From Gerald R. Lucas

You should engage the class: take notes, pay attention, ask questions, and listen — you know: act like a student. Take a couple of minutes and read Lisa Wade’s advice about behaviors to avoid in college.[1] It’s is very helpful information and could save you a lot of grief.

If you don’t agree with or understand something discussed, it is your duty to use the classroom environment as a place for clarification and discussion. However, one must always remain courteous and respectful to ones peers and professor. Questions and comments that demonstrate critical thinking about the material and improve the quality of learning that takes place in the classroom as a whole are valued most of all.


Behaviors which imply inattention are inappropriate and will subtract from your grade. Examples include conversation not directed to the class discussion, resting of the head on the desk, sleeping in any position, conspicuous yawning, tardiness, leaving class early (specifically without clearing it with me), reading other texts and/or working on projects for other courses during class, and sitting in any position more parallel to the floor than vertical. Expect me to call you out if you are not practicing correct behavior.

Class Time

Because discussion and active participation are integral to the learning process, I rarely lecture for extended periods. Therefore, time in class will be spent on discussion of readings, student writing, and exercises with the occasional short lecture. Quizzes, practice essays, discussions, and lectures are designed to benefit the entire group while personal problems and concerns should be handled during office hours.

Please see your individual syllabi for a more detailed explanation on class time. Many courses will have a specific class agenda that we will attempt to follow at every meeting.


MGA Policy

Due to the current public health emergency as a result of COVID-19, social distancing will be in effect on all campuses. Appropriate face coverings covering both the nose and the mouth will be required, both indoors and outdoors. Students will be expected to adhere to Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Board of Public Health, and University System of Georgia guidelines for preventative measures. Please reference Return to Campus Fall 2020 for complete information. Noncompliance with the face covering requirement will be documented and treated as student misconduct.

In most classrooms, seating will be configured to support social distancing. Face-to-face classes will look different, depending upon classes and subject areas. Several options are available, and faculty members will use the approach best suited to their classes. Carefully review your syllabus, D2L announcements, or email for details.


Students must keep thorough notes, both from classroom lecture and individual reading. Even if you are absent, you are held responsible for obtaining missed notes. Notes should not only reflect good listening skills, but individual interest in every topic discussed in class. You are encouraged to individually research topics discussed in class. Although notes will not receive a grade, they should be diligently kept in all classes. You should always endeavor to improve note-taking skills and consider using good old-fashioned pen and paper, as, according to more conclusive research, using electronic devices is actually deleterious to learning.[3]

Rated R

Since class lecture and discussion will often touch on the controversial, this college classroom is not an appropriate place for children. Please leave them at home.


Please eat meals and snacks before or after class; while a drink is fine, please do not eat in class.


All materials not directly related to the class, like cell phones, food, guns, headphones, etc., should be left in your car. They are not needed for our class. I understand our contemporary need to be in contact with everyone all the time, but I cannot let this personal need distract the class. Therefore: cell phones should be put on vibrate or preferably turned off and put in your bag for the duration of class. In fact, consider using your cell phone less by taking Cal Newport’s advice: “Use your smartphone only for the following activities: calls, text messages, maps, and audio (songs/podcasts/books).”[4] In addition, I do not allow class discussions to be taped, so do not bring any voice recording devices into the classroom.


MGA Policy

For some reason, the Georgia legislature decided to make campus carry legal. If you feel the need to carry a gun on a college campus, I invite you to reconsider and to think carefully about potential consequences to you and the campus community. I’m happy to discuss this issue with at any time.


  1. Wade, Lisa (August 25, 2014). "Professors' Pet Peeves". The Society Pages. Sociological Images. Retrieved 2019-01-01.
  2. See 4.1.5 Student Code Of Conduct of the Middle Georgia State University Policy Manual
  3. Doubek, James (April 17, 2016). "Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away". NPR. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  4. Newport, Cal (December 6, 2019). "The Advice I Gave My Students". Study Hacks Blog. Retrieved 2019-12-11.