In a country in which presidential campaigns last two years and Christmas decorations appear in stores in October, is it surprising that students contact professors more than two months before a new term begins to ask not-urgent questions about the class?
Or consider this: In some parts of the country, people try to guess when a certain event will happen: When will Lake Misgumpticaticus freeze solid? When will the first yellow-toed prairie sneetch first emerge from its burrow in the spring? When will the large butter sculpture of a cow entirely melt? and so on.
Which leads me to: What is the earliest that a student contacts a professor about next term's class?
I have already received my first email from a student who will be taking a class I will start teaching next year. The student is definitely taking the class; the email was not of the "I'm trying to decide whether to take your class so I need to know now if you are evil and/or boring" kind of inquiry. It was a non-emergency, non-essential technical question about the course logistics.
In this case,
t = 77,
in which t = the number of days between the first day of class and the date of the first email from a student about the class.
8 months ago