Letter to Anonymous

Dear Anonymous Student,

When you wasted five minutes of the class’s time on the proper way address the guest professor who was filling in for the day, I did not mind. We all like a little curiosity. However, when – a few minutes later – you waved your hand in the air again interrupting the prof’s lecture, you got my attention. Our prof nodded to give you the chance to speak, at which point you proceeded on a full-out rant on how useless you thought this course was, how you failed to understand its real-life applications, and how you believed the textbook “got nowhere” in its “vagueness” after six chapters. The prof decided to push back his lecture and open a little discussion.

Then, Anonymous Student, we heard about your “extensive experience in managing” others as well as a detailed, play-by-play description of some interview you participated in for a company.  Furthermore, you stated that you are not convinced that this course would help you in the future, and that it was “almost like psychology”, and that because it lacked the quantitative precisions of disciplines like calculus, accounting, and other courses in your “background”, it is unworthy of the attention of academia (I paraphrase of course, though I believe I put it more eloquently, hmm?)

Anonymous Student, there were more than fifty other students in the room plus a professor who had a Doctorate on the subject and is renowned for his expertise in the field.  Although you had every right to voice your concerns about the curriculum, I can’t help but think that during a LECTURE by a GUEST might not have been the best place to do it. I commend the said professor for giving you unlimited floor time to talk and for appreciating your challenging questions. Though for me personally, I think I got your point the FIRST THREE TIMES you made it.

I’m sure there were people in the room who agreed with parts of what you said. I FOR ONE would be willing to listen to you after class or in a small group setting with the professor during office hours. However, the manner in which you presented your displeasure was completely unprofessional, inconsiderate and disrespectful.

With your confident – though slightly verbose – speaking abilities, I have no doubt that you will have success in future meetings with clients and employers. However, I couldn’t help but notice how VERY ironic it was when you said that you believed you were a “good manager” and that the course’s material paled in comparison to the experience you got from the real world. If there was one person who needed to take this course on management and motivation, it would be you.

Regrettably yours,

Phoebe Yu

P.S. – I still think you are a wonderful person and probably a brilliant student. But yesterday, your actions and words were disappointing.

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