Professors: Out to Get You or Just Terrible?

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We’ve all had bad professors. Whether it's because he assigns hundreds of pages of reading every week or because she doesn’t even understand the material she’s teaching, short story long: they suck. Either way, you dread going to class, hate turning in assignments and shudder at the thought of going to office hours for extra help. Sometimes you get lucky and notice the atrocity in time to drop the class. Other times you’re in 'it' for the long, hellish semester haul.

So what do you do when it’s too late to drop the class or you have no other options but to take it? Is it okay to outwardly express your hatred towards the one person with the power to turn your 4.0 into a 3.5? Do you suck it up and wait to unleash your pent-up frustration on the end of semester evaluations? Or do you pull a Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls and start a rumor that your professor is selling drugs?

Chrissy H., an education studies major at the New School, admits that having a bad professor will change your outlook on the entire class. “One of my classes was taught by a visiting professor, but I don’t think he understood the swing of things at New School,” she says. “He would teach our class of six students like it was a lecture hall of 600.”

She felt she was unable to engage in the material like she normally would in a small class. But because the class was so small, she decided not complain or make it obvious that she hated his teaching style. “If he was more understanding, maybe I would have,” she said.

Usually, it’s the professors who suck, but once in a while it’s the students who cause the problems. Just as we’ve all had bad professors, we’ve all been in classes with that super annoying kid who asks the most unrelated questions or talks too much or interrupts everyone (including the professor.) So how do professors deal with less than pleasurable students?

“You can’t feed into the fire,” says one New York University professor.

In both cases, sometimes you have to let bygones be bygones and be thankful that the semester is only four months long.

Junior > Journalism > New York University

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