In this new advice column, Ask Alex answers all your burning questions about college and life. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a crazy professor. He gets so excited during his lectures that he sometimes spits. I happen to be the person who sits in front of the classroom because I have bad eyesight and I don’t get a lot out of the lecture if I’m not near the front. How can I still get a lot out of the lecture and also not have a desk with spit all over it?
Forever Grossed Out
Dear Forever Grossed Out,
Based on what you’ve told me, you have two options to avoid getting spit on you while still learning from the lectures, unless you want to sit behind someone and try to bob and weave your way through the semester.
The first option is to get glasses. I don’t know if you’ve been avoiding glasses because you don’t like them, but wearing my glasses always makes me feel studious and feeling studious gets good grades! Getting glasses would help you in the long run too because (and I don’t mean to sound like your mother) all that squinting to see can’t be good for your eyes.
The last option I have for you is to actually try sitting in the back of the class. I know this sounds weird, but sitting in the back might make you concentrate more on what the professor is saying. In the front, you’re constantly getting spat on. That means you’re probably concentrating more on how grossed out you are than on what the professor is actually saying. In the back you would be more pressured to concentrate on the professor’s words because you would hear the teacher more than you would see him.
You say your professor can get pretty passionate in lectures. From my experience this must mean his lectures are the best, the only downside being the spit. Professors who are passionate really believe what they are saying could change the world, which is why many of us aspired to get a higher education. So take advantage of having a passionate professor, even if they might seem crazy. Move seats in order to listen better because these lectures could be what you’ll remember for reference or motivation as you move on to the next phase of your life.
Wish you well!