The Jolly Librarian Considers the Care and Handling of Faculty During the Final Week of the Semester

Students suffering through their own end-of-the-semester stress often do not realize that faculty are also undergoing a similar affliction. Like students, they also have a deadline when everything must be done. So in an effort to promote peace and goodwill during final exams , the Jolly Librarian has some tips on the care of faculty:

  • Realize that many faculty are living on Starbucks this week and the caffeine in their system is probably twenty times the normal level for a human being. Therefore, it is important to approach them cautiously and slowly. Do not surprise them from behind or tap them on the shoulder without announcing yourself first.
  • In the midst of grading papers, faculty will sometimes take a break by wandering the halls. Now they are wandering because they simply can’t take any more. This is not the time to stop them and discuss your paper (its merits or lack of) or why you need some extra credit. Save that for an office appointment. In fact, unless said faculty member addresses you first, just avoid eye contact and pretend you don’t see him/her.
  • There are certain things that you should never say to a faculty member during this week (well, ever, but remember the amount of caffeine in their systems right now). Even the jolliest professor will have trouble finding the humor in the following.
    • You didn’t enjoy grading it? Do you think I enjoyed writing it?
    • You wouldn’t have to grade so much if you didn’t assign so much!
    • Maybe you didn’t do a good job of teaching.

In general, this is an especially good time to remember that faculty are human too and have the same problems as everyone else. They too may be facing this week with one or more of the following problems: sick kids, sick parents, car problems, angry spouses, etc. Still, they genuinely want you to learn and do well– even if they do look more zombie than human this week.


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