“Going off of that” Plagues Discussion-Based Courses
Heated academic discussions are found in classrooms throughout Boston College at any time of the day, but seemingly more so in history courses than anywhere else. The logic behind this basically assumes that nothing is more debatable in modern academics than historical facts. With levels of confidence among students in these classrooms ranging from Great Awakening evangelical ministers to scared Maltese puppies, one can never be too certain what kind of material will be presented in group discussion. However, as Professor McLean Rodgers quickly found out during his 10:30 section of HIST8883: The War of 1812, what can be absolutely counted on is the dedication of people to piggyback onto the confidence and original opinions of others.
Known in layman’s terms as “going off of that,” this phenomenon is attributed to a number of factors within the academic realm, usually involving genuine aversion to public speaking to a general inability to sit down and do assigned readings.
“You know, as a history professor, you just sorta come to expect it. But as the semester goes on and people read the assignments less and less, the whole thing just gets way out of hand,” remarked Rodgers. “To be frank, they kind of just don’t give a fuck anymore and would rather let the one kid who read the whole damn assignment make the first point and then pick up on any little trail of crumbs they left.”
Evan Walsh, A&S ’16, has developed quite the reputation as a piggybacker in his time at Boston College, as he has transformed a guilty habit into an all-out obsessive attitude of relying on others to create a point that he can easily build upon.
“Hey, in the end, if I learn something, even if it’s like the smallest little thing, well that’s just a bonus right there,” remarked Walsh in-between his grunt-filled calf-raises at the Plex. “At least I was a realist from Day 1 bro, I kept my expectations for myself low and strict so I’d never disappoint myself by trying to actually do the readings for my history classes. Like that’d fuckin’ happen!”
At press time, that parasite Natalie had just “gone off” your point and taken exactly what you said an rephrased it, because she didn’t do the reading but still wanting to remain relevant in class discussion.