The start of the new semester is a time when students pretend to care about learning for all of syllabus week before never showing up to a class their parents paid $700 for again. It's the perfect opportunity to show up to class early, sit up front and answer every question to let their professor know they are indeed That Bitch™. But for those enrolled in Professor Jim Farzer's Public Speaking course, the ultimate test of resolve comes with the awkward, coughing and sneezing filled silence before class starts every Tuesday and Thursday.
"Scheduling fifteen mandatory minutes of silence prior to the start of class builds character. It's a time for everyone to stare into space and think about every embarrassing thing that's ever happened to them," said Professor Farzer as he went over the "my kink for making students uncomfortable" section on his syllabus. "Uncomfortable silence really gets the self-reflective juices flowing. It also helps get discussion flowing later on, as students are more willing to talk about literally anything rather than go through another painful second of silence."
"I just… really love opening the same three apps over and over again until Professor Farzer says otherwise. I scroll through at least three miles of tweets alone before his class," confessed senior Aileen Rodriguez, who waited until her final semester of college to finish her remaining gen-eds. "Sometimes he randomly calls for 'silence breaks' in the middle of class and we all sit there thinking about calling our moms and meal prepping in our heads. I heard he does it with his online classes too. He just leaves fifteen minutes of him staring into his webcam at the beginning of each uploaded lecture video. They have to watch it or else they don't get an attendance point."
For the remainder of the school year, students can expect to sit in painstaking silence as Farzer looks at each one of them in the eyes individually, before using up the last three minutes of silence struggling with the projector. Despite negative evaluations on behalf of former students, Farzer refuses to change his methods because it makes him feel all powerful.