College students always talk about how friends and significant others are great at playing mind games and saying things that they do not really mean. That can all be true, but we generally take for granted how the same can be said for our professors.
Whether it is when they are going through the syllabus or discussing when papers will be returned, professors rarely say what they mean. It is up to us, the students, to read the subtext.
1. “Your papers will be graded this weekend.”
Reality: You will submit another five assignments before that first one is returned.
2. “It is an open notes, opens books exam.”
Reality: I am going to ask you about that obscure quote from the chapter that you skimmed.
3. “I do not allow students to use technology in my class.”
Reality: I am planning on lecturing the entire time and I know that your computers will be more interesting.
4. “More than two unexcused absences will count against your final grade.”
Reality: If I have to wake up for this forsaken 8 a.m., so do you.
5. “I plan on teaching for the full time.”
Reality: We all know that there is not enough material for me to lecture, so you will have group work every class.
6. “I will let you take a break to stretch halfway through the class.”
Reality: You will get five minutes. Good luck if there is a line for the restroom.
7. “The final will not be cumulative.”
Reality: Except for the bonus questions that stand between you passing and failing.
8. “You will have to work in groups.”
Reality: I will be assigning the groups.
9. “You can come to my office hours or set up an appointment.”
Reality: Email me either way; don’t just show up.
10. “I put my number on the syllabus if you need to contact me.”
Reality: Don’t use my number.