A Field Guide to Professors

A Field Guide to Professors

By Contributor

We can't believe we haven't had a post like this before! Thanks, Nednettinc! —Sparkitors

As a student, it is your job to tolerate your professors. This can be difficult at times, so it is best to identify what kind of professors you have, and act accordingly. How is this done, you ask? Well, lucky for you I’ve created this handy-dandy field guide. So go forth, young comrades, and explore the academic world with confidence!

Species: The Hipster
Description: These professors like to make nonsensical references to Lady Gaga. As pathetic as they might sound (“yo homies!”), try to be kind to them. These people are usually pretty nice and just want to be liked by their students. Some want to be cool, some are just trying to make a connection, and some are just strange. They might slightly remind you of your friends' parents.
Pros: The class is usually pretty interesting and not too hard, and these professors are often very helpful.
Cons: Some cringe-worthy pop culture references.
Did you hear that new Gaga song? I had no idea she liked glow sticks that much. That’s what she meant by disco-stick, right?”

Species: Professor Umbridge
Description: These professors are true to their name (the original character or the A Very Potter Sequel version). They won’t make you inscribe sentences into your own hand-flesh. There are laws against that. However, they will give you icy stares of death, a lot of homework, and a tough grading scale. These professors are as rare as unicorn sightings, so don't worry too much.
Pros: You will actually learn something and work hard instead of slacking off.
Cons: You will have to spend hundreds of dollars on Red Bull to be able to finish all the homework. One night, you will drink one too many and end up in the med center, therefore missing your final exam and failing the class. (I’m kidding. This hasn’t happened to anyone I know…yet.)
“Ahem. I would like a 3-page response to the question in your textbook that really only needs a paragraph to answer. Make sure it’s in QCF format. That’s Quit Crying Format format, Mr. Potter! Detention!”

Species: Totalus awesomus
Description: This is the professor your sister, aunt, and fairy godmother told you to take a class with. This person loves teaching, and it shows. The class may be easy or difficult, but it’s okay either way, because the teacher is great.
Pros: Having a class you actually want to attend.
Cons: Just because you think they’re boss doesn’t mean they’ll be cool with you showing up late for class every week. They will actually expect a lot from you, like all good teachers do.

Species: Average Joe
Description: These professors are just like that one math teacher you had that one year. They are both helpful and frustrating, and usually a little lazy. For instance, one of my Average Joe professors liked to think he didn’t have to put grades into Blackboard. Hence, I got a B instead of an A on my transcript. On the other hand, another professor would let us work together on quizzes.
Pros: It’s a mystery whether you’ll like them or not.
Cons: See above.
“We’re going to watch a movie after the test today. Oh, and I’ve decided the test is going to count as your mid-term exam. Surprise!”

The truth about college is that the professor doesn’t make or break the class. True, sometimes they can have a huge influence on how often you pray for a snow day, power outage, or alien invasion. But more important than the professor is your attitude. Professors like it when you participate and ask questions. Don’t be afraid of using their office hours either—that’s what they’re for. Be respectful and positive, and you will survive any class. (Unless your professor is a vampire and gets offended by your Twilight joke…nice knowing you.) Just remember that professors are people too. People that control your grades and sanity, but still. They can have good or bad days, so keep that in mind.

And if your professor isn’t a person, I’m jealous. Say hello to Rumbleroar for me!

Any other species you'd like to add?

Related Post: Teacher By Day, _____ By Night

Topics: sparkler posts, professors, college life, field guides

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