I remember my News Writing & Reporting professor once saying that one of the great things about following the news is how you inevitably find weird and wonderful stories in the middle of more serious ones.
Yesterday’s HuffPost College front page couldn’t have been a more perfect illustration of my professor’s theory. Amid coverage of the Penn State scandal and the backlash from the UC Davis pepper spray incident lay this gem: “Prof Walks Out Of Class Because Students Did Not Bring Him Snacks.” Come again?
Apparently, Sacramento State Psychology 101 professor George Parrott walked out of a midterm review session two weeks ago because his students did not supply him with treats required of them by a handout they all received on the first day of class. According to The Sacramento Bee, the handout made this explicitly clear: “Not having a snack = no Dr. Parrott or TAs. Now you are responsible for your own lab assignment.”
Parrott’s actions were met with disapproval from the school’s psychology department and the dean, who asked Parrot to eliminate this requirement from the course until “they look at how the requirement conforms with campus polices regarding fees,” said university spokesperson Kim Nava.
Parrott has somehow been getting away with this for at least 39 years and has abandoned snackless classes in the past with no reaction from the university. His defense: the snack requirement “was his way of encouraging students to work collectively, among other things,” said The Sacramento Bee.
I honestly can’t decide how I feel about this sparkling diamond (it’s too amazing to be just a simple gem) of a story. I’m torn between my initial reaction of hysterical laughter and my realization that this man was making college students –who pay high tuition fees and have limited sources of income (if any) – bring him food and then denying them an education if they don’t comply with this ridiculous rule.
Because it’s Thanksgiving, I’m going to take the high road and not bash this man for his terrible course policy. I’ll just be thankful that not every story is about Jerry Sandusky or police brutality and that sometimes it’s okay to enjoy a piece of news for its purely superficial value.
Sometimes, that value comes in the form of amusement. And what’s more precious than a laugh once in a while?
Photo: TheChristianAlert.org at flickr.com