAC

By Tawseef Ali | Pulse Staff Reporter

Faculty Pet Peeves
Photo: Leaders in Science 

Teaching at Palo Alto can be a stressful job. Here are the top 10 pet peeves from some of the PAC faculty to inform students of what not to do in class.

“Majoring in history to become a Coach”: Peter Myers, associate professor of History at Palo Alto, seems to have students who are not as interested in his subject. Tosca Gonsalves, a librarian at Palo Alto said “Students need to broaden their minds, if the teachers don’t.” Gonsalves is on her fourth career change, and she values the power of education.

Students who never leave high school: College is an institution of higher education, and everyone is free to arrive and leave as they wish. Students here are held accountable for themselves. Students who have a problem should not expect someone else to be responsible for them. Students like this confront Madalitt Martinez, secretary of the Social Sciences Department, and serving students is among her top priorities. “College is not high school,” Martinez said. She believes the earlier students start taking initiative and responsibility, the better it is for them.

Refusing to buy books: Books are expensive and books are heavy, but books are also essential. Oliver Jones has been a Government instructor at Palo Alto since 1995, and he believes learning is a two-way process. Learning may be a problem if students do not possess the right tools.

Students and classroom conversations: According to Jones, students who like to turn the classroom into an arena to argue their pre-conceived notions are the ones who are most likely to displease their teachers. On the other hand, the students who never contribute to class discussions are just wasting their own time. Students on both spectrums bring down the productivity of a classroom.

Attendance: Students will miss class without prior notice, and upon their arrival in the next class session, they want to know if they missed anything. Of course they did, and it is their responsibility to catch up.

Ignoring deadlines and homework: Deadlines are definite. If a homework or project deadline is missed, don’t expect the professors to cut you some slack. That’s your problem, not theirs. Karen Marcotte, professor of History and Humanities, wrote that this is one of her top pet peeves.

The issue of extra credit: Extra credit is to be awarded to students over their completed regular credit, not when homework and assignments are missing.

Tardiness: Students who frequently arrive late or leave early are a sore point for classrooms. The flow is disrupted, and teachers will be displeased.

Use of cell phones: This pet peeve speaks for itself. Five years ago, Jones encountered a very unique situation. One of his students launched into an explicit sexual conversation with her significant other while she was in class. Jones had to explain to the student why some people might find that inappropriate. Texting in class is just as wrong and very rude and distracting for teachers, as well as peers.

Excuses longer than essays: Invest the time spent on excuses into something more productive. Teachers will be less irritated, and students will be more successful.