Stress bares down on some professors

Feature Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

Feature Story. Art by Chris Brockman.

The 2013 spring semester has been full of unexpected events. With an evacuation, a snowstorm and most recently, spring break, students have had some opportunities to enjoy some time outside of the classroom. For some students, the semester seems to be flying by and with class cancellations throughout the Spring, the stress doesn’t seem to be as heavy as usual. However, professors may have been under a bit more stress than usual.

This semester, many professors have had to realign their schedules and syllabi due to the unexpected events that have occurred. Some professors have found that they were able to switch around due dates and schedules with little trouble.

“I don’t think this semester has been any more stressful than previous semesters,” Dr. Dave Rausch, professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice, said. “I find spring semesters to be less stressful than fall semesters.”

On Feb. 11, Dr. Julie Lockman was giving her lecture and preparing to give her students their third Biology quiz of the semester. Suddenly, the evacuation statement scrolled across the bottom of the screen on her PowerPoint. She immediately told her students they must leave campus and the quiz would have to be rescheduled for the next week.

“Specifically with Biology, we try to coordinate class with lab and when things happen, like the evacuation and the snow storm, we have to re-direct our schedules,” Lockman said. “I have had to rework my schedule more this semester. We’ve had a couple of interruptions to that schedule, so we’ve had to be creative at making sure it all lines up.”

Midterms and finals often cause extra stress for students and professors alike. Lockman said for her, the stress usually tends to come in the middle of the semester.

“I’m trying to stay on track and make sure I cover what I need to,” Lockman said. “It is a more stressful time because we are trying to catch up with grading and make sure we’ve gotten everything back to the students going into their finals.”

However, some professors said they have not experienced any added stress.

“I have very little stress related to my position at WTAMU,” Dr. Keith Price, associate professor of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, said.