8 College Professors You Hate (and How To Deal)

September 26, 2008

So all the colleges are back. Some have been for a while, and for those kids, we apologize.  It’s a bit too late for you.  But for those of you still swollen with the chutzpah of first-month syndrome, here’s a list of the professors you will learn to hate in the coming year, and how to appropriately deal with them.

8. The Mumbler


“Hrmphafrrmlle sarnar to sarnar’s taboondle in 1930,” The Mumbler seems to say.  You want to hear them, to understand what they’re trying to intimate, but their miming is usually as garbled as their mouthing.  If you’ve never had a prof. like this, imagine being taught by Marlon Brando’s paraplegic love child who’s first language is French, who’s second language is French, and who’s third language is My Mouth is Full of Dry Cookies-ese.

 Plan of Attack:  Work with what your momma The Mumbler gave you.  Sit close if you can, but your first, last, and best great hope is that they have online Powerpoint presentations, review sheets, or digitized notes that you can later refer to.  Otherwise, compiling notes with a hot chick is helpful because 1. She might hear things you don't and 2. She is a hot chick.

7. The Greenhorn


This teacher is going to change the world, and you’re part of that world – a wildly important part.  You’re the foundation of the next generation!  What greater inspiration than to teach!?  None!  The blinding supernova of your future baths this teacher in golden light every morning, and it will continue to do so until their spirit is beaten down, broken, and left molested on the shoulder of a turnpike in New Jersey. 

Plan of Attack: False enthusiasm is key. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the money, if you understand the subject matter.  As long as you glowingly chime “Oh!  Yes!  That’s exactly like [book you read, experience you had, person you know, theory you read].”  Match their enthusiasm (or appear to) and you shall be rewarded. 

6. The Favorite-Picker


The favorite-picker is a dichotomous animal.  If you’re in their favor, oh blessed be the angels, your semester will be a sweet one.  If not, though, prepare to muck through the mire of anonymity with a strained shoulder muscle due to your uncalled-upon, raised hand. 

Plan of Attack: Be a favorite. There’s only one chance for a first impression, excluding, of course, those professors with a degenerative brain disease in which case every day is an adventure. 

5. The Casanova

This is the masculine version of a young boy’s nightmare.  Rather than the sexually experienced instructor offering her tutelage, you’ve got the sexually depraved instructor offering his shriveled physicality in exchange for a swollen grade.  Yick, yick, x1000 yick. 

Plan of Attack:  It’s a bit of a sticky wicket.  It’s generally a very bad idea to encourage the sexual advances of HCGs.  However, stating outright that he is a lecherous cad in front of a classroom of peers may not be the best course either.  This is especially true if you can’t prove he is.  But also, allowing him to hope certainly won’t hurt your grade.  You conniving minx, you.

4. The Brain


This poor professor is obviously teaching your introduction to physics class as a favor to whichever administrator he backed his sensible sedan into last Fall.  He was trained in Switzerland and had a promising career with the European Union Society for Physical Chemistry publishing several progressive studies. Then he decided he’d be philanthropic, and help bring up the next generation of physicists.  Little did he know that every jockstrap-for-brains on the baseball team needs a science credit. 

Plan of Attack: Insist on metaphors an analogies.  When he’s explaining the bulk modulus, ask him what that means regarding oranges dropped into tubs of orange juice.  Tell him to explain things to you using only what is on his desk at the time to illustrate. 

3. The Burn Out


Oh god.  Just 3 more years of this bullsh*t and she’s out of here.  How many movie days do you think is too many per week?  Maybe he can get this introductory mathematics course to also count for one credit toward a film minor.  At least there’s a few good looking boys to distract her from that landsloth of a husband she has to hump every night.  Maybe tomorrow more Bailey’s in the coffee…

Plan of Attack:  Like The Burn Out you’re surviving, there’s little to do here other than weather the storm.  Luckily for you, they no longer read assignments, so just write neatly and hand something in on time for your A.  Another good solution is a PSP with wireless headphones hidden under a hat.

2. T.I.L.F.


This is the girl teacher version of the Casanova.  It’s just not fair.  Sexy female professors can totally seduce us and if you’re a TA and you have one little discretion with a younger student the administration gets all up in your grill and tells you you’re not allowed in the organic chemistry lab anymore especially when Jen is there.  But anyway. 

Plan of Attack:  Obviously, sleep with her. But you have to be good in her class.  Er, good at her class, as the eventual goal is probably to be bad in her classroom.  Maybe arched over her desk.  But anyway, if she’s teaching Arthurian literature you better be one hell of an academic Lancelot.  That gives you something to connect on, and teachers are way more likely to socialize with kids they know are going to get an A no matter what.  Don’t worry, though, most hot teachers teach easy, Com Division classes.

1. Center of the Universe


There is nothing outside their walls.  Literally nothing.  Go ahead, try to leave on time so that you can get to your next “class.”  Center of the Universe prof. knows the awful truth that outside that door is a post-apocalyptic desert of sandstorms and mutant beetles.  You better just stay here with them.  Stay and write a 35-page paper about the Age of Enlightenment.

Plan of Attack:  Everybody is taking the same class, and everybody is overworked, so nobody is going to do well.  Most universities discourage professors from flunking everybody in the class because it reflects poorly on a school to have a low average G.P.A.  More often, administrators will suggest a curved grading rubric in which case you don’t have to be a genius, just smarter than the other kids in your class.  Either get smarter or just go ahead and sabotage them.