Taking quotes in class

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In the wake of “UW-Eau Claire Confessions” and “UW-Eau Claire Secret Admirers” comes a new way for UW-Eau Claire students to interact on Facebook. This time, the professors are involved.

“S— my UWEC Professor Says” has joined the ranks of Eau Claire Facebook pages.

Students submit anonymous quotes when professors say outlandish things in class and sophomore Jonathan Wieser curates them on the Facebook page.

He started the page last May after taking a class with a professor who always said funny things in class. For the first few months, he said the page only had 17 likes. A couple weeks into this school year, the likes jumped from the high teens to 1,500 in a day. As of Thursday evening, the page now had 3,321 likes.

“I didn’t think it would get this big at all,” Wieser said. “I was expecting a couple hundred maybe.”

The quotes aren’t attributed to who said them, but students sometimes comment with the professor’s name.

Political science professor Steven Majstorovic said he uses crazy analogies in class that end up on the site.

“Faculty are ready to do strange bizarre things in class to keep people’s attention,” Majstorovic said.

He said the only way for people to pay better attention in class is for them to read more, but keeping an ear open for the next quotable phrase might help a little.

Anthropology professor Bob Barth said he checked the website to make sure he was being quoted correctly.

“Indeed I was,” Barth said.

He said he’s not bothered by the page at all and finds it funny.

“In fact, I think one of the things I’m known for is those sort of sayings,” Barth said. “It’s just reinforcing what people have already heard about me.”

Majstorovic and Barth both said the site hasn’t influenced what they say
in class.

“As soon as you start to try to contrive things in class, you lose your ability to teach and communicate,” Majstorovic said.

Majstorovic also said while there could be problems with a page like this with things being taken out of context he said “S— my UWEC Professor Says” doesn’t appear to be malicious in any way.

“The dark side of it is those who decide they want to grind an axe against a specific professor,” he said.

Majstorovic said the page isn’t mean-spirited, but makes professors more relatable to students.

“It lets off steam, lets students think faculty are people just like anyone else with the same kind of weaknesses and foibles and random thoughts induced by stray cosmic rays or whatever,” Majstorovic said. “I think people want professors to be fairly uncontrived and random.”

In addition to humanizing the professors, the page also brings the campus together.

“It also allows for the spirit of community, being a member of the UWEC community, (students) get to kibitz about professors,” Majstorovic said. “I think that’s all good and healthy.”

Wieser said it wasn’t his intent to create a community for Eau Claire students.

“I just thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Wieser said. “The professors seem to enjoy it, the students are enjoying it. I think it has a positive effect so far.”

Majstorovic and Barth said they will continue to say silly things in class.

“If people have professors who never say anything strange or bizarre or off-the-wall it’s just completely boring,” Majstorovic said. “And that’s no good either.”

 

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