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The Professor Presence Privilege

Some days you wake up and you just can’t take the heat. Whether it’s sickness or exhaustion or just needing a mental health day, sometimes you just need a day off.

Kalamazoo College, like most small liberal arts colleges, is very driven to keep students active, both in academics and extracurricular activities. Classes are hard and require a lot of preparation and effort in order to stay on top of course material. Extracurricular activities, although they can be very fun, can also be stressful sometimes. College students are always under a lot of pressure to be involved and to succeed, and that can be pretty hard to manage, especially during the winter when it’s freezing, the sun is never out, and everyone is always sick and cranky. Some days you just look in the mirror and know that you need a break. And the best part about K College is that most of the time you can get one.

The one thing that Kalamazoo College never ceases to make me feel proud about is how much the professors care. It’s easy to get to know your professors when most classes are relatively small. They recognize when students are putting effort into a course, and appreciate it. But, professors also recognize that hard work is often accompanied with stress, sickness, and sometimes negative emotional health. Professors at K are very understanding and supportive. If you tell a professor you need a day off of class because you need a break, they almost always understand. If you are having difficulty getting a paper or project turned in on time, they can help you or give you an extension. Professors at K don’t just want students to show up to class, take tests, and turn in papers. Our professors want their students to succeed, and if that means giving students a day off to rest, or a few more days to work on an assignment then they will support that decision.

It feels really nice knowing that professors can be used as resources when you may not be feeling your best. That dynamic of trust is unique and really lets you feel comfortable within the campus community. I recognize that this sort of professor-student relationship is truly a privilege, and I just wanted to give a shout-out to our professors who really care.

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About Kate Ballew ’17

Kate Ballew (’17) is a sophomore Anthropology/Sociology and Critical Ethnic Studies double-major with a Political Science minor. She is the treasurer of Kaleidoscope, K’s LGBT+ group on campus, and has been a part of multiple theater productions in the Kalamazoo College Festival Playhouse. She is going to study abroad in Trinidad during the Spring of 2015. In her free time she loves petting cats and watching the food network.