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By Irene Kuan

Engineering professor Tal Ghorab just wants his students to wake up and grow up.

Last week, the 34-year Ryerson veteran told his class of third-year Mechanical Engineering students he would quit if they didn’t start taking the class seriously.

“It was out of the blue,” student Jeffrey Ong said of the comments. “People were shocked and nobody said anything back.”

Ghorab actually retired three years ago, but he continues to teach for the pure enjoyment of it. While some students took his warnings to quit seriously, the prof assured he’ll continue teaching the course.

He does, however, want more of a commitment from his class.

“I don’t enjoy teaching in a classroom where there’s a lack of discipline. There are supposed to be 75 students in this course,” he said, pointing to the poorly-attended lecture room. “There’s no way there are 75 here.”

Rachel Guha, a third-year Mechanical Engineering student, said she couldn’t blame Ghorab for feeling frustrated. “He’s the type of teacher who likes people to interact,” she said. “He’s frustrated because he cares and he feels nobody else cares.”

Guha credited Ghorab as being an excellent teacher who simplified complex theories. She said he’s also one of the few instructors she knows who takes extra steps to ensure his students understand course material.

“You’re not going to find many teachers who would devote time to review everything from the semester,” said Guha, referring to Ghorab’s extra counselling sessions that usually have a low turnout.

After Ghorab made the threat in class, though, he said more students started attending extra-help seminars.

“I just hate to see wasted time, money and resources,” he said. “I want to see better work.”

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