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I am in two classes (1 and 2), and my 1 professor never answers emails or holds office hours now that we're online. There is also no TA. Oh well, there's nothing I can do except include this information in my review at the end of the class.

I happen to know that my 2 professor has taught 1 sections in the recent past, and she attends her office hours without fail. If I give precedence to any student hoping to learn 2 during my professor's office hours, then is it acceptable to attend with the intention of getting help for my 1 class?

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  • I did that once as a final year student but I was lucky... – Solar Mike Apr 14 '20 at 22:38
  • Keep in mind that one possible outcome is that your professor 2 raises this issue with your professor 1 directly, or complains to the department chair. (I'm not saying that you should avoid this.) – academic Apr 15 '20 at 2:01
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    It is always acceptable to ask. Just don't expect an answer other than "no". – JeffE Apr 15 '20 at 2:20
  • @JeffE: Depending on the system. There are people who get angry by asked (normal) questions. – user111388 May 2 '20 at 17:41
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    @user111388 Yes, there are selfish and immature people everywhere. Their anger doesn't mean asking them questions is unacceptable. – JeffE May 2 '20 at 20:01
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This might depend on local custom, but I don't think there is any reason that you shouldn't ask for help. You may be sent to the other professor or just told that the one you ask hasn't the time for you. But asking is fine.

Of course it is also appropriate to say why you ask the one and not the other. But having a relationship with a professor makes it easier to discuss things with than with someone more distant.

The professor will set boundaries if necessary. You don't need to be overly concerned with whether you are interfering with other students.

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  • I don't see any reason why a student couldn't ask, but I think it would be surprising if the answer was "Why don't you to talk to your instructor." – Brian Borchers Apr 14 '20 at 22:23
  • I have no objection to students asking me questions about material from other courses, or even general mathematical questions, in my office hours, subject to the understanding that the students from my class have priority. I believe most of my colleagues do the same. – Andreas Blass Apr 16 '20 at 3:04

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