On Dec. 3, 20-year-old TikTok user @vizzywap posted a clip in which she and 23 other college students surprised Adam Shrager, a statistics professor at The College of New Jersey. The students start off the last day of class with their cameras off, confusing Shrager at first.
“Okay, for some reason, I see no one’s video,” Shrager says in the clip. “I don’t know if it’s an internet thing. Does anyone have their video on?”
One by one, the students turn their cameras on, with each holding a sign thanking Shrager for all he’s done for them. One of the messages, for example, reads “Thank you so much Professor Shrager!” Another says “Thank you for the great semester!!”
Taken aback by his students’ kindness, Shrager tells his class to keep their signs up so that he can take a screenshot of the room.
“You guys freaking rock,” he says. “Oh, that’s like the nicest thing I’ve ever seen. Okay, I got a good picture, a couple of them. Thanks, everybody! Is that a thing or was that just for me? I need to know.”
When @vizzywap and another student later tell Shrager that they made the signs just for him, he seemingly can’t contain his happiness.
“You guys totally made my night,” he says.
The clip has received over 1.6 million likes and nearly 25,000 comments.
“You didn’t make that mans day. You made his year,” one person wrote.
“He’s gonna remember that for years,” another added.
“He’s so precious,” a third posted in response.
In a follow-up TikTok, @vizzywap also shared Shrager’s Facebook reaction to the Zoom-call surprise. In a lengthy post, Shrager, who is also a high school teacher, admitted that the semester he had taught had been the “toughest” of his career.
“It required more work than I have put into a class in years, and every Monday and Wednesday night, I had to brace myself for 2 80-minute zoom sessions, after a full-day of hybrid-insanity at the high school level,” the post read.
Reply to @cmo245 ##greenscreen his tik tok is @statztchr he made it to respond to all the sweet comments thank you everyone!!
♬ original sound – vero
But the class’ unselfish act moved him to tears, he said.
“I’ll never get rich being an adjunct college faculty member,” he wrote. “I got a nice plaque once. Get asked to sit on a committee or two. But truly, this one moment made the entire Herculean effort of this semester worth it.”
The original TikTok has since inspired another similarly viral one posted by user @anandrews22. In it, the professor, identified as Terry Baggs, seems to be at a loss for words as well.
Yes, it’s been a crazy year for all of us. But our professors have walked through uncharted territory. Appreciation & recognition goes a long way
♬ original sound – James Blake
“Oh my goodness, you guys are so sweet,” he says. “I don’t know how I can get a screenshot. Oh, I love you guys. Wow, thank you. I don’t know what to say.”
If you liked this story, check out this article on a professor who was unfazed when his students staged a kidnapping to get out of class.
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