Doc Seidman Says…..

….. Why do so many college classes start at (or before) 8:00 AM? Nobody likes an early class. Not the professors and certainly not the students. Talk to any sleep researcher worth her melatonin and she will tell you that the average college student’s brain is not very functional at that time of the day. Isn’t the idea of the college class experience to engage the brain and promote thinking? It makes no sense for a college class-  that students have paid good money for, by the way- to start when brains aren’t at 100%; or even 50%. Most of the classrooms are just sitting there all day and probably going unused for many hours. I would think it would be easy and sensible to eliminate early morning classes and have them start and end later in the day when everybody’s brain is more functional. The professor really would appreciate this, too. I have taught plenty of 8:00 AM classes. They can be tough. It’s bad enough everyone was half asleep, but nobody laughed at my jokes at that hour; even the good ones (jokes, not students).

And while we are talking about the college classroom experience, why do so many college classrooms look like it’s 1958? It’s 2018. Can’t we come up with better classrooms? I continue to visit many college campuses and cannot believe how many of the classrooms look like drab, rectangular boxes. Some don’t even have windows. How can students daydream properly if there are no windows? Daydreams are healthy for you (or so I read on the Internet). We need better classrooms with better furniture. And how about classrooms painted in a color other than blah white or boring beige? Let’s have more appealing lighting while we’re at it. It reminds me of the old joke, what’s the difference between a college classroom and a hospital room? A hospital room has more patients. (I made that joke up. Pretty good, huh? That’s because it’s not 8:00 AM.)

Why are the freshmen dorms usually the worst looking dorms on campus? Shouldn’t they be the be the best dorms? Isn’t the intent to keep freshmen students happy so they feel comfortable at the start of their college experience? Colleges invest countless dollars in freshmen advisers, dorm activities, and greasy snacks to keep the first-year students happy. They should have the best dorms, shouldn’t they? Keep the roommate though. Learning to coexist with a stranger while you are stressing out in a college far away from home is an important rite of passage. But a small, cramped room with dust bunnies galore is no way to run a first-year college experience.

Why are tee shirts, sweat shirts, and other college logo apparel so expensive in the campus bookstore? I know many stores target parents who have more money, but don’t you want to encourage the students to buy the stuff? This way they can walk around their home town proudly displaying their future alma mater. Some sweat shirt prices are the equivalent of a monthly student loan payment. Why are we making students decide between a student loan payment and a college sweat shirt?  It would seem to me that the lower the price, the more likely the students would be willing to buy a sweat shirt, tee shirt- or hat for that matter- and proudly market their college wherever they go.

Speaking of the campus bookstore, why do many of them have an extensive collection of shot glasses, beer mugs, and wine supplies? Last time I checked, the legal drinking age was 21. Schools invest a lot of resources to discourage, or at best minimize heavy drinking on campus. I would think seeing row after row of alcohol supplies on a shelf in an on-campus store would entice students to drink.  Imagine going to the bookstore after a particularly tough class. Your intent is to pick up a folder and some other trivial classroom supply. While you are there, you can’t help but see the row of good looking beer mugs. Goodbye folder and trivial classroom supply. Hello fake i.d.! What aisle do they sell that in?  Now, there’s an item that would command a premium price!

Why are the off-campus, paid tutoring centers usually more popular than the on campus, free tutoring centers? Is it that students don’t want to be seen in the on-campus tutoring center? That would be my guess. If you made a list of popular places on campus, the tutoring center is most likely near the bottom. It’s probably down there with the campus infirmary and the place where you pay your parking tickets. That’s too bad. Most of the directors and tutors at the on-campus tutoring center are good people. They are knowledgeable and eager. They would love to see you. You just don’t want to see them.

Why do they sell pre-packaged celery in the college cafeteria or snack shop? Who’s eating that? Better yet, who’s paying $1.39 plus tax for it? It’s usually no more than 6-8 small pieces in a plastic cup. I would bet the college is guessing that since the students can’t afford the sweat shirts they would buy to cover up the weight they are gaining, they will eat more celery. I would think colleges would be better off selling pizza in a cup. Now, there’s an idea! Any entrepreneurs reading this? You’re welcome.

Finally, why do the student tour guides walk so fast on a campus tour? It seems that no matter where the school, the tour guides are in a mad sprint, almost daring us to keep up. Are they in a hurry to finish the tour and rid themselves of us? Are we that ugly? Is our presence a drag on their Instagram account? I’m guessing students are used to walking briskly around the campus throughout the day and just forget to slow down when they are giving a tour. Usually, students are in a hurry to get to class, or even a bigger hurry to get out of class. Walking to the dining hall, meeting a friend somewhere, or heading to a fun party may be good reasons to dash around the campus, but toting around the baby boomer parents of potential college students requires a slower pace. Recently, we took a tour of a campus located in a very high altitude. Naturally, the tour moved along quite briskly. Our lungs and legs were holding on for dear life. I was hoping the last stop was the infirmary because that’s where we were probably headed anyway. It wasn’t. The tour ended at the campus bookstore where we shunned the celery and loaded up on shot glasses and other alcohol supplies. We needed them. I guess I now see why they are there.

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. I’m going to name my pizza in a cup company Blondie’s Bowls.


  2. […] better educate our advisees and students. Besides the speed walking requirement most tours mandate (A Visit to the College Why), touring a college campus is quite informative. One thing I have noticed, however, is that the […]



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college, college tour, Uncategorized