Professor Lockhart: Still Working

, , , , | Learning | February 15, 2018

Because of a mix-up with some of my transfer credits, I’m not able to sign up for my next semester’s classes until the last minute of the add-drop period during the first week of school. Rushed and trying to figure out what’s available to fit my needs, I end up with the only open section of a 200-level course that’s held in the evening, once a week, for three hours at a time. Figuring it’ll be a pain but survivable, I go to the first class the following week, when the add-drop period is already over.

The professor spends the first 30 minutes of the class talking about himself. Among other things, he uses the phrase, “big fish in a small pond,” and I start reassessing the survivability of this class. When he finishes, he says, “Now, I know you might all have questions, but we are on a schedule, so I can only take questions from three people.” When no one raises a hand, he actually picks three students to come up with questions to ask him about himself. All three manage to scrounge up something, and he spends another 30 minutes answering.

It gets no better when we actually get to the material. He introduces a website he wants the class to use for our assignments, instead of the school’s; it’s a site that he made himself, and it looks like a disorganized mess. He tells us that we will be reading an entire textbook every week, and we will be able to manage that because we will be using his superior reading strategy, where you only read the first and last sentences of every paragraph. He passes out printouts and has us practice this fool-proof technique while taking notes, to prove to us that that’s where all the information you need is.

At the end of the class, he says he knows this class is long and people will probably get hungry and want to eat, so he will arrange a schedule where each of us will take a turn bringing food. To feed 25 people.

I call my father the next day, since he’s a university professor in the same field and has taught in this state before, to ask him if he knows this guy. My dad’s response is, “Oh, yeah, I taught a class with him at [Other University], 20 years ago. He used to throw pennies at students.”

I decide to drop this class like a hot potato and just pay the late fee to sign up for a different one, which is when I find out that new revisions to my degree plan mean I don’t need credit from that block, anyway.

And that’s how I was saved from taking an unnecessary class by my professor being a complete dumpster fire.

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