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Twice Is Nice

Editorial Notebook

For many of us, shopping week is not easy. We come into classes late and leave early. We stand in doorways, trying to ignore the noise in the hall. We crouch on the floor and are stepped on. We impose on each other to borrow syllabi. We fill out index cards and lottery forms, read and re-read CUE guide ratings, cross-check exam and paper dates. We arrive 11 a.m. classes at 11:20 to find students, TFs and professor all gone.

Worst of all, we miss entire classes we're interested in. As usual, nearly every class that catches our eye in Courses of Instruction is scheduled for, say, Thursday at 1. We try our best--running from room to room, spending 10 minutes in each class, picking up as many syllabi and catching as may professorial utterances as an hour allows. In the end we're tired, but just as clueless as ever.

On Friday, however, at least two professors did their part to make shopping period more shopper-friendly. Jesse Matz, assistant professor of English and American literature, offered a repeat of his introductory lecture to English 192m, "Modernism."

And Robert D. Levin, Robinson professor of the humanities, presented the first lecture of Literature and Arts B-54, "Chamber Music from Mozart to Ravel," for a second time to a crowd of several hundred.

Such repeat lectures make perfect sense. They give the professor another chance to show his or her wares to prospective customers, at the small cost of an hour, or 90 minutes at most. More importantly, they give students the chance to hear an introductory lecture as it should be heard: with their full attention and without the pressure that comes from wanting to be in many places at the same time. If other professors followed suit, the first week of each semester would be more manageable in the short run, and quite possibly more fruitful in the long.

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