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Early on in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy is seen leaving his class at Barnett College to go to his office. When he gets there, his outer office is filled with student's clamoring for Dr. Jones's attention. What do they want from him?

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Is the joke that Indy hates the bureaucratic side of his job? Or that his students are obsessed with him?

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Good question!! – Mistu4u Nov 18 '12 at 3:59
I think throughout the series he views teaching as a "necessary evil", as many academics who spend a great deal of their time out in the field do, but that's just an opinion. – jonsca Nov 18 '12 at 4:28
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Ok, so I'm moving my research out of my question and placing it in an answer.

The joke here is that, while Indy is an accomplished "adventurer", he's not so good at being a professor -- at with least the clerical aspects of the job.

His secretary, Irene, says:

       Dr. Jones, I'm SO glad you're back. 
       Your mail is on your desk. Here are 
       your phone messages. This is your 
       appointment schedule. And these term 
       papers *still* haven't been graded!

Back at school, Indy is immediately overwhelmed with paperwork. What's more, I looked at the original script, by Jeffrey Boam, and I discovered the following:

Students once again CLAMOR for his attention: 
"Doctor Jones!" "Wait, Doctor Jones!" "My grade!" "My term paper!"

It's clear that Indy sees his job as a bit of a chore, and so actively avoids grading his students' work, or giving them the feedback they need. It seems he'd rather be adventuring and so neglects his duties as a member of staff at the college.

Instead of dealing with his irate students, he makes up a ridiculous scheme (whereby poor Irene has to try and decide who should be seen first) and then jumps out his office window.

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So was Indi going to see all the papers at once? Because he replied he would like to see each of 'em. Or did he mean he would see them later? – Mistu4u Nov 18 '12 at 19:55
Each of the students have their own grievances with Dr. Jones, so he says he'll see them one at a time. If you watch the scene closely, the two girls he first sees are extremely annoyed with him. He acknowledges their frustrated looks, and then promises to see everyone in order. – Django Reinhardt Nov 18 '12 at 20:02
+1 for the research! – Mistu4u Nov 18 '12 at 20:06
By saying Indy doesn't take his job seriously you might interpret too much into it. Hunting down the Cross of Coronado probably took a while, hence the secretary saying I'm so glad you are back. The university doesn't stand still while Indy is away, so work simply piled up. – Oliver_C Nov 18 '12 at 20:34
@Oliver_C Remind me again what Indy does to deal with this "piled up" work? :-P – Django Reinhardt Nov 19 '12 at 6:58

Well I am just explaining it like it seemed to me. There are two possible reasons I can see.

1) I think, while Indiana was teaching in the class, the students did not know about his previous days adventure. But then his friend Marcus Brody entered the class and Indiana talked to him about the recovery of the golden cross. As soon as the students left the class, they might have got the news about their teacher's adventure. So they decided to stay and talk to and get the autograph of their famous teacher. There are two ways, I am guessing, they came to know about it.

a) They might have got the news from anybody inside the school.

b) They were eavesdropping on Indiana and Marcus's conversation from outside the class, because Indiana met them just outside the class.

2) There may be another explanation. The result of any exam in the school was out on that day and the students came to know about it. So they were murmuring outside the classroom out of excitement. Maybe Indiana was going to declare the result. That is why he wanted to see everybody.

lrene, put everybody's name
on a list...
and l'll see each and
every one of them in turn!
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Here's the problems with your theory: 1) Even Marcus wasn't sure that he had the cross until Indy told him. 2) Indiana didn't just meet them outside of class. 3) Nobody knew about the Cross of Coronado except Indy at that point. Also, what exactly would a news reporter report? The only witness to the whole opening event was Indiana Jones. Are you saying that he got back and immediately called a reporter to do an interview? Why would kids who want his autograph say things like "My grade!"? And also, unless this was the first day of school, wouldn't they have already gotten his autograph? – Django Reinhardt Nov 18 '12 at 18:21
Another problem: Since nobody knew about the exciting adventure that Indiana Jones had just been on, including Marcus, your answer suggests that these college kids (who are just learning the basics of archaeology) would recognize the Cross of Coronado on sight. – Django Reinhardt Nov 18 '12 at 18:31
@DjangoReinhardt, edited my ans. Added the point on grades. Your point on autograph is also quite true. But nobody cares about autograph of a school teacher until that day when he gets famous. Then they want it! You got my point? About how the students came to know, I said maybe they were eavesdropping when Indiana was talking to Marcus! – Mistu4u Nov 18 '12 at 19:46
If you want the scene again, you'll notice that they don't talk about the Cross of Coronado. Marcus simply asks, "Did you get it?". So by your theory, the students would have to be watching through the door and immediately recognize what it was. They could not "eavesdrop". – Django Reinhardt Nov 18 '12 at 19:47

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