Mike Adams
Dear Spring 2006 students:

The mainstream media isn’t on to it yet, but there is a new psychological malady sweeping the nation - especially prevalent in our institutions of higher learning. I call it Attention Surplus Syndrome. Perhaps the media will start to discuss it once they find an appropriate acronym. Until then, you’ll just have to rely on my brief description of the syndrome, which is based upon my observations as a college professor.

Attention Surplus Syndrome is characterized by the four major symptoms I will discuss in the next few paragraphs. Interestingly, few people suffering from Attention Surplus Syndrome exhibit just one or two of the symptoms. Where one is present, the other three usually follow.

Lateness. In order to be on time to class one must first recognize that there is an actual objective reality independent of one’s feelings. The Office of Campus Diversity does not feel that this is correct but they are wrong. They are wrong about almost everything including the notion that there is no such thing as right or wrong.

So, in my class, students are required to buy a watch and set it to the real time that is easily accessible on the Weather Channel. Students cannot come in late and tell me they really felt like they were on time. Nor am I interested in any excuses for their tardiness. I made it through a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate program without ever being a single second late for any class. You can make it to my class on time this semester. We only meet 42 times. You can just skip class on the days that you are overwhelmed by the oppressive white, patriarchal, heterosexist, Bourgeois concept of punctuality.

Of course, there is one drawback to my policy. Since you are required to be on time, you won’t be able to draw attention to yourself by running into class huffing and puffing after my lecture has already started. But that’s okay. This class is all about learning. It’s not all about you.

Interruptive-ness. For some reason, the kindergarten hand-raising lesson I learned when I was five years old is no longer taught in our public schools. It’s really quite simple so just pay attention to the following:

It is better to raise your hand and allow the professor to call on you than it is to simply blurt out your commentary before the professor has completed a thought or sentence.


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.


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