Be lenient with students watching March Madness games

Jake Keeley

There are certainly days where we are less productive than others. Whether it be that you stayed up too late last night, have something on your mind, or any other reasonable explanation you are just not operating at 100 percent efficiency. These days are not only unavoidable, but they are also understandable. Try as you may, but you will never be at your best every day of the year. However, there are plenty of days where our concentration consistently falters which are avoidable. 

Take for example the Monday after the Super Bowl. First of all, it’s a Monday, and second of all, the Super Bowl was the night before, which implies too much food, too many drinks, and not enough sleep. I guess you could argue that my lack of concentration on that Monday could be completely avoided had I not watched the Super Bowl, but then I would unfortunately have to terminate our friendship. Now, I’m not advocating that we treat that Monday as a national holiday, but maybe a late start would be nice.

Similarly, we have found ourselves in a similar predicament this week. While I will be present in my day-to-day activities this coming week, I would be lying to you if I told you my focus would not be somewhat, if not completely occupied by the NCAA basketball tournament. The beauty of the tournament, as you’ve heard a million times before, is the unpredictability. A perfect bracket is unheard of, even through the first round. It is a one game elimination, which allows for David to takedown Goliath in a single well-executed game, shocking everyone. The tournament leads us to revel in the underdogs successes and curse ourselves over our poor final four choices. “Madness” surely is an accurate description.

But, the problem still remains that the real action commences Thursday and continues Friday, which means there will be several hours unaccounted for by the poor saps in class and at work, including myself. What’s the problem with missing a couple games here and there? There’s no problem if you don’t enjoy fun. But for the rest of us, this is can’t-miss action. Considering we are riding the wave of the craziest sports championships of all time (the Cubs won the world series, the Patriots Super Bowl comeback, the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead, Villanova buzzer beater) I would not put anything past the tournament this year. A 16-seed finally beating a 1-seed? It doesn’t seem particularly outlandish this year.

So all I am asking of the professors/bosses this year is to not get too upset when a student is live streaming the tournament, and maybe be a little more lax on the attendance policy. If you see (or create) an opportunity to end a class/shift a little early take advantage of it. Because unfortunately as time passes we tend to forget the little nuances presented in lecture that made it so important to be in attendance, but nobody is going to forget say the Cubs winning the World Series, or a 16-seed knocking off a 1-seed.