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Old 01-13-2009, 09:50 PM
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,188 posts, read 21,801,741 times
Reputation: 6116


No teacher in college that I despise, yet. I have had a few professors that earned a very low opinion from the student body, but I found them to be okay. However, there was one teacher in high school that I hated. He was the football coach. He also taught PE, sex ed, and drivers ed. For reasons which I have never understood he was a total d*ck towards me.

One that really stands out that I liked was a screenwriting prof that I had some years ago. He had his students form a screenwriting group that would meet unofficially off campus on the weekends and over the summer just to hang out, drink beer, and continue on with our interest in the subject. He was real laid back and taught the class as if he was your buddy instead of just the teacher. Really funny, too. I sometimes look at his ratemyprofessor page and he still gets tons of good comments. Definitely one of the most liked teachers on campus.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:59 PM
2,873 posts, read 6,276,460 times
Reputation: 5140
I can't think of a prefessor who I despised, but the worst was clearly my US History professor who whipped through the first 300 years of US history in two weeks so that he could linger for eight weeks on the years of 1900 - 1920. He had a total obsession with U.S.Steel - how strange...

The best professor was clearly my Critical Care professor in nursing school. When I didn't understand the oxyhemoglobin association curve, she had me come to her house for extra help. We baked 30 loaves of banana bread for a local soup kitchen while she talked me through critical care. She kept saying "busy hands, busy minds". I loved her.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:07 PM
25,165 posts, read 47,408,624 times
Reputation: 6945
Some professors I had were in their own little worlds and very greedy and very petulant people. Those I strongly disliked.

I've had some professors and instructors that were amazing though.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:58 PM
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,188 posts, read 21,801,741 times
Reputation: 6116
I can think of two that can possibly be filed into the worst list. These two professors not only had their PhD's, they have both been teaching the same class year after year for effin' ever as well. It's good that they know the material inside and out but they often taught the class as if we all had our PhD's, too. That may be great for grad students; for frosh and sophomores it can be a bit overwhelming.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:11 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,723,994 times
Reputation: 24555
I remember one HS English teacher. I was a difficult (to say the least, I was aggressive, arrogant and insecure for a bunch of reasons) personality and could have cared less about the books he wanted me to read. However he said that reading anything was better than books that bored you, so I read science and science fiction and sent him, as I now realize, poorly spelled reviews. We got to know each other and, as I have a gift for getting other people to talk about themselves, he talked about being in the British Commando Forces in WW2. Here was this unassuming HS English teacher that had been and still was a card carrying hero. The most important thing he taught me was how to control my mind in combat. That proved to be very useful a couple of years later.

On the other hand I had a college Geology teacher around 1969 that, while purporting to be a scientist, would not even consider the growing body of evidence for the Theory of Plate Tectonics. We would get into public arguments about that and about the hazard of asteroid impacts. I was correct but he won. I was apparently not sufficiently humble to the great learned professor. I switched majors.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:46 PM
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,438 posts, read 22,859,999 times
Reputation: 119880
Teachers, when they're good, they're very, very good. And when they're bad, they're horrid.

My worst profs included a guy who seemed to be heavily focused on using students' work to advance his own research. One who clearly played favorites, then denied it like the weaselly jacka$$ he was - he struck me as a such a prima donna I was shocked when I learned he was straight. And one who was clearly prejudiced.

Some of my best profs included a guy who taught an auditorium-sized required lit class, but managed to be an excellent teacher who connected with students. Unfortunately, he retired.

One was a breath of fresh air, I would visit her office every so often just to chat because her intelligence and positive energy always gave me a boost. I wish we could "bottle" people like that.

And my microbiology prof who made the subject even more fascinating. I love science anyway, but he brought it to a higher level. He was also a decent, kind and fair man.

Don't ya love the cool ones? All of the good ones were excellent teachers. YOu really learned the material. The bad ones? ?They chose the wrong career and either haven't figured that out or don't have the courage to do anything about it.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:30 AM
Location: St. Louis
9,485 posts, read 16,479,785 times
Reputation: 13215
My best prof taught a Shakespeare class and I fell in love with the plays and English Lit. She begged me to change my major to E Lit, but it would have taken another whole year to finish--I wish I'd done it though.

The worst--oh my, oh my. He was a stats prof and his first three whole lectures consisted of his dancing around and chanting, "Add 'em all up and divide by the number of." It thought that at least the first test should be easy but studied the textbook to stay on the safe side. It's a good thing I did b/c out of 23 people, 17 people made D's or F's. Then I looked the test over well and noticed there were a couple of problems that just didn't seem to fit anything I had studied, so I went ahead in the textbook and found out that it was future material that we hadn't covered yet--went and talked to him and he refused to throw out those questions. I did hang on there and paid zero attention to the lectures and studied on my own b/c I really needed that credit, but it was miserable. Fortunately I passed with that strategy.

Another crazy story--I was taking Social Deviance and we had this kind of whiny depressed teacher who didn't really seem to have it altogether--also she was way too thin, like maybe she was anorexic. On the day of the final, another teacher came to administer it and told us that the night before, the prof had attempted suicide and was in the hospital.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:03 AM
35 posts, read 36,393 times
Reputation: 95
The adored professor taught Medieval history. Every class was a manic presentation with a cogent lecture and slide show, presented at a pace that allowed note taking, with the high points emphasized. The extra-reading list included all good books, and no turkeys. He covered a wide range of perspectives, from political history to religious, art, economic, social, and intellectual history. He presented the people of the Middle Ages as real people, and did so with enough passion to counteract copnvincingly the usual presumption that they were somehow sub-human dolts. There were other professors to whom I owe a lot, but some of them were friends and neighbors before I took courses with them, so I won't mention them further here.
-- In grad school, there was a professor who plagiarized my work, once in a piece of intellectual "grunt work" that was of relatively minor consequence, though the work this professor published under his/her name (without any credit given to me) was virtually unchanged from what I had handed in years earlier. My more substantive suspicion of plagiarism concerned my interpretation of a leading intellectual's work in a way quite contrary to the standard interpretation, which I'd presented in a rather informal way that was somewhat repackaged, again with no credit given. The thesis involved was a between-the-lines interpretation that relied on implications of intuitive reservations in a very abstruse work, and it's hard to imagine that he/she could have stumbled upon such a similar, obscure interpretation by him/herself, especially since he/she had it all laid out for him/her in writing.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:39 AM
Location: Chicago area
8,209 posts, read 12,483,139 times
Reputation: 14800
The PI from the lab I did my graduate reserach. He was kind of meh. Not much of a mentor. Kind of disparaging at times. I kind of tolerated that. What really changed my mind was after I graduated with the MS. One of my collegaues contacted me. She had a string of failed interviews and hired a reference investigator. It turns out he was saying just awful things about her despite her leaving on good terms. I had the service investigate what he was saying about me and it wasn't as bad but not good either.

Being a bad mentor is one thing. Torpedoing your studients opportunities by slandering them to prospective employers is a whole other level of Sh-ttyness and that kind of person has no business having power over anyone.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:03 AM
Location: Cincinnati near
2,511 posts, read 3,368,243 times
Reputation: 5621
I really despised my biochemical methods professor in graduate school. She clearly thought that teaching was a punishment for not bringing in enough grant money, and she would never let us forget that we were wasting her time. Furthermore, most of the required work for the class was tangentially related to her research: not so close that anyone could contribute to authorship on a publication, but close enough that she could make sure all of the instruments were correctly calibrated and the enzymes were assayed for the right activities. When I heard that she left the university I was pleased.

On the other hand, my PhD adviser was the perfect mentor. He expected a lot of work, but he made sure that I did things that advanced my own career rather than his own. He has an extremely pleasant personality, and he has always made me feel like a colleague rather than the hired help. When I was close to graduating he asked if I wanted his help in finding a postdoc, and in what area I wanted to work. After a long chat with me, he reached out to some of his connections, and got me an interview for a very prestigious position at a national lab. Now that I have a research group of my own, he has continued to support me by directing potential collaborators towards me when he doesn't have the manpower to work with them himself since our research subject area is so similar. Possibly most importantly,he really showed me what a highly successful academic science career looks like through both a personal and a professional lens. It doesn't matter how many thousand publications or patents you have if your students and colleagues can't stand to work with you or if you don't have time for your family. I am just grateful that someone was able to show me how it's done so early in my own career.
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