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World-Renowned Guest Lecturer Has Record High Attendance of Students Texting on Laptops

Photo by Lucia Huo / The Daily Pennsylvanian

At Penn, guest lectures are often viewed as skip days for that class, or, at the very least, a nap period. However, when the guest is fairly notable, they might be able to fill about half a class. Penn often doesn’t host these kinds of lecturers, who tend to prioritize trips to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and, for some reason, Brown

So, when a political science professor announced that instead of typical lecture (in which he reads directly off of the lecture slides) the class would be enjoying a talk by Malala Yousafzai, students were slightly more interested. In fact, the lecture hall had record high attendance. 

“I just HAD to see Malala Yousafzai—she’s soo important,” Katherine Kertz (C ’21) texted her friend during the lecture. 

“Yea ik! I can’t believe she’s here lol,” responded Michael Gerberwitz (W ’20), who scrolled through r/anime as Yousafzai spoke about the horrors of the Taliban.

Another student spent 25 minutes getting his Instagram story of Yousafzai “just right” as the Nobel Prize winner spoke to the laptop-illuminated faces of the room about her activism. 

“That talk was so inspiring,” Livie Lemurton (C ’21) gushed to UTB after it ended, even though she had just spent the entire 50 minutes paragraph-texting her on-again-off-again boyfriend.

“It’s great to see these students get the most out of their college experience,” Yousafzai huffed as she promptly left campus.