There are several things that become distinctly unpleasant as summer approaches. Sitting in a damp, windowless room and having a root canal sans anesthetic comes to mind. Or going to class.
Of course, cutting class is an indulgence not strictly confined to beautiful summery days — throughout the year, Yalies ditch for a variety of reasons. Nearly every student fits (at least) one of these profiles:
An almost universal vice. It takes extraordinary willpower to wrest one’s body out of bed for Bio lecture when it’s cold outside. One freshman explained: “I don’t want to trek all the way up Science Hill when it’s raining or if I feel sick, especially if the guest lecturer isn’t good.”
The sardine-esque quality of a typical Yale student’s schedule often makes class attendance impossible. A large lecture class falls precipitously on anyone’s priorities list when it competes with a cappella rehearsal or Yale Political Union, for example. Many students feel their time can be used more efficiently outside of class — doing homework for that class, perhaps.
“Last week I didn’t go to a single class,” laughed one freshman. “I had to finish a 15-page paper in two days.”
A dedicated minority makes it a point to attend each class religiously. Come rain or awful guest lecturer, these students will be sitting, attentive, in the front row, usually five minutes early. One sophomore said she hasn’t cut class once this year. “Now that I’m taking classes I really enjoy, with professors in my major, I don’t want to jeopardize those relationships.”
We’re here to learn, right?
Judging by an informal poll of 20 students conducted for this article, the most magnetic pull away from the classroom is the sun. Re-constitution of skin that has been unbearably blanched by New Haven’s winter is vital to physical well being, self-esteem and summer wardrobe selection. And since the beginning of April, when Old Campus became a beach scene of bikinis and lawn chairs, students have notably acted upon this sentiment.
“Going to class on days like this is like slapping God in the face,” asserted a Yale student. scene agrees.
But what of the neglected professors who find their class sizes dwindling? Yale administration could solve the delinquency problem by trimming the academic calendar to fit the weather. If you can’t fight them, join them. Like it or not, this year, the shift from “60 Minutes” to “Baywatch,” from essays to tanning, is complete.