Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Brief break from superhero stuff

Tragically, a student in my school committed suicide yesterday. Today was my last history class and our professor used the news of the freshman's death to segue into a discussion of stress during finals. I don't mean to diminish the death of a student by suggesting it didn't warrant in-class discussion, but this particular professor has a tendency to use any excuse to get melodramatic. He seemed sure he impress us, for example, by mentioning that this was the "third or fourth" student death he'd seen since working at our school. According to a speech the Dean at the time gave, at my transfer orientation we were informed that - including part-timers and grad students - there's around 20,000 students enrolled at our institution. The fact that a professor had been working there long enough for 3 or 4 students to die ain't exactly a sign of the endtime. And while I don't know exactly how long he's been at our school, he has tenure so it's likely those three or four deaths were spread across at least a decade or so. Even if he meant to say "suicides" instead of just "deaths," I'm no statistician but it doesn't sound particularly cataclysmic. There was no need to present it to us like he was coming straight out of 'Nam.

Anyway, he went on and on about how we shouldn't place too much importance on the subject of Medeival England, that it wasn't worth our lives, that nothing in college was worth it, blah blah blah. Nice sentiment. Condescending as hell, as usual, but nice sentiment.

After ten minutes or so of the same nice sentiment re-worded and repeated, he told us he hoped we do well on our take-home final because giving out bad grades was like "losing a patient on the operation table."


On one hand, we shouldn't place too much importance on our grades. On the other, if we get bad grades it's comparable to dying during surgery.

I just thought all this was amusing until I got home and told Nicole about it. See, as a grad student Nicole has taught at my school and knows all the rules professors are supposed to follow.

This s the last week of classes. According to Nicole, professors are strictly prohibited from giving finals during this week. Finals aren't supposed to start until next Tuesday.

So the guy with his nice sentinments and his droll speeches about how we shouldn't stress out about grades is the same guy who's giving me and everyone else in my class six less days preparation than we should have because he and his Teacher's Assistant have other commitments. Yeah, it's a take-home, but it's due tomorrow and unfortunately my other professor is ALSO breaking the rules and giving us a final tomorrow, so I somehow have to squeeze in studying for geography while writing essays about history, and I get to do both AT MY JOB.

Fuck professors. Fuck them in their runny bottoms.

1 comment:

Heidi Meeley said...

Amen brother! That is one of the reasons I didn't go back for my masters back in the day. Things were getting a little too political for my academic mind, and having to listen to opinions on non-subject related matters just flat seemed too painful to dwell on again.

Take care and know that I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.