Most kids know from a young age not to sleep in class. But if you’re in Professor Mark Talbert’s lecture hall, you better not even yawn.
A video has surfaced this past week of the Hotel Administration professor yelling at an unknown student in his Business Computing class (HADM 1174) for yawning, calling the perpetrator names and commanding them to leave.
“If I hear one more of these overly loud yawns… get up and walk the hell out! Yawn outside!” says an irate Talbert. “Stay outta class, whatever it is you need to do to get over it, I wanna know why 220 other people don’t find the need to do that. And you should be asking yourself, why am I the one loser who has to do that?”
When the serial yawner refuses to show himself, Talbert challenges the class to a psychological duel.
“We’ll stay here until that person admits who it is or the person sitting around them tells me who it is,” he says.
After a brief moment of silence, he pauses from his iClicker quiz to go on a brief quest throughout the classroom to find the student, iClicker in hand. Then a female student in the back tells Talbert that it came from somebody in the hallway. But she can’t fool Professor Talbert.
“I’ve been hearing it in this room, like, regularly,” he tells the student. “And I’m not sure I believe that.”
Talbert doesn’t plan to give up that easily though, as he proposes another solution after sending a warning to the class.
A slide from the lecture - presumably the source of the serial yawner's exhaustion
“Let me tell you something, guys, my bad side is as bad as my pleasant side is pleasant, don’t push me that way… By the way if somebody wants to anonymously tell me who it is, please do.”
After the scolding, a shaken up Talbert continues his lecture on computers in a tense voice. But at this point any logical person must be wondering: why would a student possibly yawn?! Perhaps it’s a reflection of his exhaustion after a week of intense prelims, maybe he’s tired after climbing up the slope in 40 degree weather, or maybe he just thinks learning about the size of a megabyte is kinda boring.
Apparently, Talbert’s Business Computing class is the most stressful one in the Hotel School each semester it’s offered. With last semester’s median grade of a B-, HADM 1174 obviously brings out the worst in everyone.
According to submissions on RateMyProfessors.com, a website used by students to anonymously comment on a course or instructor, Talbert has a reputation for off-color comments and outbursts. His low rating of 2.2/5 comes from contributors saying that Talbert is “not helpful at all” and “extremely arrogant.” One person recalled a time when “he yelled at us for not saying ‘bless you’ after he sneezed,” and another said “he patrols the class like we are in 5th grade.”
Professor Talbert’s video comes on the heels of the administration and the Student Assembly’s ongoing efforts to improve mental health and relationships between professors and students on campus. Safe to say somebody didn’t go to the SA’s Caring Community Week.
Even after the class ends, Talbert extends one final offer to the trouble-maker.
“I will accept an apology now from whoever interrupted my class, if he has the guts to come up and do that,” he says.
Since the video cuts off, it’s uncertain whether or not the professor got his apology. But given Talbert’s striking resemblance to Chris Christie (see above), I don’t blame the yawner if he didn’t.
Hat tip to JPMITB