Monday, November 28, 2005
What a travesty. All of these supposedly erudite professors slamming innocent students. It's enough to make me ashamed of the profession. Why not encourage rather than discourage? I will never visit this site again, and I will tell all of my colleagues to avoid it as well.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
R: Avoid this student if you can. She spends more on eyeliner than she does on textbooks. She wears more face powder than a 60 year old stripper. She believes she's destined for greatness. She's destined to work at a laundromat.
J: Run if you see this guy coming to your class. His deadpan delivery masks a completely empty brainpan. He's slow moving, slow thinking, and slow to pick up on the death ray stares he gets from his peers when he opens his mouth in class.
M: Flat out mean and ungracious young woman. Will kill any spirit you have in one conversation.
S: Inflated ego. Can't understand a word he says because of his accent. Would be a good student if he'd spend less time dipping Skoal and more time dipping into the textbook.
W: Funny kid, but wouldn't work if you put a gun to his head. Thinks he's entitled. Will fully earn the D he's getting in my class.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I've just spent half of yesterday and all of this morning going through your latest essays. They're horrid. Each one of you has disappointed me in some essential way. I hold each early draft and finished draft next to each other, remember the conversations we had about working on the paper, developing it, and then I read the final draft and see NONE of those changes, none of those revisions. It's as if I gave 2 conference days to you for no reason other than to give myself a chance to make my cold worse. Why do you think I offer suggestions? Why do I ask questions about your work? Why do I care more for your essays than you do?
I'm through with that. From now on, starting with this set - where the grades are nearly all failing - I'm going to grade you on your performance. I have been lax with all of you. I grade based on the fuzzy potential you bring to the class. I grade based on the feel-good messages I get from our admissions committee about what great kids we have. But that's all been a lie.
As a group, you're lazy, unmotivated, and you are eager to lie to my face about the most minor of matters. You treat me with such casual disrespect - tardiness, phony stories about missing class, casual plagiarism - and yet you - and your parents - expect me to treat you like rare geniuses in my care.
Fuck that. You work hard or you suffer the consequences. I've been a fool for letting it go on this long, playing the game, acting like my colleagues who think passing everyone means they've chosen the right profession. But I'm through. Work hard or suffer. And it starts today. I'll give these papers back Monday and you'll have a chance to fix them, to spend some actual time on them. I'll want real revisions, not a handful of corrections.
This is not a warning. This is the start of something real.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Oh, C, I know Thanksgiving is the only time of the year when your uncles and aunts can come in from Indiana. But what on earth does that have to do with a Tuesday morning class? The college gives you 1/2 a day Wednesday and all of Thursday and Friday off. You live within 10 miles of campus. You have the weekend, too? Are you telling me you got up at 7 am, packed, and went home, and you couldn't stay on campus for a 9 am class? Priorities are great. If family means more, then make family your priority.
But you're dreaming if you think 25 of the rest of us just met because we have no family we'd rather be with. This, along with all of your other "sick days" and "flat tires," makes it so difficult for me to take time out of my own schedule to catch you up. By the way, what kind of roads do you drive where you get flat tires at a higher rate than any other student on campus? Oh well. Say hi to your uncle for me.
Monday, November 21, 2005
N: Exactly what else did you expect to get when you fail to attend all lectures, and spend most of the exam time staring...no, glaring...at me?
B: I really don't give a shit about your girlfriend, how some minor point I made in class pertains to your life, or any of of the hundreds of boring anecdotes you manage to blurt out in the time it takes for me to run from the classroom (and you) to my office for that "important meeting." Maybe if you had actually passed any of my tests, I might have seen your banter as something more than a weak attempt to befriend me in the hopes that I wouldn't give you the F you so richly deserve (and, in the end, will receive).
S: You wearing the mini skirt to my office hours gave me quite a thrill, but don't mistake me for one of the brain-dead frat-brats you so easily seduce every weekend....this isn't a reality show, so you still get the grade you deserve.
T: 'Thinking beyond the material' doesn't excuse you from knowing it in the first place.
S: I didn't even know who you were (in my class of 200) until you showed up to complain that I was being a racist by "awarding" you an F. Lots of white folks got Fs in my class too.
T - You drain the life out of every class. You have the worst attitude of any student I've met in more than 10 years in the classroom. You think you're entitled to half the class time to solve your problems, when your problems are all created out of your laziness and inattention. Do you think it's fair for everyone in class to suffer because you can't pay attention to minor or major announcements, handouts, and lectures? You are absolutely decreasing the value of this class for everyone in it - even me. Every Tuesday afternoon is the worst trial for me because I know you will barrage us all with the story of how your car get stolen, or your printer blew up and there's no toner in 5 states that works with it. My favorite story of yours was how your uncle had an operation on his toe and the whole family gathered in Norman for it. You missed two classes for that. Do you imagine that I'm stupid? I am sick of you, sick of your face, and if I can just make it through 6 more classes I'll never have to see you again.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Here are mine. Add them to the bunch, and color me as a bad guy, too, if that's what's required.
L: You drive everyone insane with the endless caterwauling about your rights. You're 20. You have serious things coming up. Right now someone is housing, feeding, and teaching you, mostly on the state's dime. So shut up.
R: I can't wait to see you at Long John Silver's in a couple of years. I'm going to spray tartar sauce on you after you give me my change. (Oh, and if you think teaching is such a fucking joke, why don't you teach your hair to lay down flat.)
O: You're sensitive. I get it. Bursting into tears when a C+ comes down the pike, however, is not endearing. What would be endearing is if you saved your modest strength for actually doing the reading for a test.
A visiting professor from a public university in Kentucky sends this:
Cut the kids some slack, Professor. They are for the most part, funny, sensitive naifs who will surely amount to something great if we nurture and care for them. I was lost as a young man, and caring and sensitive teachers helped me find my own way. Your site is hurtful, but I can imagine your distrust of a system you clearly have been in for too many years.
Give yourself and your students a fresh start. See them with new eyes. They are wondrous creations, and all of us who are called to teaching need to welcome them and help them discover their goodness.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
You are a doll. Are you a woman? A man? I bet you're sexy. You're funny. I wish you would write more. You let the guests be the star of your show, and really we'd like to know more about you. Do you have more photos? That's a cute top. I want to know how soft your hands are.
Oh, wheee. I've gotten off track. Here's my rating for today.
A: Your lips make me wish we were in Barbados. But your paintings blow. How's that?
'Wendy' in Wyoming.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
RM spends more time seeking the attention of the classroom than she ever spends doing any actual good for the class. Every comment is designed to draw attention to herself and her many many opinions - all of them poorly formed. When she talks I close my eyes and sigh to myself, hoping the bright students in front will see and do something to help me. Can't anyone shut her up? I know I should be compassionate and welcoming, like our college's mission statement, but all I want to do is flunk her and get out of this place.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I wish this site didn't have to exist. But I also hate what I see over at Rate My Professor, where students with no idea what it means to be a professor get to lay siege to people's teaching, research, even their life choices. It's a disgusting movement in modern culture, this anger, this entitlement, this disregard for respect. We debase ourselves by taking part.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I am going to strangle you, R, the next time you hog the class! You are, first of all, not the only person in the room. We don't congregate in our awful basement classroom to hear your view on everything from the Black Eyed Peas to why you think free verse is "overrated and overwritten." And, you aren't my co-teacher! You don't have to nod your painfully huge head every time I say something, and then jump in with an inane aside every time someone in class dares to speak. The rest of the class hates you. Wait, I'll bet every student in every one of your classes hates you. I do know that I hate you.
Oh, and your essays suck.
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
In reply to a number of missives, no, professors don't rate students by giving grades. The grades I give students are entirely about the work they do in my class. And yes, of course there are some students I 'like' more than others, but don't you imagine that any professional can separate the personal and the professional?
Some of my favorite students have been among my weakest, in part because I see myself in them at that age. They work hard, but the work is barely passing. On the other hand, smart kids who've had a lot of advantages in high school come in to my class with bad work habits but a strong background. They do well on their work, despite the fact that they are annoying, grade-grubbing, and all the rest. They earn A's, despite what I actually think of them, despite how I would rate them as a student.
I prefer students who are a challenge, who question me, who push me to do a better job. Students who are mute, mellow, arrogant, or disengaged are missing the point of college, and it never fails to annoy me.
In reply to a couple of posters, I don't suppose faculty members will send in a lot of "positive" ratings. I imagine this is because professors will use this site to work out some frustration that is created by unfair and anonymous ratings of their own. Is that fair? I wasn't aware we were going for that, so perhaps not. Do I have a ton of great students? Absolutely. They don't frustrate me. They make my days better. I should just say, "Good on you," to those students every once in a while, and I hope that I do over the course of a semester.
But Rate Your Students is a blog where we come together to bark at the moon when we get sick and tired of our entire careers being reduced to whether we're "hot" or not, and where any chickenshit student can blast away anonymously with falsehoods.
Sunday, November 6, 2005
Don't let M take your class. She's dumb as a polecat and works only hard enough so as to not drop off asleep in class.
Get out there to the faculty fair and line up S (S for S-E-X-X-X-Y) for your next teaching adventure. She loves the bible, so you can be sure she's innocent. She tries hard, and her sweetness and lipliner make up for a brain the size of an acorn. She'll bring you cookies if you just say the word "cookie" during class. Just drop it in. "Think of these interest rates increases in terms of cookies." I did it once and her eyes lit right up. The next time she came to my office she smelled like a sexy beach tiki hut and she had a plate of steaming oatmeal raisin cookies that we took turns chewing through.
M is not my speed, though he has a hot girlfriend who has a class across the hall from us. He's my least favorite student because he's smart and doesn't give a damn about it. If you see him coming to your class, be prepared for heartbreak all year. He gets by even reading just half the material, but it's just a waste of time. He's a typical rich kid who has been entitled since day zero, and he'll likely inherit some paper manufacturing company or something and rule some small and lazy universe some day.
You will surely be flamed by all parties if your blog ever gets big enough to get noticed. You can't prick the illusion that our dainty students and their equally dainty and entitled parents have. Mummy and Daddy believe Junior is gifted and brilliant, wise and funny, soon to be making more money than any damn teacher every dreamed of. The fact that Junior won't read, write or think is just splitting hairs. Junior is so besotted with Cuervo that he can't find his way to my class any more often than 2 times a week. And me, without tenure, without "standing," have to pass his ass on to the next level because of the endless - but subtle - pressure from every one above me at this university. It's my failure, isn't it, if I can't engage Junior. It couldn't be the glue sniffing or the iPod that is jammed deep into his brain. No, Junior's failure is mine. After all, Junior's parents pay the $18,000. The check cleared. He's safe. The only one feeling the pressure is me.
L makes me wish I wasn't married. He's so sweet and yummy and here I am with a brand new ring on my finger. When I lean against the overhead projector I can't tell if it's the bulb warming me up, or just his eyes on my ass.
Saturday, November 5, 2005
Won't listen. Won't talk. Won't raise hand. Won't raise voice. Ugly spirit. No books. No notes. No pens. Sloppy. Disruptive. Take out the iPod!
Friday, November 4, 2005
M likes to tell me about her mother's college roommate who is a Dean at my university. She tells me so many times that I think it might be the only thing she has as ammunition.
I hate her. She doesn't do her work. She dominates her study group with talk about her weekend plans and her boyfriend. She smiles sweetly in class, then turns on the waterworks in my office after another barely earned C. All she wants to do is complain, whine, and find a back door to graduation. I'm sick of it. All I want students to do is try. It's all I ask. I just want to see that they give a damn, and that they're willing to be a part of their own educational process.
Thursday, November 3, 2005
My dream is to face down baseball playing D, and tell him that I won't shed a tear for him when he blows his hose. He's never prepared for class, and he mostly shows up so he can run his mouth into the sweet ear of that sorority candy who sits next to him.
I'm expected to meet him at his own whim when he can't make my class or my office hours. I get faux-frantic calls from the Coach who thinks D might go the "show" someday, and wouldn't it be great for the college when he does.
I'd just like him to write his own paper once. Or at least crack the spine of that $40 textbook.
I'd like to smack his smug face.
We will rate our students here. And we will do it without compunction. Then we'll just see where we're at. We'll still be poor academics. But at least those callous and ignorant ‘customers’ of ours will know what it's like. What we believe here is that if it's little, you say it's little.”