Yesterday I had a one-on-one consultation with the professor for my Information Culture and Subcultures class. The course focuses on how subcultures use technology for aesthetic or political purposes. Unfortunately, this class conflicts with another class, Sociology of the Arts, which I'm obligated to take, since it's kind of my "speciality" and I traveled 9,000 kilometers just so I can register for it.
In Canada, students only visit their professors' office if they have a question or a grading problem. If students cannot take a class because of a scheduling conflict, well, then that's too bad: you just don't register for that class. However, my faculty (and presumably the other faculties) in Ljubljana allows students to meet with the professor if just such an occasion arises.
So what does this all entail? I arranged a time and date with the prof, and then I met him in his office. We basically sat and talked about photography, lomography, Barthes, Benjamin, various subcultures (skinheads, post-Glasnost Russian art, Japanese sex clubs), the distributive power of the Internet and the low-tech movement.
This was such a unique opportunity, I have to say. Or write, in this case. I was treated like an equal rather than a subordinate. The prof assumed I had something interesting to say and I actually possessed knowledge in my subject. We discussed my final paper and some possible topics for it. In conclusion, this is what graduate students in Canada experience, not undergraduates. Now why do you think that is?