A month ago today, Mark Talbert, a senior lecturer in Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, wigged out at a phantom yawner in his 11:40 am HADM 1174: Business Computing lecture. Someone yawned. He was all like “RAWR WHO YAWNED BLAAHGHGGHGHGHHGHG!” and everyone was a little taken aback and confused. And that should have been that.
Unfortunately for Talbert, the Hotel school was recording the lecture for posterity and posted it online. It was only a short step from the Cornell Web site to YouTube.
And here we go:
After the jump: A blow-by-blow recap of the tirade
Well, at first Mr. Talbert is clearly miffed, but mostly keeps his composure. Somebody has been yawning. REALLY LOUDLY. And he was going to find out who dun it, or we’re all going to just stay put, and you’re going to miss recess.
“We’re going to sit here until either that person admits who it is, or the person sitting around them tells me who it is. Who was it?”
(It’s sort of like the Prisoner’s Dilemma! Except ridiculous.)
So the lecturer walks back into the crowd, and everyone is looking around, like “Wuuuh?” — probably half-tired or terrified that the guy is going to glance at their computer screens and see they’re playing Sporcle. Then the girl in the back —who it appears was sitting behind some sort of draping or screen even though everyone else was sitting in front of said obstruction (and let’s be honest, she was probably the yawner) — the girl points back into the hall and claims that the noise came from outside. But the distinguished Mr. Talbert is just not having it. This has been happening regularly. REGULARLY.
“Let me tell you something, guys: My bad side is as bad as my pleasant side is pleasant. Don’t push me. I like to keep things informal in here —” (Please note that everyone in the class is in business wear) “— But understand what the difference between informal and impolite is. And I won’t tolerate impolite.”
Now, before we go any further, I think it behooves us to step back and take an objective look at all this. We at IvyGate tend to have an institutional bias against people like Mark Talbert. (That is, people who wildly embarrass themselves on video.) So let’s just talk this over real quick: Someone was yawning. Really loudly. And, judging from the esteemed professor’s reaction, this wasn’t the first time it had happened. That actually is kind of rude, and a stern, sober-faced rebuke probably was called for.
Unfortunately, around the 1:38 mark, the dear professor busts a nutty.
“If I hear one more of these overly loud yawns — GET UP AND WALK THE HELL OUT. STAY OUT OF CLASS.” And he goes on and on. “Ask yourself, ‘Why am I the one loser who has to do that when 220 other people know better?!’”
(Photo courtesy of Cornell Insider)
Finally, Talbert regains his composure and resumes his lecture, but not before lamenting that the phantom yawner ruined the tone of the lesson for the rest of the class. RUINED!
Seriously though. Imagine if somebody’s ring tone had gone off? Poor guy probably would’ve had an aneurysm.
We’ll keep the comment to a minimum and just leave you with this Auto-tuned version of the good professor’s freak-out (UPDATE: which, we should mention, was graciously provided by an anonymous tipster):