It’s no secret that, in high school, we all had certain teachers we just didn’t “mesh” with. Sometimes you could solve teacher issues by going to your mom, a school counselor, the principal or the teacher him or herself. But usually the teacher was pretty reasonable in the end.
College is a bit different. First of all, they’re called “professors.” Intimidating, right? You’ll get over it. They also don’t tend to change any assignments, exams or rules to fit your needs. Basically, it’s their way or the highway (literally, you might end up working as a highway construction crewmember if college doesn’t work out. No, not really).
Let me tell you about some of the interesting professor experiences I’ve had this semester – which is coming to a close!
First, there’s my “Writing for Communication” professor. She’s quite an impressive woman, having produced dozens of films for networks like Discovery and National Geographic. However, she’s not the most organized professor. And I wouldn’t exactly call her omniscient. Class time usually runs out faster than we can get things done and her teaching strategy is basically, “This is what a press release looks like. Now do one!” She also scheduled some of our last assignments to be due after the semester ended, not aware of the academic calendar. That was quite a class discussion, trying to explain to her – and give physical evidence – that we won’t physically be here to turn in our story assignments.
Next, there’s my “Spanish Teaching Methodologies” professor. Homeboy does what he wants when he wants. Our class time runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. However, last night he just decided he wanted to keep talking for TWENTY EXTRA MINUTES, without even acknowledging that he was running over time. Okay, professor, cool. He also forgot that my group was supposed to present our scholarly article on Second Language Acquisition (I like to use the term because it sounds smart). And it’s not like I can go to the head of the Spanish department and complain that he’s keeping us against our will on Thursday nights because, guess what. He’s the head of the Spanish department! So basically, if I wanted to talk to someone about my frustration, I’d have to go to the president of the school himself. Well that’s not gonna happen.
But professors aren’t always bad. Sometimes they’re so out of their minds that you can end up with an A in the class without every having learned anything – simply because he feels bad about being such a failure of a professor. Enter the man who’s supposed to teach me everything I need to know about “The Rise of Critical Social Thought.” Sometimes he’ll email us in the morning to tell us class is cancelled because he “just couldn’t do it today.” Seriously. I just finished working on a five-page rough draft that was originally supposed to be eight to ten pages. But, because the professor’s life is supposedly in shambles, not only was the due date pushed back several times, but the length of the paper also changed dramatically. What was originally a final page count of 16 to 20 pages is now eight to ten pages for the final paper. Hey, it works for me, since I know next to nothing about “The Rise of Critical Social Thought.”
But please don’t think that all professors in college are either sticklers for the rules or complete jokes. During my three semesters so far, I’ve had amazing professors that I still talk to on a regular basis. This post should serve you as a warning to ALWAYS look at the professor reviews online. Usually your school offers a database that contains all the student evaluations of each professor. They include factors like, what grade each student expects to receive, how many hours they devoted to the class each week, how much they took away from the course, etc.
But please don’t go on ratemyprofessor.com. I once had a professor admit to me that he wrote every single review of himself on that site.