I am usually fond of guest speakers for two reasons. First, because they provide a break from your usual professor- and it’s always good to have some variety. And second, because they tend to be very important people. Let’s face it, not many professors like to give their lecture time to others- after all, scholars love to hear themselves talk. So when they do, I assume there’s a very special reason behind it.
This time around, we had some smart scholar from Indonesia, who came to talk to us about Islam and Democracy. This scholar had a very serious demeanor and a thick accent. He also used the microphone way too close, which made understanding him the more problematic. After seeing the block paragraphs in his slides, my excitement plummeted. In fact, at a certain point I stopped taking notes, because I simply couldn’t follow.
During my college years (Ha! I sound old), I’ve come to appreciate good lecturers. I’m not necessarily asking for my professors to be standup comedians, but if we, the students, don’t understand what the lecturer is trying to convey, we ain’t going anywhere. Although I dislike admitting to it, sometimes learning can be extremely boring (there’s a reason why some people become jocks, right?).
The question is then: Is it too much to ask for professors to at least try to make their material more accesible? Perhaps universities should offer a workshop on public speaking? Now please don’t think I’m siding with the people who text their way through class because they deem such class to be boring. Rather I’m siding with those who try really hard to get the most out of such brilliant scholars, yet they are unable to because of the lecturer’s poor public speaking skills.
What do you guys think? Did you have a professor who made it very easy for you to fall asleep?
By the way, here’s a pretty cool article on one such professor who goes the extra mile for his students, yet I haven’t been able to take one of his classes:
–Mrs. This One