Sometimes, you have a class with an awful professor. It happens to all of us. My particular one managed to actually teach me something, shockingly. She taught me how to ignore every word she said.
Even though I had a bad professor, I still learned how to get something out of the class.
The worst professor of my lifetime taught a class I couldn’t wait to take. I didn’t have the opportunity to take it my freshman year, so I planned ahead to take it my sophomore year.
The class explored the Holocaust through all different art forms and different perspectives, combining real stories with fiction. It sounded fascinating to me, especially considering my interest in the subject ever since my youth.
The Holocaust has interested me since I visited the Anne Frank House when at the age of eight. I had only studied it in the context of World War II when I went to school in England, so I couldn’t wait to learn more about it from an American perspective.
However, unfortunately for me, my professor apparently didn’t know anything more about the topic than the readings assigned. I went to lecture for the first three weeks and then didn’t go back until the final.
The readings of the class fascinated me. We read biographies from so many different survivors with different backgrounds. We watched documentaries, read a graphic novel, discussed Schindler’s List and even read poetry from poets exploring their parents’ past, asking them to relive the experience to pass on the stories.
Each reading gave me a new attitude on how to look at the Holocaust, as well as a new understanding for what these incredibly courageous people had gone through. Each poem, shot, word opened my mind.
However, the professor literally contributed nothing to my knowledge. Because she assigned such thoughtful readings, I expected her to expand upon them. Instead, she spent the hour and 15 minutes of lecture, twice a week, summarizing everything I had just read and adding no analysis. No new thought whatsoever.
So, I stopped going and but continued to push myself with the readings. My friend who kept going told me nothing changed during the entire seven weeks I didn’t go.
College involves many challenges, including pushing your thoughts further than you thought possible. I don’t believe it should involve listening to summaries about things you actually read, especially if a majority of the class also did the readings.Many students, including myself, wanted to learn more. Our professor just never provided that.
Even so, I never regretted taking that class. I taught myself new things just by reading or discussing with my friends. I got so much out of the class, even if none of it came from my professor.
Sadly, you can’t always blame the professor for what you walk out with. You decide what you get out of a class – no one else controls it. So I guess I should at least thank the professor for something. Thanks for the syllabus.