For as long as I can remember, I’ve avoided going to office hours. I hated the idea of lingering just outside a professor’s office door while someone else pretends to have a question about their paper but are actually just trying to make themselves feel better about not having started. I hated the concept of being forced to educate myself on my own time. I hated when people sat next to me in lecture and reported on the banal conversation they supposedly had with the professor about their forgettable work. Last Thursday, though, I felt some deep psychological impulse: I headed to Wheeler to ask a question of my professor which I probably could have figured out the answer to on my own.
The interaction couldn’t have gone better. Not only did he provide a vague answer to my equally nebulous inquiry, but he also looked over my half-baked thesis and said that it had “good bones.” After I left the office, I thought to myself: I don’t think that I’ll be able to forget this moment for a long time. In fact, neither will anyone in my class! I’m going to tell everyone in this lecture about the fact that I talked to the professor during office hours.
On my relatively short journey from amicable classmate to insufferable peer, I haven’t once stopped to question myself. There’s no doubt in my mind that everyone who is working on the same assignment as me will be just as eager to hear things the professor said in confidence, things like: “make sure to rewatch the lectures” and “pay close attention to the wording of the prompt” and “I think you have a solid chance at getting an A or a B or a C if you do what the prompt asks you to do.” Though I’m aware that many of my classmates have begun to deliberately avoid eye contact with me, I have largely ignored these signals. Nothing is more important to me than asserting myself and my personal connection with this professor.
After the paper, who knows! He could land me my first unpaid internship at a local publishing house. He could even recommend other classes in the English department to take if I like this subject (I don’t, but the recommendation will be nice enough. I will also tell everyone that he recommended these classes to me personally). Though the future is uncertain, I plan to move ahead in my endeavor to become the single most annoying person in the class by asking everyone what they got on the next paper.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.