Ten Things I Hate About
- If you missed class, contact a classmate to get
notes and check the course website for any updates. Do not email me after
the class to ask: “Did I miss anything important?” because I will provide
a one-word reply: “Yes.”
- If you are having trouble with material, do not wait
until the last few weeks of the semester to contact me for assistance. If
you could make up a semester’s worth of work in two or so weeks, you
wouldn’t need my help in the first place. If after the first several
weeks, you are not doing well on quizzes and are having trouble doing the
first paper, come to office hours. But see #3:
- If you don’t read the readings, I cannot help
you. If you ask me to help point you in a fruitful direction for an essay
in the 7th week of the course, and I ask you: “What does
Howard say about that aspect of strategy?” and you reply: “Whose
Howard?” the only direction I can point to is the door.
- If you have questions about a reading, come to
office hours and say, “I don’t get it,” I will then ask you what
specifically you don’t get. If you say “the whole thing,” I will hand you
a copy of the reading, have you read the first line, and ask you what you
don’t get. If, however, you show up and say “I don’t understand what Mann
means on p. 16 by “confederal” methods. I
mean, he doesn’t give a clear example,” I will then explain the
- I have office hours so that you can ask me
substantive questions about the course and consult with me about any other
matters (e.g., you will be off-campus for a valid reason when there is a
quiz). Substantive consultations (i.e., discussions about international
politics and theories of international politics) count toward class
participation. Often, however, no one shows up at office hours. I can pick
my nose and browse iFilm but I’d rather do that at home than in my
- Some say that 90% of life is just showing up.
Unfortunately, my class is part of the other 10%. Sitting solipsistically
in class earns you nothing. I grade participation, not attendance. If you
get a poor grade on an essay or quiz, the plea “But I attended every
class” is irrelevant. When you attend class, you should participate during
discussions or ask questions if something is not clear. For example, if I
say something that contradicts what was written in the readings without
acknowledging that it does, you should ask about the discrepancy. I do not
take formal attendance. I get paid whether you attend or not. I also get
paid whether you get an A or a F.
- When I’m talking during class, you shouldn’t be.
When one of your classmates is speaking before the class, you shouldn’t
be. If you want to have a conversation with a classmate, leave the room.
- “When’s the next quiz?” To answer that question, I
will look at the syllabus. Maybe you should too, or rather, instead of me.
- I don’t carry all the papers and quizzes around with
me all the time. I hand them back after they are graded. If you missed
class when I did so, you should come to collect them at office hours.
- Don’t email me to ask for a grade. I hand essays back in class. I wrote the grade down on the item and in my grade
log. (All quiz or test grades are posted to the WebCT gradebook). If coming to class
or office hours to collect the item was too arduous for you, looking up
the grade and emailing it is too arduous for me.