S*** My Professor Said

I’ve posted many stories about funny, silly and strange things students say and do. So I think it will be only fair to start a thread where we’ll share stories about the bizarre, unexpected and unusual things our professors say and do.

College professors do an extremely important job of educating people and conducting research. However, like in any other profession, we get our share of weirdos, ignoramuses, and people who only got their jobs through nepotism. Here is a story of one such prof.

In a graduate course on Latin American literature, a passionate discussion of neo-colonialism unfolded. People were quoting theory left and right, interrupting each other, and developing complex arguments to support their positions. It is normally a professor’s dream to get students so engaged in a discussion that they would burn with the desire to contribute something on the topic.

This, however, was not Professor A’s case. She listened for a while and then interrupted the discussion with, “OK, this is boring! Let me show you photos of how I went to buy a microwave with my mother-in-law over the weekend instead!”

In the stunned silence that ensued, Professor A produced a stack of photos and started passing them around the room while explaining the virtues of each microwave model.

And this, my friends, is why I hate nepotism.

Feel free to share your stories.

21 thoughts on “S*** My Professor Said

  1. I once had a physics professor, when discussing fluid dynamics and how fluid coming out of a tube works, put up a cross section of a penis and say “this applies to about half of the class” then he looked up and said “oh, more like 95% of the class, sorry” – talk about awkward moments in science class?

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  2. Hi Clarissa,
    Unbelievable. A question: how is this related to nepotism? Under what circumstances did the professor get her job?

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  3. I think my favourite professor quote came from a professor of Japanese literature, who had us read authors like Mishima and Oe, who are very dark, macabre, and can get on the grisly side. When one student (jokingly) said that our homework reading could give us nightmares, he loudly declared, hands gesturing grandly, “In my class, if you’re not having nightmares, you’re not learning!”

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  4. I had an agricultural economics professor who insisted all the women (all five of us) sit on the front row while the men (about 60 of them) sat behind us. If one of us knew the answer to a question or contributed something to the discussion (and we were all top students, so that was just about every day), then he would berate the guys for “knowing less than a girl”. Then he couldn’t understand why I dropped the class. (I’ve had a varied education…easy when it was darn near free).

    I had an otherwise lovely French prof who was trying to explain “lubricious” who did it by making one of the women in the class stand up and turn around. She ran out of the classroom, crying He was so upset that he cried, and apologized to the class and to her. I don’t think he’d really thought that through.

    Then there was the English lit prof who’d come to class stoned who was just useless; and the English Medieval lit prof who’d come to class drunk and recite whole passages from the textbook (written by himeself)…at least he was more interesting than the stoner and was extraordinarily knowledgeable about his subject.

    Then there was the nursing instructor (not a full professor) who thought I was “too old” at 40 to be enrolled in nursing school and would make fun of me during clinicals. After I complained, they actually fired her.

    On the flip side, though, I had one French professor who was so interesting that if he skipped class, we’d go find him and make him teach.

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  5. I had a professor in the sciences who would trundle into the class, sit at a little table facing us (thirty or so students), and just read off of notes he’d written on loose leaf paper. When the mood struck him he’d get up and write something indecipherable in chalk on the blackboard before sitting back down again. He would notice when a student had a question but for the most part the students were sitting in a stupor and wouldn’t ask anything. It’s unfortunate that I needed that class to fulfill a requirement.

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  6. My sister had a really awful History professor who showed up to most of his lessons drunk. It did sometimes get ridiculous to the point of being amusing, though… once he danced around the room saying that he was little Helga, and that he didn’t mean to join the Hitler Youth.

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  7. I had a prof who was on my dissertation committee and she took delight in publicly humiliating people. She condescended to me and basically humiliated me at my dissertation defense. For at least a year, I was ashamed of my work and my degree. Recently, I’ve read over some of my diss and found that it sounds a hell of a lot smarter than I remember it being. I was impressed. I don’t know why I let her make me feel so bad about myself. Now, four years removed from the situation, I am a lot more confident about my work and my abilities.

    I had another prof at my PhD school tell me that the faculty was going to “shit all over” me during my dissertation work. I immediately asked him to not be on my committee. The alternative wasn’t all that great, obviously, though. Oh well. Live and learn.

    The worst professor comment I ever got, though, was when one of my undergrad teachers told me I was too fat to ever be successful. Nice, eh?

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    1. “The worst professor comment I ever got, though, was when one of my undergrad teachers told me I was too fat to ever be successful.”

      – How horrible! What a vile jerk! I can’t believe people can be this stupid.

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    2. โ€œThe worst professor comment I ever got, though, was when one of my undergrad teachers told me I was too fat to ever be successful.โ€ Oh my God. I’m HORRIFIED!!!!!! Who would ever say something like that? What is WRONG with some people????? And what does academia have to do with weight anyway? Wow. That’s terrible. I’m sorry that happened to you.

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