Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Twisty from Terre Haute Offers Up A Role Model for the Rest of Us.

I started reading your page a few weeks ago, and I want to say I support your need to bitch about students who make your lives miserable. And I've had a number of professors at my college who seem unhappy with their careers and their lives. I'm sure it's a hard job, and maybe some of them come here, too.

But this semester I met a writing professor who has impressed me with the way he gets the most out of us AND stays happy. He should be a model for all professors because he gets the best out of us and really enjoys his job.

Professor P sends our entire class an email at least once a week with reminders and schedule changes and sometimes just a funny YouTube or a link to a comic.

That shows me he cares about me and all of us. Sometimes it seems like professors just want you to do your work, but my best teachers in high school always went out of their way to treat me personally, and to show me that my education was important to them. Professor P is like that.

One email he sent a couple of weeks ago said, "Hang in there; the big project is nearly done, and I'll be keeping extra office hours in the cafeteria next week after class to help you proofread your new drafts."

Did you hear that? Extra office hours. That's the kind of professor he is, and I think his caring for us makes him happier.

If Professor P is reading this and recognizes himself (I changed the letter of his name), he should feel really pleased that he got through to me!

- Twisty


  1. @Twisty: Go to this site and look up your school. It will reveal to you that somewhere between 3%-90% of your classmates will not actually graduate. In Professor P's class is one of those students who will not graduate. He's probably sitting in the back row or not showing up to class at all. Email him and ask him what he thinks of Professor P. That student will reply, "Proffesor Pee is a godam sunofabitch. He's such a fuckin sloth glutton thatt he has officce ours in the fuckin cafaterea so he can fil his piehole wile
    prettending to help studens. Hes a fukin arogant assohle who jest wants to getas much free fud as he can frum the schoole -- like we dont pay him enuff alreddy. I hope he clogs his vains with cholersterall and dies of a hart-attack so that he cant fail me. That woud serve him rite."

    You don't believe me, do you, Twisty?

  2. Well that's nice. Not the fact that he appears to like your class, but the fact that your class USES the office hours and he has a reason to add more. At the University I attend it's wonderful as there is never anyone else (except close to exams...)in the office hours for any of my five professors. It has literally been crickets every time I have show up to talk about basket weaving, sword making, ballista construction, et cetera. The professors I have don't bother, beyond review sessions for tests, to offer so called personal treatment for their classes as the majority of the students are obviously taking the course to fill a gen ed requirement. The students simply don't care no matter how fun and interactive the instructor tries to make the course. If you feel that your getting personal treatment it may be that you've shown initiative and interest in the subject which seems to me to be rare regardless of department.

  3. Well, that's lovely. I'm going to assume that Professor P isn't juggling 4 other classes at different institutions whilst flying up and down the freeways and eating In 'N' Out burgers for every meal, and that he has a chance at tenure or is tenured already and has a pension plan, decent benefits, and an office of his own. I'm going to assume that he has a 2-2 or 2-3 courseload at most, and that his classes are small enough that he has a chance of learning student names. I'm going to assume that his students are academically well-prepared enough that he can teach the course he intends to teach and not high school remedial, and that they are motivated enough to do the work and come to class.

    Because if those aren't the conditions of his job and he's doing all this, he's a sucka.

  4. Gotta agree with F & T ...

    I'm teaching SEVEN courses this term.
    Six of them are online, which leads to the misconception that I am lounging at home watching "Judge Judy". Being ignored is the reality of 100+ writing assignments needing grading, which MUST include formative feedback the majority of which is summarily ignored.

    I spend every morning wading through EMails either asking questions already (REPEATEDLY!) answered in the syllabus or courseroom; asking for accommodations for any myriad of complicating life events; pleading for the formative feedback which was included with their grades; or wanting to know why grading has fallen behind.

    Oh, and a majority of those EMails fail to follow the instruction to including some sort of identifying information so I don't have to search through my rosters to determine the student and class from where it comes!

    If you'll excuse me now, I have to check on a class where one student has been engaged in a pitched battle to argue every period and semi-colon from the Big Book of Style.

  5. Ditto F&T and A&S:

    Good for you for recognizing your prof's above-and-beyond behavior. He's either very new (I used to do things like this 15 years ago when I started) or he's got a reduced/manageable course load.

    The rest of us are tired because we're teaching 4 or more courses a semester, to students who don't really see their education as more important than whatever's going on in their personal lives.

  6. Ditto everyone above. And Twisty, I'm really glad that you and your professor are both happy with this situation, and that you feel that you can do your best work in these conditions. However, I'd urge you to cultivate the ability to do your best work for people who "just want you to do your work," because most of your bosses will be like that.

    You might also want to cultivate a bit of skepticism about the apparently personal nature of mass emails that happen to appeal to your interests; from your description, Professor P's emails sound more like a carefully-targeted mass marketing campaign than genuinely personalized instruction. I'm not knocking that if it has worked for you, but there is a difference between the two, and understanding that difference will be useful to you when selecting an investment adviser, realtor, or even a graduate school.

  7. Jesus, what's happened to this blog? Where are the troops to eat this little speshul brat alive, or at least call her on her conviction that all proffies should be personally invested in her personal happiness all the fucking time? WTF? The day each and every one of my students seems personally invested in my happiness and goes out of their way to make sure I feel extra-speshul myself will be the day I engage in what Cassandra accurately calls a marketing campaign. You know what I ask of my students? That they do their work. You know what they should ask of me? That I do my work. A university is a professional environment in which everyone needs to conduct themselves professionally. Period.

  8. Twisty is in for a world of misery when she gets to my MOST classes.

    Who is this Professor P, and why is he such a douche?

  9. Twisty sure knows how to push the right buttons....

  10. Oh, holy shits. Is this Katie's daughter?

    Sugar, count me as one of the professors who just want you to do your work. For many students, that bar is not low enough.

    Do you know why he sends you weekly reminders? He thinks you are morons who can't keep a schedule.

    Where does this dweeb find the time to send youtube videos?
    A) He's slacking off of his research or other work.
    B) He's the last underworked professor in the world.
    C) He has no life.
    D) He's secretly flirting with some sweetcheeks in the class. Maybe it's you.

    Please tell us more about your high school teachers. Wait, don't stop there! Who did the Almighty Himself send down to teach you long division? We crave details.

    You think he's happier when he cares for you and your classmates? Yeah, he's sleeping with one of them.

  11. Dear Twisty.

    I have absolutely no desire to be your friend, nor your concierge.

    I am a professor, not a nanny.

  12. Ok, count me in the WTF column...Sends you weekly reminders? Fuck, it's called a SYLLABUS. Open the fucking thing and *GASP* there's a whole calendar in there. Do it once a week and VOILA! Weekly reminders!!!

    You basically described him spoon feeding your "speshul" ass and feeding into that whole "I am sooooo wonderful and EVERYONE should care about me and my feelings thought process". Grow the fuck up.

    Oh, yeah, and here's more from Professor Bitchy: Your education should be special to YOU, not HIM. Your "happiness" is not his fucking concern. He shouldn't have to care about you. You REALLY think he cares about you?? REALLY?? Are you that deluded?? Yeah, we care enough to throw water on you if you're on fire, but no, we don't fucking care about you in general. You should be giving your all and getting the best out of YOURSELF. Take some damn ownership and responsibility for your own education. I am not your Mama. I am not your friend. I am not you wet nurse. I am your professor. I give you the information and try to help you understand said material. THAT'S IT. Get the fuck over yourself.

    I think I vomited a little in my mouth when this "precious unicorn" said all professors should be like this dude. I really need to start drinking....

  13. You people have grown so cynical! I once had a similar professor. He would send us emails and even had a facebook group for our class and would sometimes go on facebook chat where he'd treat me not just as a random student but as a human being by asking a lot of personal questions. "What kind of books do you like? Have you seen any good movies lately? Do you live alone?"

    He even offered office hours at his house.

  14. @Anastasia: Sometimes I love you. roflmao

  15. "The only explanation for your prof being good at his job must be that he really doesn't have that much to do!"

    "Only perverts and suckers actually enjoy their work!"

    "What a maroon! If his life was as hard as MINE, he'd be a total douchebag too!"

    And you guys think the *students* are the unmotivated, uninspired snowflakes?!

  16. * Note to someone who's already asked... the "Walter" above is NOT the same as "Wicked Walter." WW uses an avatar.

  17. @Bubba - Me too. Sometimes I love me.


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