Photo by UC Davis College of Engineering / CC BY 2.0
As Professor Keaton finished explaining kinetic molecular theory, student Brandon Albright (C ’19)—better known to his peers as the one guy in class who actually cares—saw an opportunity to get a few things off his chest.
“I have a question,” he insisted. Professor Keaton, who was taken aback that a student was actually speaking in his 9am lecture, started to encourage him to ask it when Brandon clarified, “It has two parts.”
This sudden change in number made Professor Keaton break out in a sweat. “It was quite a surprise,” he told us after class. He said that he, like many of his own students, hates these kinds of questions. “By the time he finishes the second part of his question, I have already forgotten the first part.” An anonymous survey also showed that an overwhelming majority of the class could not recall the first part of his question either. Then again, very few could report the second part, a sign that they were not really listening at all.
For most students, one question is enough. Very few have decided to think outside the box enough to the point where they have two seemingly intelligent questions. “My ideas were completely undeveloped to be honest,” Brandon admitted, “I just really need an A in this class.” Professor Keaton, when asked if Brandon’s participation would affect his final grade, stated that there will be no grade for participation. “That’s why I never even make the effort to talk,” said one student.
Unfortunately, Brandon is not aware of this fact and continues to come up with two and sometimes three parts to his question per class. His desire to learn, however, has not gone unnoticed by his professor, who explained how his own memory has now improved since then, excitedly showing us how he can now remember almost 1/3 of his students’ names now, even though he still can’t get Brandon’s name right, calling him “Biden” every time.