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OP-ED: I Literally Would Have Cured Coronavirus by Now if My Lectures Actually Ended on Time


Photo with edits by Becky Weisberg / The Daily Pennsylvanian

I stare at the upper right-hand corner of my screen: 12:54 p.m. No “To wrap up…” No “It seems like we’re out of time for today.” Not even an “Oh my! Would you look at the time!” My professor merely continues onto her next slide, as if she isn’t flaunting her flagrant audacity.

If only she knew. Last semester, when the ten minutes in between classes actually existed, I was a machine. Between 12:50 and 1:00 p.m., I would tag my crush in a Facebook meme, screenshot the tag and send it to my best friend to show her how courageous I was, pick up my Starbucks mobile order I placed during lecture, schedule three lunch dates, and set a reminder in my phone to cancel one of the lunch dates because of a “last-minute” conflict, all while speed-walking to DRL. It is rude, nay, insulting to assume that my ten minutes would be better spent staring at a painting of Jesus on a church ceiling from the Middle Ages.

While all of the actions I listed above are those which I could technically do, and in practice actually do do (hehe), during class, I believe that this shameless theft of our time is more egregious now than ever. Without the added pressure of walking between classes, the possibilities of what the Penn student body could accomplish during these ten minutes are endless. We could meal prep for the week, attend ten 60-second lectures, or take a really good shit - if only our professors actually respected our time. On a personal note, I’m certain that if it weren’t for those extra ten minutes of Zoom, I would have figured out a cure for coronavirus, a solution to socioeconomic inequality, and a wittier ending to this article.