Friday, January 22, 2010

Failing fast

In the startup world "failing fast" is a good thing. The idea is that if you're going to fail, it's best get it over with quickly so you can move on and try something else.

This morning Dr. Slesnick arrived to class a few minutes late, spent about fifteen minutes having each student affirm in writing that he understood the "contract for this class" (no makeup exams, no sleeping in class, etc.), and then announced that he had intended to lecture but that he couldn't find a dry erase marker and that therefore class was over.

Wait, what?

I'm trying to imagine someone in any other setting calling a meeting of 60 people and then canceling the meeting on the spot because he didn't have a pen and didn't care to look for one.

Today is the last day of the official add/drop period. I'll be dropping Dr. Slesnick's class. I give people exactly one chance to waste my time.

I'm going to head back down to campus for the 1:00p meeting of Dr. Watson's 420K class, and may add it depending on my conversation with him. I'll also be sending Dr. Slesnick an email suggesting he add one point to his "contract": that he will put some minimal amount of effort into not wasting his students' time.

I am glad about one thing. At least Dr. Slesnick failed fast.

Update: I dropped Slesnick's class and added Watson's. I composed an email to Slesnick but on the sage advice of a friend am going to sleep on it before sending.

Update 2: After sleeping on it, I've decided not to send the email I drafted. Bygones.


Andy said...

Professors and bureaucrats consistently and conveniently forget who works for whom.

Charlie said...


Kathleen said...

I'm sorry you had this encounter with a Slesnick!!! I am a Slesnick (you can check out my blog at and I would like for you to tell me more about this "Professor." Maybe I need to come to Texas and teach him a thing or two about Slesnick manners.....Thank you... Kathleen Slesnick Kauffman