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Wit & Banter: During Syllabus Week, don't get your hopes up

With a blink of an eye, Syllabus Week has come and gone. It’s a week of teacher introductions, recitations of class expectations and awkward icebreakers.

Upperclassmen have come to expect this week to promise shortened class times and the chance to slowly ease back into the hardships of homework and studying. Most teachers embrace Syllabus Week, but we can’t always be that fortunate.

It’s inevitable to happen with at least one of your classes every quarter. You sit down anxiously awaiting the opportunity to find out if you made the right choice by signing up for the class.

The teacher seems cool enough. He does the usual introductory statement, then hands out the syllabus … and you wait with bated breath.

You quietly start putting away your books after the teacher has finished talking about the course, but then your stomach sinks as a lecture begins.

Begrudgingly, you pull out the notebook you just put away and take notes, while shooting daggers from your eyes at your anti-Syllabus Week professor.

During times like these, the only thing you can do is grin and bear it until the class is over. In my opinion, it’s best to expect to have to stay the entire duration of class, that way you aren’t too ticked off when you actually do have to stay.

There’s so much rattling around in my brain that the idea of absorbing any new information during Syllabus Week is enough to spark a mental breakdown.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as eager to learn as the next person, but I think a little part of my sanity evaporates when my teachers start loading on the coursework on the very first day.

I’ve been at OU for almost three years, but the fear of walking into the wrong classroom during that first week is enough to keep my mind occupied until the last class of the week lets out.

Along with the fear of information overload during “the easiest week of the quarter,” the first week of classes also comes with a few other rude awakenings.

One thing in particular that taints the glory of Syllabus Week is the infuriating process of purchasing textbooks. I always have to pick my jaw up from the ground after I’ve shelled out 100 bucks worth of grocery money for one measly book.

Then I feel nauseated once I realize that I have three more books to buy, and resort to eating cereal for dinner for the next few weeks just to save some money.

Besides becoming instantly poor during that first week, I also become painstakingly aware of other classmates in the worst ways possible.

I understand the difficulty of transitioning into a new quarter, but my sympathy only goes so far.

Waking up on time for class after a vacation of sleeping in is rough, but give yourself enough time to shower, please! If nothing else, douse yourself in perfume or cologne because last night’s lingering alcohol scent isn’t an acceptable substitute.

Other little reminders that it’s going to be a long quarter: gum popping, pencil tapping, nose sniffling, coughing and the ever joyous sounds of muffled incoming text messages everywhere.

Bring on the quarter!

Tanya Parker is a junior studying broadcast journalism and columnist for The Post. Email her your own Syllabus Week woes at

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