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Professor Waits Two Days to Respond on Canvas to Avoid Seeming Desperate


Photo by Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons

For some, online communication just comes naturally.

Physics professor Michael Hennessy was ecstatic when he received a message on Canvas from one of his students. He doesn’t receive many emails from undergrads, but loves hearing from them, so he was determined to prove that it’s not so scary to chat with professors. Hennessy mastered the craft of instant messaging in his glory days, but it’s hard for the aging teacher to adapt to the daunting rules of modern lingo. He still wanted to seem cool and hip to his students, but needed some quick tips to get back in the game.

So naturally, he perused the internet for advice. After reading a few articles, Hennessy found one that looked promising. “To keep him captivated, wait a few days to respond. It’ll keep him on edge and make you seem mysterious, which will pique his interest even more.”

“I always like to keep my students interested,” Hennessy remembers thinking. “I think engaging classes are so much more rewarding.”

Hennessy waited 43 hours before responding to his student.

“I guess it was a little weird of him to respond late on purpose," College freshman Connor Williams said. "I mean I was just asking him if I could make up the quiz on Thursday.” 

“It’s not really a big deal," Williams said. "I wish he would’ve answered sooner, I guess. I kinda needed the answer by Tuesday so I could know if I’d be able to meet my parents for lunch, but it’s whatever.”

Hennessy believed his exchange went well. “I think Connor was a little taken aback by the tactics I employed. These strategies are usually a little unexpected for students, but definitely give me the upper hand when I talk with them. And you know what else? Connor finally asked me to his date night on Saturday.”