Students and professors have been sticking their academic tongues out, saying "blah!" to the university lately. The couldn't-care-less sickness they all suffer from is not sudden or unusual, but now it's especially pronounced. It has afflicted even the most enthusiastically resistant.

The symptoms are easy to detect. The professor looks out onto a sea of blank faces and mechanically asks, "Are there any questions over this material?" And the class sits vegetating, waiting for the professor to switch into low and continue with the next page of notes. Possibly, the funny little guy who sits in the third row might raise his hand, whether he does or not, everyone sits expectantly, waiting for him to Come Up With Something.

Classroom attendance falls off by a third. Eight o'clock looks like an incomplete study in sleep. Students become obsessed with anything nonacademic.

No one really cares what It is. Students settle back and gaze at the professors and the professors gaze back at the students.

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