June 28, 2014

"Most arrogant and dishonest intellectual professor I've met...."



(Via TaxProf.)

27 comments:

J Lee said...

In this day and age of grade inflation and students expecting things to be that way, a negative review for the right reasons might almost be a badge of honor that the professor is doing their job.

Michael K said...

The Dartmouth Review was providing those reviews for freshmen when I was there. It might be why the university was trashing their copies delivered to dorms.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that these profs do not teach STEM courses.

Saint Croix said...

Derivative! Celebrities have been reading mean tweets about themselves on the Jimmy Kimmel show. And our scholars peek over his shoulder and copy his work? D+ for regurgitating the comedy of a kid who dropped out of school.

Curious George said...

Rip-off of Kimmel's mean tweets.

Ann Althouse said...

"Rip-off of Kimmel's mean tweets."

I think it was presented as a deliberate play on that.

Ann Althouse said...

(That's the way TaxProf presented it, if you went to the link.)

tom swift said...

STEM courses aren't immune. The demands on the professor's skill are severe when the material is difficult. And some simply aren't up to it. I recall particularly one lecturing about General Relatively in - so far as I could tell - French. It wasn't just me; nobody in the class was taking notes, and at MIT we always took notes, even when we were asleep. Nobody could understand the guy. The other professors for the course acknowledged that it was a problem, but that didn't help much.

Too bad this is presented as some sort of game. It's not, Students are paying serious money for this - and a lot more of it than when I was in school, back during the Ice Ages.

Ann Althouse said...

Student evaluations tend to be students trying to talk to other students, often warning them off a class with a high workload or a difficult exam, but it's also directed at the teacher, so it's a strange form of human communication. Anonymous too.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know.

That woman's shoes were pretty ugly.

Gahrie said...

Rip-off of Kimmel's mean tweets.

the mean tweets thing has become a meme. The professors are neither the first nor the last to "copy" Kimmel.

Saint Croix said...

In the art world we say "homage."

It's mean humor. You're laughing at the pain. A lot of humor is built on pain so that's okay. And the person reading the criticism implicitly gives you permission to laugh. They're good sports about it. So you like them for reading these horrible things about themselves.

Kimmel's piece is way funnier because we know the celebrities. In most cases we already like them. The comments are rude and usually way off base, but often there's something there that is almost true. I've watched all of them, it's really funny.

it's a strange form of human communication. Anonymous too.

It's anonymous students giving anonymous criticism to anonymous professors. We don't know if the criticism is right or wrong. If I actually knew these professors, this might be really funny. But without that knowledge, it just doesn't work.

Rhythm and Balls said...

My guess is that these profs do not teach STEM courses.

Since those are never boring!

Original Mike said...

I once had a review which said, "I would have done better if he had made me do the homework".

n.n said...

High workload and difficult exams are good, not bad. People need to break a sweat in order to expand their minds.

Bob R said...

"Since [STEM courses] are never boring!"

But STEM courses are expected to be boring, so there are fewer complaints about that. And when there are, the complaints are boring, and the professors who got the complaints would be even more boring reading them.

Original Mike said...

"Since [STEM courses] are never boring!"

My attitude was, "I'm not there for your entertainment. If you can't apply yourself, that's your problem, because let me assure you, your classmates can."

rhhardin said...

People need to break a sweat in order to expand their minds.

The mind is like a mussel.

rhhardin said...

Her shoes look okay to me.

Croc and paw.

Phil 3:14 said...

Ditto Saint Croix.

Professors looking to be celebrities?

Professor, do your read your reviews?

MathMom said...

My Chem prof read to our class part a review she got. In the section "Best thing about this class" a student wrote, "There is a 20-minute break in the middle, and the room is close to a vending machine."

This was for a Chem prof who could teach Chemistry to a brick.

Sharc said...

I presume your Wisconsin students' ratings of you are consistently tainted by your blog by now. Incidentally, if you have current students who are regular commenters on this blog, I haven't noticed it. Still, this sounds familiar: "If you are looking for a clear understanding of Con Law, STAY AWAY from Althouse. A blithering, incomprehensible idiot." Nice that someone in 2007 cared enough to criticize you, I guess. Actually, I'd like to see a "where are they now?" edition for the handful of students who have left mean ratings on "Rate My Professor" over the years.

Gahrie said...

The mind is like a mussel.

Mine is more like an oyster..with many pearls of wisdom inside.

Saint Croix said...

I think part of the joy is that Americans love to undercut authority. But again, we don't know how "high" these professors are, so trashing them doesn't work as well.

Celebrities are like American royalty. We don't have a King or Queen, and maybe we miss that. We miss our royal family!

So we build up this American version of royalty, based on fame (rather than genetics). You too can be a royal! So we like it how all these different people can achieve royalty status. And since we're Americans we also like to blow up royalty like it's the fourth of July.

Subliminally we know celebrities probably do not deserve their celebrity (any more than the royal family deserves to be the royal family). But maybe the academic does deserve his authoritative position. We don't know. We don't know who this authority is, and so we can't enjoy the rebellion nearly as much.

Ann Althouse said...

@sharc

Oh, I don't think anyone who writes about me on Rate My Professors is an actual student of mine. The school has its own evaluation system, which is what the students have every incentive to use.

I think those are just people trying to have an effect because they don't like what I say in public here.

Joan said...

tom swift - I wasn't at that particular lecture, but I definitely had the experience (back in the Ice Age) of having lecturers who were completely incomprehensible. The section TAs should've earned double for those courses, since they taught us enough to get us through the exams.

And then there was probably the best calculus lecturer ever, Frank Morgan, who was denied tenure while I was there. Even as freshmen we recognized that having such a brilliant guy be a great lecturer was an outlier. Alan Guth, for example, is also incredibly brilliant but utterly failed to convey any enthusiasm for his subject (physics) during lecture, but perhaps that was because he was paying his dues & teaching freshmen.

stlcdr said...

Presumably these students are young(er), so, to a certain extent, you can give them a pass.

The job of a young person is to complain about things like this. These professors know this, and simply take it as an example of 'kids say the funniest things'.