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This Professor Should Consider A Profession That Doesn’t Involve People

, , , , | Learning | October 14, 2021

I’m in an engineering class in college. The professor is not well-liked by the students or other staff, mainly because he’s lazy and rude. He once listed all the work that needed to be done on the syllabus but nothing was due until the last week of class. Two weeks before the end of the semester, he announced that there was no possible way he could grade all of the work before grades needed to be submitted, so he changed the final project to a ten-minute presentation detailing what we learned from the entire semester. Mind you, there were essays, other projects, and other homework listed in the syllabus that most of us had done and were waiting to submit. All of that work was now not needed and had been replaced by a ten-minute presentation. The procrastinators were ecstatic, but those of us who had actually done the work were pissed. All that work we had done was now worth NOTHING! We all passed with flying colors just by copy and pasting the syllabus objectives and BSing the rest of the presentation.

Another time, the entire class was gathered around the work table. One of my classmates just happened to be a woman who was eight and a half months pregnant, and it was obvious that this was the case. The professor was talking and paused, presumably to invite someone to answer. She began to speak when he held up a finger and stuck it in her face. 

Professor: “Hold on, I was having a pregnant pause.”


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Both Involve Opening The Hatch And Tossing In Some Liquid

, , , , | Related | October 7, 2021

When I am away at college, smartphones are just becoming a thing, but I don’t have one to look things up spur-of-the-moment. One afternoon, right after I turned twenty-one, I decide I want to try making my dad’s family-famous margarita recipe, so I text him.

Me: “Hey, Dad, can you send me your margarita recipe?”

I quickly move on to chores while I wait for his response. I have never before had occasion to open my new car’s hood myself, but I need to refill the wiper fluid. I spend a few minutes trying and failing to open the car’s hood — failing to know or look up that there is a latch — so I text my dad again shortly after my first text.

Me: “Do you know how the hood of my car opens?”

I get a reply pretty quickly.

Dad: “The length of time between those texts concerns me.”

It was just his dry humor; he knows I don’t drink and drive. He did send me the recipe, and ten years later, I at least know how to do simple things like open a car hood.

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Well, Her Heart Is In The Right Place

, , , , , , | Learning | October 6, 2021

In college, a friend asks me to be a part of his film project. In the project, we follow a woman (me) and her husband as he goes down the path of addiction and back through recovery. We set up in an alley and start filming my husband drinking from a bottle in a paper bag. 

Me: “I thought I’d find you here.”

Husband: “F*** off.”

Me: “Why don’t you go get help?”

A woman walking by sees us and comes over.

Woman: “Hey! Leave him alone!”

Me: “What? Oh, no, no—”

Woman: “I said leave him alone! I’ll smack the stupid right outta you!”

Husband: “Ma’am, it’s fine. We—”

Woman: “You do not have to put up with these… fake-do-good b****es.”

Our friend, who has been standing nearby filming, finally steps in.

Friend: “Ma’am, please listen, he’s not—”

Woman: “He’s clearly a man in distress and you’re filming him!”

Friend: “No, he’s fine. He—”

Woman: “He ain’t fine!” *To my homeless “husband”* “Come on, sweetie. Let’s get you something to eat.”

Husband: “Um… this is a class project.”

The woman stands there, silent, looking at all of us. 

Woman: “A class project for what?”

Friend: “For [College]. I’m a film major.”

The woman seems at a loss, but then she rallies.

Woman: “Well… You can’t just go up to homeless people and put them in your—”

Husband: “I’m acting!”

Woman: “Oh. Well… you… are doing a fine job. Just don’t be out here long. Other folks won’t be so nice about you bothering the homeless.”

Friend: “Right. Thanks.”

We finished within an hour, and while other people did stop and ask what we were doing, nobody else was quite like that woman.

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You’d Think It Was Hogwarts Open Day

, , , , | Right | October 4, 2021

I work in the kitchen of a fine-dining restaurant run by my university, which is unique in that all of the students are also employed by the school. One of my jobs in the early morning is to set out the fake display versions of our desserts so diners can see what they are ordering. Usually, this is a job that doesn’t involve any encounters with guests as the restaurant doesn’t open until just before lunch.

One morning, a bus of thirty or forty early tourists comes in, apparently unaware that the restaurant doesn’t open for several hours. For some reason, the person at the front desk tells them that they can “come in and look.”

Since I am the only student (aka “zoo exhibit”) in view at the time, I am promptly surrounded by geriatric tourists oohing over the school in general, the pressed-copper ceiling of the dining room, the views out the large windows, the flowers on the tables… even my fake desserts. 

I do the whole “smile politely and they’ll let you go” thing, trying to get around the milling group to set up my display, only to have one woman pluck at my sleeve and declare:

Guest: “Oh, honey! This place is so lovely. Do you really work here? And go to school here?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am! I work in the bakery here.”

Guest: “Oh, how nice! And this room, just look at that ceiling! It’s just beautiful.”

I respond while trying not to drop a tray of mini cast-iron skillets full of plaster cobblers.

Me: “It sure is.”

Guest: “And… this dining room. My lands! Do students eat here? Or is it for real people?”

My always loosely-installed filter slips but my tone is still 100% polite and cheerful.

Me: “It’s for folks like you, ma’am.”

I regretted it the minute it came out, but somehow she took it at face value of “folks like you = tourists” and happily went on her way. I nearly died laughing from the entire situation, the fact that I actually got away with that, and relief that no supervisor was around to hear me!

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Don’t Expect To Learn Communication From Her

, , , , , | Learning | October 2, 2021

While I was in college to earn my bachelor’s in Elementary Education, we went into the local school to get experience in a classroom the semester before we actually started Student Teaching. During that semester, our professors would come in and observe us and give feedback. We had to teach a lesson on our own when they observed.

During my first observation, the professor sat in the back looking extremely angry and eventually pulled one of the kids from my lesson and worked one on one with him without saying anything to me. Throughout the lesson, I got more and more nervous trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and analyzing every little word and movement I made. By the end, I was a nervous wreck and was sure I had utterly failed the observation.

Two days later, we met to go over my observation together, and beforehand, I prepared myself for the worst. I went into my professor’s office and sat down.

Professor: “First off, I want to say you did an excellent job and it’s obvious you really care about the students.”

I was completely confused and sat through the rest of our meeting in a daze. I kept trying to match all the positive comments she was giving me with her body language and attitude during my lesson and couldn’t figure it out.

That observation taught me that when I’m being observed I should just continue my lessons like the person isn’t there and not look at them. I’ve never had a bad observation, but that professor made me feel like a complete failure before I had even started. All I can think is that I’m so grateful she was never my teacher in elementary school.

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