Sunday, July 18, 2010

That professor like totally sux

Darren's post just below this one reminds me of an oh-so-stupid exchange in my class earlier this summer and it amazes me when students try to pit prof against prof. Seriously. I had one in my class foolishly tell me all about how much Professor A sucks and provided me (and the whole class) with a ridiculous list of all the things Dr. A did wrong, her character flaws, her manner of dress. Looking to lure me into a little dept gossip, she asked, "Ugh, do you know her??" The smug was quickly wiped from her face when I said, "Actually, we have dinner together often. We've been friends since you were probably struggling with your ABCs." I wanted to punctuate that last sentence with "You dumb asshole" but I held back.


  1. I truly can't read any of the message above.

  2. I had a student write to ask if he could get into my HUM 3xx class, for which the quite demanding HUM 2xx was a prerequisite which he had not completed. He explained that this was because the professor in HUM 2xx was a disaster and "everyone" thought so and "the whole class" had dropped or transferred so it wasn't HIS fault he hadn't finished HUM 2xx, so a) he assumed I'd be perfectly happy to spend my summer directing him in an independent study to finish HUM 2xx, and b) that I'd be happy even without that to let him into HUM 3xx.

    So I did write back, to let him know that everyone else in the class had in fact stuck with it and passed, that it was hard for me to understand how he would know if the HUM 2xx prof was a "disaster" since I gathered that he had almost never bothered to attend the class and had done none of the work, that I was uninterested in spending my summer supervising his "independent study", and that on further investigation, he hadn't completed HUM 1xx, which was the prerequisite for HUM 2xx, so how had he gotten into HUM 2xx in the first place? Oh, and that I was a close friend of the HUM 2xx prof.

    I don't know why it never occurs to them that we might talk to each other.

  3. Many students have no clue what a truly good teacher is. I commonly tell my students that what many THINK they want is the laid-back hippy prof who's a total slacker, but what they will truly prefer is a strict but fair teacher who is extremely CLEAR about course expectations. Over and over, I've had students to went on to slacker profs after me and realized how nice it is to have very clear structure. They realize that strict can be GOOD and slack and permissive can be BAD, because slack teachers are vague and can never pin down their expectations, which makes students justifiably insane. Live and learn, snowflakes!


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