Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Professor's Rant: Instant Viral Sensation

Mark Talbert, a professor at Cornell University, had a bit of an outburst during one of his lecture classes. A student was yawning - an "overly loud yawn", as Talbert puts it - and he finally had enough. He began asking the class who yawned, and when no one stood up, he asked the other students to identify who was disturbing the class. The video of the rant lasts for almost 3 minutes, and during this time he tells his students that if he hears another of the yawns, the student should "get up and walk the hell out." He also warns his students, "Don't push me to this point again."
Not only is this highly inappropriate, Talbert should have realized that almost every student has a cell phone with them (and on) during classes; especially lecture classes with over 200 people in them. Asking students to leave if they need to yawn is one thing; yelling at the entire class and cursing is definitely another. I watched the video and felt really bad for the students; it was terribly awkward and Talbert was frightening. And to threaten students? While I'm sure he didn't actually mean to threaten them, that is exactly what "Don't push me to this point again" sounds like. This video is just another testament to the fact that everyone - teachers and students alike - need to be careful of what is said in public. One never knows when he is being recorded.