Why It's Ok to Skip Class or Sleep During Lecture

First published 9/2008
Original Post

Dr. Raisman blogs about a college professor getting annoyed at his students for using their cell phones, coming in late/leaving early and other annoying things. He says:

“College is not just to instruct on some facts, some processes. It is to teach some abilities to survive and thrive in the real world. Real customer service is telling students who walk in late “You just got fired from your job and class today. Arriving late and interrupting me and the class is unacceptable behavior which will not be tolerated here or in whatever field of work you wish to enter.””

As a Stanford student, I feel compelled to bring a slightly different view.

I don’t condone student interfering with another students education - this incudes cell phone use or handing in assignments late. But if a student wants to come in late, nap or work on their laptop during a giant lecture, I say go for it.


Because Professors are not my employers. In fact, I am paying the University, and therefore, the professor, to educate me. And if I don’t think that my professor is doing a good job of this, I don’t have to tolerate it.

Higher education is way way more than just getting good grades. Micropreneurship is where you really learn how to become a valuable employee. Students at Stanford start their own companies, nonprofits, run multiple student groups, are competitive athletes and do a whole host of other difficult and career-building things.  All these things take time, are tiring and can cut into rigid class schedules.

Punishing late-comers is something you do in the fast-food industry. In today’s growing digital world, people can set their own hours, provided the work gets done.

So while I generally agree that disruptive behavior should be punished because it hurts other students, if you think your own time is more valuable elsewhere, then use it.

Just ask Pogo about customer service in college - Career College Central Blog