Professors March 26, 2012


I swear a professor’s job is to take the most interesting subjects and add boring language just to make things as uninteresting as possible. ¬†And their writing is worse.

4 Comments
David in Montreal March 28th, 2012

Oh no, you’re on to us !!

Profs are sometimes more concerned with impressing other profs with fancy language and convoluted theory.

They then lose all connection with the students who just want to know all the funny, cool, and unexpected insights on topics you’d never ever earn about expect in college.

Except what happens is that these profs suck all the life out of the subject. It becomes just a dead lab rat, something to study half-heartedly through powerpoint graphics and quizzes. Just a dead boring lifeless rodent. No fun at all. And more than a little stinky as the semester drags on …

I agree. Let the students teach for a day. And I don’t mean student presentations.

Rent (download) Accepted, a great movie about students who make up and teach their own classes (and own college!)

David Kaiser March 29th, 2012

Cassie,

I have been reading you for a few years, and I was pretty sure this would happen to you. 35 years ago I was one of the most popular history profs at a school on the level of Princeton. I was, naturally, let go. I have been able to teach at a comparable place for a total of one year since then, and next year I get another one. Then I’ll retire. Good teaching of smart undergraduates involves giving them great reading; using simple and clear language; and above all, thinking big aboiut your subject. Those qualities were somewhat valued still in the 1960s and 1970s, but they’ve been getting less and less valued in universities ever since. It’s very sad, but that’s the way it is.

Do not despair completely; in all of Princeton there must even now be a few men and women trying to do it right. Seek them out, regardless of the exact topic. There won’t be enough to fill up your schedule, but you can get a great deal out of them all the same. Good luck.

your fellow blogger,

DK

Cassie March 30th, 2012

Thanks to both Professor Davids. Good suggestions. There are good profs here but I’m still in a lot of intro classes. It will all be perfect next year. Right?

David Kaiser March 31st, 2012

Since you asked–perfection is not of this world. No. Just ask everyone you can find what’s best–particularly people you like. Good luck!