Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh, dear! Oh, dear! I shall be LATE!

An essay on lateness. Late-itude. A contemplation of late-hood, from an economic perspective.

I predict you will recognize someone close to you.

And, if you recognize yourself...well, the truth hurts. Shape up.

An excerpt:

Now, isn't it remarkable that someone would intentionally set their watch wrong? Do you intentionally put misspelled words into your computer's spell-check? Do you hold magnets near your compass, to pull the needle away from north? It makes no sense to add minutes, just to subtract them mentally to find the correct time. At best, the "set watch ahead" trick could only work if it were done without your knowledge. But people do it, and tell themselves they aren't really twenty minutes late, but only ten. I have had people say that, when they come in late: "I'm only ten minutes late, not twenty, like my watch says." How nice for you. Say hello to Mr. Broadsword.



Dirty Davey said...

Another way to discourage lateness and avoid wasting your own time: schedule three separate one-on-one meetings with three different students at the same time.

Your expected wait is less, as you can get down to business as soon as the first student shows up. And because of the high cost of arriving after another student with the same appointment time, students will make much greater effort to arrive early.

Not that I've ever encountered a faculty member who did this, of course.

Mungowitz said...

DD has a point, as usual.

I have to admit that once while I was at UNC I did the following:

(a) scheduled three students to have individual meetings with me at the same time,
(b) failed to show up myself. forgot completely.

Not sure it can get much worse than that.

Fundman said...

Another thought - start the meeting regardless of who is there and who isn't. Why wait for slackers? Do you hold up class because some students aren't on time?

Angus said...

Mrs. Angus and I had a similar problem when we taught in Mexico; many students habitually came late to class. Robin just started without them and locked the door to the clasroom and then ignored them pounding on the door and windows. She actually had to do it twice, but that cured both her students and amazingly, mine as well!!