Wednesday, September 05, 2007

more people you meet in grad school

The Professor Who Thinks He's Still Teaching Undergrads

This professor will have watched many, many episodes of Saved By The Bell and yet does not grasp that Mr. Belding is more a Touchstone than a Confucius. He wants to be your pal. He wants to put the "FUN, YEA!" in "iF yoU waNt to put a name on it, this course is prettY much just mEntal mAsturbation." He will accomplish such a goal of FUN, YEA! through the extensive use of Xeroxed Far Side and Hagar the Horrible comic strips that tangentially reference the subject matter. And slides. Lots of slides.

He will repeat the most basic and obvious points ad nauseum, so that by the end of his forty-minute long "brief illustration" of the difference between A and B, even the most hungover new freshman would be able to articulate the distinction. While underwater. In Korean. While simultaneously finding a cure for Alzheimer's and developing a strategy for making Democrats likable.

It's not that this professor is a bad person, or even a bad teacher. He's so into what he's saying that it's hard not to respect his enthusiasm. You probably would have loved having him AS a hungover freshman. But now you're a cranky twenty-five-year-old who is paying her own tuition and has to go to class after a long day of work. If something is going to take you away from kickball and The Hills and half-priced happy hour gimlets, it had better be mentally stimulating, dagnabbit. You've been doing this grad school thing for a while, and in a department where you're snidely viewed if you can't toss off bon mots in Farsi with your peers before class begins. Your standards have been raised, your innate snobbery has been validated by the badassery of your program, and despite this professor's obvious command of the material it's impossible for you to get behind a guy who passes out handouts that quote Star Trek.

You will think this blogger is exaggerating for dramatic effect. You will be wrong.


I-66 said...

Cranky twenty-five-year-old?!

EJ, go easy on yourself. You're not 25.

Wait a sec...

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated

The Goo said...

Wow, this is the best fodder for procrastinating studying for the GREs I've come across in a looooooong time. Sweet!

Jeff said...

Is it wrong for me to say that those are the kind of professors that helped me survive the boredom of my history classes?

Then again, I had the mindset of a "hungover freshman" for four and a half years. Ahh, college...