New UW-Madison professor Nicholas Adams has caused a stir in his Chemistry 103 class by instituting a new rule only allowing students to take notes using a laptop within a five-foot radius of him during lecture. Adams marks this boundary daily by spray-painting a circle at the front where he talks during lecture in red and then writing “LAPTOPS” within the circle and “NO LAPTOPS” outside the circle. The new rule has forced his students to arrive at lecture much earlier than they usually would in order to have a chance to get a coveted spot within the spray-painted circle.
“I skipped a midterm to come 2 hours early and STILL didn’t get a spot,” said student Theo White.
“I didn’t even bring paper or a pencil to school and I’m definitely too lazy to go buy them, so if I don’t get a spot I’m screwed,” said Noah Curtis.
When asked to explain his policy, Adams struggled to defend it.
“W-well, there was Vox video my mom sent me, and this thing from Buzzfeed my colleague showed me…they talked about how if you sit too far away it’s kinda hard to pay attention…” he said before losing his train of thought. When asked about why he used a five-foot radius, Adams appeared to deflect the question, beginning to spin around in his office chair and wonder aloud if “ambisextrous” would be a better word to describe bisexual people.
The new rule has also caused headaches for the Chemistry Building’s janitorial staff, who have not taken kindly to their new responsibility of cleaning the remnants of the spray-painted circles each night.
“Oh, it’s that new guy?” Janitor Mario Mendez said, in reference to Mr. Adams. “Yeah, that new rule of his is so stupid. I don’t get it. Five foot radius, front half of the classroom, who does that idiot think he is telling kids they can’t use laptops like it’s the Dark Ages? Not to mention he destroys the floor every day and WE have to deal with it.”
“I mean, it is their job to clean it up,” Adams said.