Why You Should Listen To Your Professor
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Why You Should Listen To Your Professor

Beyond the obvious.

Why You Should Listen To Your Professor
Yale Alumni Magazine

When I first arrived here at UVA-Wise, one of my professors said something that has been seared into my mind and has really guided my learning experience, even beyond that class. It was said as part of a long introduction to a complicated subject, so I believe a great many people missed it.

He said, "There is no magic in the world. And if there is no magic in the world, there is nothing that cannot be understood." That one crystallized statement has made a great deal of difference to me. I think of it any time I'm hunched over a desk at four in the morning with a complicated problem, any time I feel utterly overwhelmed by some issue in life. It spoke to me, saying that with enough effort, anything can be learned.

In life, you might not understand why something is happening, but it is possible to do so and then fix it. So much advice and help contained in a mere two sentences. Most people missed it, though, from lack of attention.

Beyond the obvious, for-your-grades part of listening to your professors, there are many valid reasons to do so. When you sit down in a classroom, you aren't just having a robot drill facts into your mind; you have a lifetime of experiences behind that knowledge -- a lifetime to reflect, develop personal philosophy and opinion. Professors are often some of the brightest minds still alive. Minds that have successfully walked a path that you are now walking yourself, enough accomplishments made to put them where they are. While it is important to listen to your professor for the class material, there is much more to be learned from them than just that. Opinions, thoughts, philosophy, experiences, and a thousand other things can be picked up, simply by paying more attention.

Next time you go to class, try to pay attention to some of the stories a professor might tell, or the comments they might make, or the really bad jokes that everyone still laughs at. There's a lot more to be learned than just the class material. You don't have to find any of it funny or agreeable, but you can always learn from it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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