Professor Hay leads the way

by Joseph Ciolino, Opinion Editor

Never missing a class is a rare occurrence for most students.

There’s no certificate given out as a reward for perfect attendance in college, like there was in grade school.

There’s no “senior ditch day”, or maybe there is, who knows.

What matters is that missing a class taught by Professor Jeffrey Hay is not possible.

Not possible for a history buff anyway, or just someone that enjoys listening to a good story — a story told by someone deeply passionate about what he teaches.

This past semester I took a course with Hay that enveloped the Holocaust.

Saying that this topic is difficult to learn about is an understatement, but Hay approached the topic with a certain grace, understanding and sensitivity that put this vast and detailed subject into perspective much easier than a cluttered textbook or a documentary on Netflix.

Hay warned us on syllabus day that his constant pacing back and forth in front of the classroom would be routine, and it was throughout the entire semester. 

This is just his way of collecting his thoughts and making the story and details flow.

Everyone has their thing, and this is his.

I would advise recording the lectures or using a laptop to take notes as Hay’s lectures are swift and information is boundless.

I had about 200 pages of notes by the end of the semester, and each detail is as important as the last.

Hay has an old-school teaching style.

He doesn’t care much for power points, Blackboard or other classroom technology, and that’s the way a history course should be.

Just storytelling, and Hay is a phenomenal storyteller. So the extra technology isn’t needed and would essentially be pointless as his lecture is enough.

This was a class that I looked forward to going to twice per week. I never skipped a day. Class sessions felt like they were too short because they were going by so fast because of Hay’s storytelling skills.

His expectations on exams are high.

He expects you to be able to paint a picture rather than just memorize dates and locations like a robot.

You have to prove that you understand why things happened and why certain things were significant and how they affect us today.

Hay is helpful and extremely intelligent. If you have an questions, or even an experience you would like to tell him about, he is more than willing to listen after the lecture.

During lecture, however, it is all business and he expects your full attention.

So pretend like you’re in the movie theater and turn off or silence your cellphone. (Not even joking, do it, you WILL get called out.)

I saw a few people get embarrassed for being on their cellphones during lecture.

That’s just because Hay expects your respect, and he deserves the respect of his students.

He is trying to teach his students some extremely important information.

If you are looking for an awesome history class with a fantastic professor that will paint a picture for you the entire semester, don’t hesitate to enroll or try to crash one of Professor Hay’s classes.

Enroll quickly, as they fill up extremely fast.

Professor Hay is teaching four classes this semester: World History, Western Civilization Since the 16th Century, Holocaust and World War II.

The classes already filled up and waitlisted this semester, but I highly recommend having the enroll button at the ready when you decide to enroll next semester.