On Campus

New feature: ask a professor

Everything you wanted to know about professors but had more important things to do than ask.

An academic year has come and gone and the hour hand has almost moved from midnight to one. I was somewhat astounded to realize recently that I have written 54 posts since I began this blog last August.

Throughout, I have tried to give the prof’s-eye-view of university life, often trying to anticipate what those outside of the academy, or those who only know it as students, might find interesting. I will continue to do so and to provide the commentary on current events that have endeared me to so many.

Still, as The Hour Hand moves on, I would love to hear from readers directly about what questions they might have and about which they would like a frank response. I will work out the rules as I go along, but a few occur to me off-hand:

1. Don’t ask me to do your homework. I won’t explain the difference between accuracy and precision or tell you how much Gertrude knew about the murder of King Hamlet.

2. Don’t ask me to take sides. Please don’t send me things like “My prof said I plagiarized, but I don’t think I did” with the hope that I will say you are right so that you can throw it in your prof’s face (it wouldn’t work anyway).

3. I can’t provide course or career counseling. I have no way of knowing what courses you need to get into a particular program, or what courses you should take when you get there, or what the job prospects are when you graduate. These are all good questions, but not ones I know the answers to.

4. Don’t ask about things that are specific to your university. I don’t know the hours of the pharmacy in your student centre or what time the Dean usually gets in.

5. Please remember that I am not a medical doctor or trained psychologist. Questions about health problems or serious emotional crises should be referred to qualified professionals.

I hope that leaves a few stones for us to turn. By the way, while I may address your question in the blog, I will not use your name or any of your personal information.

Send emails to todd_pettigrew@cbu.ca . Please put the words “Hour Hand” in the subject line.