The first day of school can mean many different things for people. Some look forward to it, others loathe it. Some plan out their wardrobe, and others roll out of bed while grumbling about class. I am somewhere in the middle.
It seems to me that the first day of class is pointless, but also full of useful information that gears you for a successful semester. After going through five courses this week, I am ready for the real class to begin. Reading syllabi, meeting classmates and learning the grading scale are all fun to do, but they get old really fast.
I am always tempted to skip the first day, as many in each class do, but I am scared I will miss some piece of information that will help me later in the semester. After being in college for three years, I have learned that every bit of information helps. Whether it’s about the teacher or the course load, showing up on the first day could help you learn some important details about both.
Here at Washburn, teachers count attendance as a large percentage of the final grade, so why miss an easy day? Most of them give you three days before dropping your letter grade. It makes no sense to miss a class period that is basically handed to you. That being said, it’s hard to know which teachers will dock your points for missing the first day of class, until you have been in that class for awhile, and those professors do exist here at Washburn. Fortunately, they are few and far between. I have only had one professor in my six semesters that didn’t care, and that class was one you didn’t want to miss anyway.
Washburn isn’t a huge school with classes of 1,000 students or more, where your face is one of many in a crowd. Teachers here know you by name, and recognize your face.
Personally, this is what I love about WU, and why I have continued to attend classes here. It actually makes me feel better that my teachers want to take points away for not coming to class, because that means they care about us students getting the most from their class. It also gets my butt to class every day.
This year, I really wanted to skip the first day, but I decided to show up. One would think that after doing this so many times, I would have it down – not. I forgot to eat breakfast, off to a bad start already, I know. By the time my first class started, I was starving and ready to eat lunch. Instead of getting ready for class, I decided to run errands, my second bad choice of the day.
After my first class I wanted to get lunch, but couldn’t because I had a meeting I needed to be in. The meeting lasted over an hour and a half, and by that time it was off to class number two, introduction to art. In this class, we did the basic, run-of-the-mill “who are you, where are you from” and read the syllabus. Sitting through that while my stomach grumbled was not my idea of a good time, so I was relieved when the teacher let us out 45 minutes early. I was actually able to grab a bite from the Corner Store.
After scarfing down my breakfast/lunch, I went on my way to my third and final class for the day, design II. On my way I discovered the school had Welcome Week festivities that included a free pulled pork and chicken dinner. I was so disappointed, but had to continue to my final class, because I just couldn’t miss it.
After 20 minutes of introductions and syllabus reading, we were released early. I didn’t expect that, I think it was a record.
The lesson learned is, if you do plan to be a good, diligent student, don’t forget your breakfast.