I laughed, but only because this exact same thing has happened to me. Mind you, I tend to teach in classrooms with big windows in the back, so there's usually a little natural light coming in and I assume they are just (understandably) enjoying a break from the horrid fluorescent overhead lights.If your classroom has no windows, then that's a little...freaky.
The room has high transom windows with closed shades, and it's cloudy here. The only available light was coming in from the hallway.
Same thing happens to me occasionally. If the lights were already off in the classroom, there's often not a single student who will undertake the herculean task of flipping the switches upon entering the room.
Me too! When I flip the switch, I'll say something like, "Feel free to turn the lights on when you come in," and they'll all just kind of look uncomfortable. Maybe no one wants to be the suck-up who turns on the lights?
I finally found a suck-up who took the hint! And it's a repeat customer who knows how I like to set the lights. It's disconcerting to have something go right...
Considering the students I had while I was teaching, and that situation had happened, turning on the lights wouldn't have made any difference. They would still have been in the dark no matter what I did.
I sometimes teach in rooms where the lights are motion-activated. Too much stillness and they go off (which wouldn't happen while I'm in the room)...still a freaky indication of the students' lack of initiative or simple *movement*.
I get this constantly, too, and always joke about it, but still find them immersed in darkness more often than not. I think some of them are nursing hangovers/still sleeping/are secretly vampires, so light is more than they can bear...
I'm going with Dr. J on this one. Well said.
This is what the overscheduled, oversupervised, helicopter parenting they've had inflicted upon them hath wrought: students in college who have so little initiative, they can't even flip a flippin' light switch. It simply does not occur to them. Have you observed what happens when they're outside, and it starts raining? That's right, they quite literally do not have the sense to come in out of the rain. I can top this, though. In 1998, I was giving a job talk (on my Hubble Space Telescope observations) at the college right across from the one where Mike Huckabee got his degree. (Yes, I was desperate, since I was on my third postdoc.) In the middle of the talk, one of their students tried to walk out, but in fact walked right into a closet. @Dr. J and Liz: Those aren't vampires, they're Republicans.
@Frod: did the student end up in Narnia?
Some high schools don't allow kids to touch the lights. Even way back when I was in high school we could get written up by touching the light switch or even going in the room if no teacher was present. I still can't imagine why we weren't allowed to touch the lights, though the other rule made enough sense. I was amazed when I got to college and nobody cared if I turned on the lights and didn't have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. With today's more enabled student it's no wonder they haven't figured that out (and yes, people ask if they can go to the bathroom every term and I'm like... you interrupted me for that...? freaking go already!)
Yup... same here: and even when I tell them they can turn the lights on, they don't. The ONLY student I've ever had flip the lights on was a woman in her 50s who marched in and said, "Why are you fools sitting in the dark?" A student complained to me that she had called them fool@Frod: I've done that at people's houses when searching for a bathroom. :o)
It's because so many of this generation's students have cultivated the role of victim. If things don't fall exactly the way their parents promised them it'd be, they fall apart.
Typical Gen iY response. Tell this woman that next time, instead of "fools," she should say, "peckerheads." (Actually, more appropriate would be "children.")
Perhaps Recall Fodder Walker will appreciate the 9 cents of energy they saved.
Maybe they like to think of class as an art film and the time before the instructor comes in as the trailers.Or they're lazy schmucks.
You had students in the room? Mine waited in the hall even if the door was open, after I told them to go on in if I wasn't there.It was an evening class, too. These were non-trads, just standing around in the hall.
Been there. I went in and taught the class without turning on the lights.I've also found the students outside of a room because nobody tried to turn the doorknob.
Weirdly, mine were doing the same thing the other day. Better yet, they were sitting there eating lunch in the dark.
I tell my students that if they sit in the dark, the college will call it "ambience" and raise their tuition.
I dunno, I think mine do this kind of thing out of deference -- they wait till I come in to go in; they don't touch the equipment, etc. It would be fine with me if they did, but I don't think they feel entitled to.
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