Two classes back-to-back. One on the fifth floor of Ritter Annex, and the other on the ninth floor of Gladfelter Hall. Only 10 minutes in between to get there.
“I’m always in a rush,” junior digital media art major Michael Tran said. “I run to class.”
Some professors say they expect this go-getter attitude from their students.
“People will fail if they don’t come to class [on time] because they won’t be able to learn [the material] on their own,” assistant professor of classics Karen Hersch said.
Theater instructor Kaleo Bird takes roll at exactly 40 minutes after the hour. Every two tardies in her class count as an absence and sometimes lead to a lowered grade.
Figuring out how to get to class on time is a “part of growing up,” she said.
Bird said she feels that freshmen are late most often.
“They don’t know how big [the campus] is or maybe they don’t know how to manage their time yet,” Bird said. “So they sign up for classes that are far apart without realizing that means they’re going to have to sprint.”
Freshman physical therapy major Abhi Munshi takes classes at the Main Campus and TUCC. When she registered for her courses, she made sure she had enough time to travel back and fourth between the two campuses, even if she misses the shuttle bus.
“It comes once every hour and it’s very difficult to wait,” she said. “If you miss the bus one minute, two minutes, you have to wait another hour.”
Intellectual Heritage professor Joe Giuffre doesn’t punish his students when they are tardy because he believes they are punishing themselves.
“If they miss the first five minutes a few times, they’ll quickly catch on that they really don’t know what’s going on,” he said.
But he and many other professors understand the challenge of traveling long distances across campus.
Gary Pratt, the assistant director of the IH department, once taught two classes back-to-back.
“I had to go from [1300 residence hall] to [Anderson] and you can almost make it in 10 minutes,” he said. “I ran.”
Marlene Chachkin, scheduling manager of Planning and Policy Analysis, said the 10-minute break didn’t exist years ago.
So next time you’re sprinting between your class that ends at 1:30 p.m. and the one that begins at 1:40 p.m., be grateful you have those short 10 minutes.
Anne Ha can be reached at email@example.com.