DISCLAIMER: This article is part of The Torch’s annual “Torchure” issue, the April fools Issue. During the Torchure, our journalistic ethics and commitment to the truth hop on the earliest bus out of town, and we spend the better part of the week trying to coax them back with cannolies and baby oil. The Torch will return to faithful, truthful coverage of UMass Dartmouth-centric news next week, until then, enjoy whatever this is?
Last week, faculty agreed to switch roles for a day, allowing students to take turns teaching their professors. Members of The Torch staff entered several classrooms and noticed professors filling the seats where students normally sit, their notebooks or computers open in front of them.
The projector screen read “How to put students to sleep.” The student in charge of teaching the class read every single sentence, word for word that was displayed on the slide, and made note that the same exact powerpoint can be accessed through the school website anywhere and at anytime.
While the next slide, titled “How to give a test review on questions that don’t appear on the test” was being explained, the student “teacher” suddenly stopped and started talking about politics. When he asked one of the professors what their opinion was, he immediately replied “you’re wrong.” Some of the professors chuckled, but most of them were sound asleep or too busy maxing out their credit cards while they online shopped.
When the forty- minute lecture finally began to wrap up at the one hour mark, the student playing the role as a professor reminded the class “If you have any questions, email me!” As she was leaving the classroom, a professor murmured to her friend “I sent out an email three weeks ago and still never got a reply.”
In the second classroom The Torch decided to visit, the professors were all seated, and had impatient expressions on their faces. “She’s always late” one of them mumbled under their breath, as another one shook their head in agreement and rolled their eyes. After about fifteen minutes rolled around, the student, also known as the professor for the day, slowly walked into the classroom, acting as if nothing had happened. Five minutes went by as the student, or in other words, the “professor” set up the projector screen.
A professor playing the role as a typical student rushed into her seat hoping that she wasn’t too noticeable. The student glared at the professor, giving a disappointed look “Speak to me after class.” The student tried replying “but this was my first time being late, my car broke down and…” The student motioned for them to stop, turned to the class and explained how being disruptive and disrespectful is unacceptable in the classroom.
The student remained quiet for the remainder of the class. Throughout the lesson, the student spoke in a fast pace where they were barely audible. A majority of the professors looked puzzled as they tried to comprehend the lesson.
One of the professors was brave enough to admit that he doesn’t understand, and accepting this information, the student explained it again, the exact same way, and in an even faster pace.
Later in the lecture, the student showed the class how to purchase a two-hundred dollar textbook, making it very clear that if they don’t have the textbook by the following week, they will automatically fail the class.
“It’s extremely important to buy the textbook,” the student adds “even though we won’t be referencing it or using it throughout the entire semester.”
During the next slide of the powerpoint, labeled “Extra Credit Points,” a professor asks how many points can be earned for the two page essay, and the professor replies with a generous smile “one point at the most, and you have to complete it.” A puzzled professor remarks, “but I thought it was extra credit…” The other professors gasped at her bravery for talking back at the student. Before class was over, the student hollered out to the professor to enjoy their holiday break, and reminded them that they have a ten-page essay due on that following Monday.