Stupidity in the Guise of College Professors

While listening to my college-attending child complain about a “moronic” professor, I regressed right back to my own school days and found myself wrinkling my nose in rancor as I recalled some of my nutty instructors. Out of almost fifty professors over a four year period, I had my share of stupers (short yet again, for observably stupid persons).

I took psychology 101 my first quarter and, oh, what an unwelcome introduction to a university course. My professor bore an uncanny physical resemblance to a hillbilly-mountain man, convicted felon type, who’d gotten all gussied up for a trip into town. Professor Nutcase appeared as if he hadn’t shaved or untangled his shoulder length locks in over a decade. He wore a heavy flannel work shirt and jeans on a daily basis, be the weather hot or cold, but had the presence (or was it absence?) of mind to balance out his outfit by foregoing shoes and socks. He paced the auditorium stage barefoot while he spoke.

Mountain man reenactor dressed in buckskinsBut it wasn’t his slipshod physical appearance that tipped the scales of intelligence on the low side and repulsed students of delicate sensibilities. It was the fact that he muttered to the point of indistinction while he lectured, swallowing syllables and whole sentences. I resisted the urge to run frantically from student to student, yelling, “Did you get that?” I knew I’d be met by blank stares.

Professor N. did everything in his power to ensure that the few students in the lecture hall who actually listened as he mumbled could not even read his lips. He faced the floor as he paced, and if that wasn’t bad enough, he engulfed himself in smoke from his endless supply of cigarettes so that he moved about in a curtain of brown-gray vapor. These were the olden days, before indoor smoking was banned in public places. I took refuge in the detailed class lecture notes offered in the student store. Notes of this sort were for classes requiring a subtle form of an apology or peace offering to students to make up for less than stellar instructors.

After the first quarter, I learned there were professors that should be diligently avoided, like Dr. Nutcase. How then to determine which classes to take? A tip I found worthwhile was to seek out those courses which college athletes enrolled in. Classes with a heavy contingent of football players had particularly fine teachers and a manageable workload. These courses included: Speeches of American Presidents, Children’s Literature and Psychology of the Sexes.

Unfortunately, in order to fulfill the requirements for my major, I did get stuck with a few more stupers before graduating: Dr. Ihaveahugego, Dr. Idratherbeinthebahamas, and Dr. Ihatestudents. (Do note that each of their names began with the letter “I”). But I realized that sometimes even stupers provide a means to an end.

Think first, last and always.


5 Responses to “Stupidity in the Guise of College Professors”

  1. Starlily says:

    You forgot Dr. ImjustabouttoretireandIdon’tcareanymore…

    Note to self: teach children how to learn and self reliability in early years…

    Great post as usual Keli 😉

  2. Cigarettes in class?! I am gaggin just thinking about it.

    I had a “Man and the Environment” (a biology class) professor that insisted we never chew gum in his class, start a compost pile if at all possible, never eat anything but whole grain goodness, etc. etc. My bubble was burst when he was seen in the cafeteria eating a hot dog and french fries.

  3. Agnes Mildew says:

    Did you pass this course, though? And if you did, how did you manage it with such a dreadful lecturer? I’m afraid that I permanently skived my psychology lectures due to having the most brain-achingly boring female teaching us. And then I dropped out. I don’t stick at things very well when boredom hits me!

  4. Keli says:

    Thank you! And I’m afraid I’ve had your insipid Dr. as an instructor too. Very wise note to yourself. I’m grateful my kids are self learners.

    New Diva:
    How absolutely ridiculous of your instructor! So many stupers are adept at giving advice, but inept at following it themselves.

    I did pass the course, thanks to the copious lecture notes. If I dropped out every time I had a mind numbingly boring instructor, I’m afraid I never would have graduated. Of course, those were in the days of my youth. I have no such tolerance today.

  5. Julianne says:

    Great post. I am reminded of one of my stuper professors, also a teacher of Psych 101. He walked down the aisle of the classroom the first day carrying a boom box, blaring some Queen song. It was very Michael Scott.

    I also had a Logic professor who was ESL and I could only catch about 25 percent of what he said. Thankfully, logic was my strong suit and our communication problems didn’t have much impact on my academic performance.

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