Today was the last day of class – quite literally, since I only have one class on Friday. (Hurrah!) I mean, I have finals next week, but dead week is over. AHHHH I’M SO EXCITED TO GO HOME AND EAT CHRISTMAS COOKIES AND NOT WORRY ABOUT SCHOOL.
Anyway, today I found an old post from over a year ago in which I described all the college professors I’d had up to that point and compared them to Hogwarts professors. (I did dual-credit classes in high school, in case you wondered why I’d already had college professors before arriving here.) So today I’m going to do something similar, only I won’t be comparing my profs to Hogwarts professors – I’ll just describe them.
As the title says, none of my professors read my blog… I mean, that I know of. I haven’t given the link to Musings From Neville’s Navel to very many people since I got here specifically because I talk a lot about college on this blog, and I want to… have boundaries? Keep some thoughts semi-private? Yeah. Something like that. So, yeah – I haven’t, like, told any of my professors that I have a blog where I sometimes fangirl and/or rant about their classes and teaching styles, but for all I know, maybe some of my profs are avid fans of blogs with purple backgrounds and incomprehensible names.
So, consider this a writing exercise. (Since I’m sure that’s what my Creative Writing prof would say.) IT’S LIKE I’M DESCRIBING CHARACTERS OR SOMETHING.
City of Literature
He goes off on so many tangents, but… in a good way! Like, they’re always about literature. I’d rather have him go off on tangents about literature than on tangents about some other subject, so I don’t mind.
He goes to a lot of protests against the new university president (…I don’t feel like explaining the whole situation right now, but if you’re interested you should google it), and encourages us to. And… dude, I would. I TOTALLY would, but homework is also a thing, and I am a tiny exhausted college student. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY TO DO ALL THE THINGS I WANT.
I keep feeling like I need to introduce him to my Superheroes Unleashed prof because all three of us own the same exact Captain America shirt and I feel like they’d have a lot to talk about.
I’m sooooo happy that I ended up with this prof! She used to be a high school teacher, and it shows: Some of my friends who are in other creative writing classes complain that their teachers barely talk about the craft of writing and are basically just like, “OK, write your stories, and bring them in to be workshopped.” But my prof never did that! She talked a lot about different techniques, styles of narration, et cetera.
Also, she’s currently in the (extremely, ridiculously competitive) Iowa Writer’s Workshop, which is #writinggoals. TBH IT’S #LIFEGOALS. I kind of have a crush on her? DFSJHDFJKHD BUT LIKE SHE’S SUPER FUNNY AND NICE AND TALENTED AND JFGDHJF.
Intro to Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies
This class is so not what I hoped it would be. I thought it’d be my favoritest class this semester! BUT IT WASN’T. A large part of that was due to my professor – she covered material very superficially, or said things that were flat-out wrong. (I counted no fewer than four inaccurate definitions of bisexuality. Yes, I kept count. No, bisexual people are not “half gay, half straight.” WTF HOW DID SHE EVEN GET THIS TEACHING POSITION.)
Her shining moment (sarcasm!) was when she said, “I almost didn’t put together this PowerPoint today, because this subject is so dull.” Like… attendance in this class dropped wayyyyy off before even halfway through the semester, so… lady, you’re not doing yourself any favors by TELLING YOUR STUDENTS THAT THE SUBJECTS THEY’RE STUDYING ARE BORING. That doesn’t exactly inspire them to study harder, or to show up for class in the first place. (FYI, I am an overachieving nerd who only missed one class this semester, and this was the one I missed. I REGRET NOTHING.)
…and then there’s my TA, or teaching assistant. Large lecture classes are split into discussion sections that meet once per week and examine the material from the lectures in more detail. There were about twenty people in my section, compared to 130ish in the entire class.
ANYWAYYYY. My TA never got on my nerves quite as much as my prof did, but she’s still… gah. When students from my section – myself included – tried to get help for the midterm, she basically gave a bunch of non-answers. SO MUCH FOR HAVING A “SPECIAL REVIEW SESSION.”
…one of my Creative Writing projects involved describing certain qualities of people I know and inventing reasons why they are the way that they are. I said that my TA was a troll who lived under one of the many bridges crossing the Iowa River near campus, and that that explained her grumpiness. AND HER SHORTNESS OMG.
Media History and Culture
I was so intimidated by this class at the beginning of the semester! I actually thought about dropping it. I’m so glad I didn’t, though, because it ended up being one of my favorites – and my prof is largely responsible for that.
Our textbook can be a little dense at times, but he’s very good at explaining even the most confusing, obscure terms in easy-to-understand language.
Also, he makes terrible jokes…. which then became inside jokes with my friends from that class. He’s also the TA for my section, which is nice.
When I was struggling with two of the essays for this class, I went to his office hours multiple times and he gave me sooooo many ideas. (And extra reading…)
Again, I’m super happy that I (mostly) ended up with teachers who actually know how to teach, because teaching is a side job for professors at colleges in my country and they’re not actually required to have any teaching credentials. (I don’t know if that’s how it is in other countries.) Most of them are there to do research and stuff. Mine does research (and apparently writes a lot of articles about journalism?), but he also knows how to teach, and I feel very fortunate that this is the case with most of my profs this semester.
…this has nothing to do with him as a professor, but I SWEAR TO GOD HE LOOKS LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN PETER CAPALDI AND BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY. He has the same dress sense and skinny face as Bill Nye, with the eyebrows and nose of Peter Capaldi. (Update: One of my friends who isn’t even in that class with me said, “He sounds like their love child.” So there you have it.) When he’s frustrated with people who didn’t do the reading before class, he does the Doctor’s attack eyebrow thing. I’M SERIOUS.
The other day I was walking downtown and passed one of my favorite bookshops, where I saw a Bill Nye book in the window display… only I thought my prof had written a book, because the picture on the cover looked so like him. IT’S REALLY WEIRD.
3,000 Years of Heroes, Villains, and a Mad Race for Immortality
AHHHH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. SHE IS THE BEST. As if there weren’t already a hundred thousand gazillion things to love about this class – I mean, we get to study superheroes, for heaven’s sake! – the prof who teaches it is also amazing.
Not only is she the most enthusiastic professor I have ever had – she’s one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met, period. She is basically 492356523045623493257 exclamation points masquerading as a human being. SHE BRINGS HER ACTION FIGURES AND BOBBLEHEADS TO CLASS. (This little guy has sat on her desk the last few classes.)
KSDHGAKDJGHSKDJGHSDKGJDSG IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE HOW AWESOME SHE IS AND JUST HOW MUCH I LOVE AND APPRECIATE HER TEACHING STYLE, SO JUST TRUST ME: SHE IS THE BEST.
For our very last class, she brought donuts and we ate them while discussing free will as described by the Grand Inquisitor in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and how it affects the heroes in Captain America: Civil War and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (I showed her the Civil War trailer after class the week before, and OH MY GOD SHE FANGIRLED SO HARD.)
I love her class so much. SO. MUCH. One of my friends has rubber stamps with superheroes on them, so I used them to decorate my prof a thank you card. SHE SQUEED. SHE ACTUALLY SQUEED.
When I met with my adviser to discuss class options for this coming spring, one of the things I asked her about was the possibility of taking more classes with any of my current profs… except for the Into to GWSS ones, duh. (I would love to take more courses in that department, just not with that particular professor. In fact, I’m already eyeing a fall 2016 course called Writing About Girls – it’s taught by a prof who works in both the English and GWSS departments, which sounds exactly like my kind of thing! I’ve already talked to the professor about it and everything!)
My MH&C prof teaches classes that are currently too advanced for me, and we determined that it probably wasn’t a good idea to take any more classes at all with my Creative Writing prof. (My adviser said it would be best to take classes with a variety of profs in order to expose myself to a variety of approaches to writing, which makes sense even if it is a little disappointing.)
I almost signed up for a really cool looking course about the history of the paperback book and how it democratized reading that will be taught by my City of Lit prof, but it turned out that it met at the same time as the second of two courses required to get into the journalism school. So, maybe next time!
So that’s a no to studying with three of my profs, at least for the time being. BUT WAIT. IT GETS BETTER. I managed to get into an honors literature course taught by my Superheroes Unleashed prof! It will be AWESOME and I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED for it – and I’m sorry to keep you all in suspense, but I’m not planning to post about next semester’s classes until January, so you’ll just have to wait and see. MWAHAHA. It’s amazing. I promise.
Tell me about YOUR professors! What makes them weird/funny/cool? (What makes them annoying, if they are that way?) Even if you’re on vacation or have graduated, you can leave a comment – tell me about some of your past teachers?