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lucid thoughts

UP Profs November 24, 2005 Thursday

No-Show UP Profs

I just recovered from the frustration of enrollment and here I am struggling about another UP dilemma - UP profs who don't show up...and there's plenty of them.

Last sem, I had a teacher in French who also made a habit of not showing up or showing up late in the event he bothers to show up at all. I talked to the guy and told him point blank that I was getting concerned over the number of cancelled classes (it was a more polite way of telling him he doesn't show up for class). He responded defensively saying the class wasn't late in its coverage of the course outline. From then on, he would look the other way when pass each other along narrow corridors.

This seems to be the norm as well at the College of Fine Arts from what my student friends tell me. They also have this "part of the landscape" resignation about the issue. I wonder how widespread this practice is.

Student Outrage...NOT!
What I find equally interesting is what seems like passive resignation amongst students about their no-show profs. The students show up for class, some of them coming from Cavite for that only class, wait 30 minutes, and leave without a sigh, let alone making an issue out of it. Interesting to justapose their militant resilience and assertive outrage against the wrong-doings of the national government, but suddenly turn sheepish when it comes to their profs. When asked, they just shrugged their shoulders as if to say "that's how things are". One said, "the teacher might give me a hard time later on when he/she becomes my teacher again".

It hasn't been too long since I was a regular student. I was also pleased if the profs didn't show up. But that didn't happen with the same alarming frequency it does now. It just seems too blatant now...too in-your-face. Some don't even bother to trouble themselves texting the students they won't show up. Others don't offer an explanation for their no-show.

When I first heard from an Atenean that she wouldn't go to UP because the profs were lazy, I thought it was sour grapes. Now I'm beginning to understand what she meant.

Ending Thoughts
I'm not sure if these profs realize how devastating this ethical breach is to their students specially the ones who are genuinely interested in learning (not necessarily the ones who simply want to make the grade). The desire to learn is eroded if the teacher has no desire to teach. Students get a sense of this - they're not stupid. Motivation to show up for class is diminished as well, given the paradigm the teacher probably won't show up anyway.

A friend once told me UP is a microcosm of Philippine soceity. I read the headlines and get a sense of the prevailing work ethics that have permeated into the national government. I look at empty desks where UP profs should be teaching. friend has a point.

--- TheLoneRider

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November 24, 2005

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