When it comes to picking a schedule for the upcoming semester, every college student knows that the classes you choose are not just about the requirements they fill. Everyone wants to graduate on time, so the requirements are a huge factor. But who wants to sit through a full semester with an awful professor?
Thankfully, there are a few websites that can help you learn a little about a professor before you commit to his or her class. It is also in your best interest to consult other students who have previously had professors you’re about to take.
Unfortunately, sometimes there’s only a handful of bad professors that teach a required class, so you’re just going to have to suck it up.
Here are just some of the many professors you may encounter while earning your undergraduate degree:
1. THE PRINCE/PRINCESS OF POWERPOINTS
You may wonder what this professor’s degree actually says on it. It must be a “B.A. in Loud Proclamations of Text from a Computer Screen” because that’s what this class consists of. It’s going to be a lot of you scribbling down notes from the screen while he/she reads the points verbatim from said screen.
You’re going to constantly find yourself wondering why the professor didn’t just email the slides to the students in the class and cancel class meetings. It would have saved everyone a lot of time!
2. THE FREE SPIRIT
This professor typically dresses for casual Friday every day. If it’s a male, he probably has a ponytail. If it’s a female, she probably does not shave her armpits. He/she will reference events in history (regardless of the class subject material) from a very humanitarian perspective and make you feel bad if you do not share the same view. Don’t be surprised if the professor consistently talks about home-grown vegetables, spices, herbs, etc. from his/her garden.
3. THE AUTHOR
This professor wrote the textbook for the class, will make you buy it — and then slightly update the aforementioned book, making it impossible for you to sell it back to the bookstore. It’s actually pretty genius, and I’d admire the professor if he/she was not essentially screwing me out of $76. This type of professor will continuously reference “other authors” throughout the semester, really driving the point home that he or she is, in fact, the best one out there.
4. THE NONSTOP LECTURER
There’s only one way to deal with a professor like this. Write. Come into class, get out your notebook and pen, and just feverishly write down everything that is said. You can review your notes after class for accuracy/meaning, but you better not miss one thing the professor says — no matter how incoherent some of his/her tangents may be. No matter how random the professor’s segues may be, by some strange miracle, he (or she) remembers everything he or she has said — and it will most likely be on an exam.
5. THE IMMOVABLE OBJECT
There is nothing you can do about this professor. Go to office hours, study your hardest give her candy — it doesn’t matter. She’s going to grade you on an unnecessarily harsh scale. You hit all the points perfectly on the paper’s rubric? Too bad; she was looking for “a little more,” C. What? A little more? Enough to make you lose 25 percent? Avoid this type of professor, but don’t lose your mind if you get one. It’s only one class.
6. THE ONE WITH THE ACCENT
Not that there is anything wrong with being taught by someone from a different culture, but some foreign professors have accents that are truly difficult to understand. Be prepared to leave class with very strange notes full of words you did not know existed in the English language. If you need help, consult the textbook. Need more? Ask this professor for extra help … via email.
7. THE NEVER-ENDING EXCUSE MAKER
You’re not typically the person to report a problem to a higher authority, but this professor makes you think twice about it. He or she typically shows up to class late, looks at the class and then sighs a certain “don’t even ask me about it” breath. Regardless of whether or not someone inquires, he or she is going to tell you what happened.
This professor will most likely be one of the slowest graders you’ve ever had. Huge paper worth 30 percent of your grade that you spent a week on? You probably won’t get it back for three or four weeks, if you see it at all. The guidelines for assignments will be unclear because he or she is “still figuring it out.” If you want to keep your sanity, avoid this professor.
By PAUL MURPHY
(Paul Murphy is a senior majoring in Communication Studies/Media Studies at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.)
From Alive Campus. For more information and advice on college life, visit alivecampus.com.