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Generous: Professor Assigns 10-Page Problem Set Over Break Instead of Usual 12-Page Problem Set


Photo by Nadya Peek / CC BY 2.0

Jonathan Francis (E ’21) is pretty stressed out nowadays. The CIS major has been bombarded with programming assignments since NSO and can now officially LaTeX better than he can talk to girls.

Recently, Francis mustered up the courage to ask one of his professors, Dr. Gerald Cody, why he assigns so much work.

“You'll thank me when it’s all said and done. Right now, you deserve to suffer, because you’re a terrible person,” Cody replied with, half-jokingly. He’s tenured, so none of this was too controversial.

Francis would later show up at the professor’s office hours to discuss his mental wellness. “You do know what CAPS is, right?” Francis asked, only to be met with a confused look. 

Dr. Cody then smiled and told Francis to check his Canvas notifications for a "lighter" spring break assignment. Surely enough, there was a 10-page problem set to be done over break— a full two pages less than the usual 12-page problem set Cody assigns weekly. 

The professor was dumfounded to hear that the assignment might still be too much for Francis. “In all honesty, I don’t know what more I can do to help you manage your stress. You’re a good kid, but you need to stop worrying so much—things will get a lot better,” Cody said.

Thanks to those insights, an enlightened Francis was able to effectively manage his stress by barricading himself in his room to work on the assignment over the break. And he still only scored the mean.