Tuesday was officially the last day of class. It feels more like midterms rather than the end of the semester. And even though many students in the class were graduating seniors, I felt a sense of sadness in the room. Dr. Gurung didn’t end like many professors. He took the time to do a nice wrap up and even added a psychological twist on life, death, and happiness. It was clear that he wanted to end the semester with a bang; just as strong as he had started.
The first day of class is known as ‘syllabus day’. A day where you can usually guarantee that class time will be spent by a 20 minute lecture on the syllabus, possibly some introductions, and usually no class related material. The last day of class has the same feel. Although introductions and syllabi are left out of it, the last day is usually a similar experience. Either nothing more is added and class is cut short, or the professor is rushing to finish the last chapter of information that will be on the final exam. However, Dr. Gurung was able to keep his students’ attention from start until finish, and was neither rushing nor letting students leave early. Time management is just as important for the continuity of the semester as it is per class lecture.
I think students appreciate this. As a student, I don’t want to push through one last chapter. Instead, I like a conclusion. Similar to writing a paper, I want a real ending for the semester, and I think most students would agree with me. Dr. Gurung delivered. The lecture provided students with a take-away message, both related to class and to life. I think it is nice to add a life component into a take-away message. In a few years down the road, students may not remember the biopsychosocial approach and how it relates to health psychology, but they will remember the practical and application components of health related behaviors, and how it affects the individual and their loved ones.
I would like to see more of a push from professors to move away from a typical first day of class and last day of the semester. The end of the semester is stressful for everyone, but having a last day wrap up can provide some relief, as well as confidence in the student to take what he or she has learned and apply it to their life, future studies and career goals.