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Old 01-31-2007, 08:57 PM   #1
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Default Warning - Bitter Rant Ahead (worst prof i ever had joined my gym)

OK - so this just got brought up my head again because the professor who did this to me just joined my gym and started showing up during my regularly scheduled workout time. The bad news - I get super bitter every time I see him. The good news - the bitterness apparently makes me work harder at my cardio...anger makes my strides/min go up!

So I was in college. This was 3 years ago (yup...still bitter). I was taking this class with my partner (Sarah) called "genetics and society". Fascinating class, really. Anyway, the professor was always kind of an idiot, but whatever, the material was interesting. I thought he was just harmless annoying...but no.

He assigns the class a take home midterm. On the assignment sheet, it reads, and I quote: "We want to encourage discussion between you and your classmates. Feel free to work together on this assignment and discuss your responses". So, Sarah and I (we live together) talk through the assignment together. We have some great discussions to which we both contribute, then we go back to our independent desks and write our independent responses. It should be noted that some people read the professor's instructions and actually turned in photocopies of the same paper with identical responses, thinking that since he said to collaborate, it would be ok.

We both get our midterms back with a notation that says "see professor" so we make an appointment.

HE ACCUSED US OF CHEATING, saying that we had "collaborated too much". His evidence for this was two different sentences, which were phrased similarly, in our two midterms (over 10 pages, and he found 2 sentences). As such, he knocked my "A" grade on the midterm down to a "C", Sarah's "B" to a "D", and submitted a letter to the school's disciplinary committee to put on both of our files saying that we had cheated. He also made us sit separately for the final.

Now in this meeting, he was calling us liars, saying it was "obvious" that one of us had copied at least some of the answers from the other, because we had similar responses. Now, lets say that you had been told to discuss a question with someone...generally, you'd talk it out until you'd reached some sort of conclusion. In that case, you would expect to write similar answers. And what if someone used a metaphor in your discussion that stuck with you? That comparison might make it into both papers, because you both agreed it was a good way to express what you were trying to say. This is not completely unexpected, right?

He was outright rude to us during the meeting, trying every which way to get us to "admit what we had done". He said lots of things like "people like you ruin grades for everyone" and "if you just admitted it you might have a shot at getting even a little of your integrity back". He said he knew we were liars and it was "despicable" that we wouldn't admit it. He made me cry (my integrity is important to me and he insulted it deeply). He told us that appealing to the disciplinary review board would result in an even lower grade in his class, and that he might be more lenient if we would "just admit we were liars". He made Sarah cry. We tried to use reason (look, your instructions were so vague that people turned in photocopies...clearly they didn't understand your instructions, because after all, people actually trying to cheat are clearly not that obvious about it), we talked about the discussions we had and how our answers resulted from it. No dice. He would not listen to anything we said and just kept telling us we were liars and we should admit it.

I ended up with a B- in his class...enough to push me out of the Dean's list for that quarter. My parents only paid for my books if I made Dean's list the previous quarter, so I had to pay out of pocket for my books the next quarter ($375 out of my pocket). I had a permanent letter on file with academic affairs calling me a cheater. All because we followed his instructions! We talked to other people in the class...there were a total of 10 pairs of students accused of cheating that we found, including the photocopy people.

Last night he appeared in my gym, and all of the bitter streamed back. Just needed to rant. *rant over*.

Anyone else have horrible professor stories?
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:31 PM   #2
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A well-placed dumbbell might be in order ...
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:32 PM   #3
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Wow, what an awful guy. Thankfully I haven't had any experiences like that.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:41 PM   #4
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man that is horrible. I think many professors are on a power trip. I personally haven't had any that bad. I've just had many professors who couldn't teach. I had one professor in vet school that was teaching the basic intro to endocrinology class sooooo badly, that i turned for help from my friend. He taught and made me understand it better (he had a masters in endocrinolgy). So sorry to hear that...but he...great motiviation. Use that to your advantage of weight loss.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
A well-placed dumbbell might be in order ...
My first thought Meg, was where could we tell her to hide the gun?

Hey Mandalinn ~ you have the right idea! Use that "negative" energy he gave you to do positive things for yourself! There is really no answer for guys/gals like that ~ they see it their way and that's it! I really feel sorry for you though, from my own children's experiences ~ they had some pretty whacked out profs. but were still able to graduate magna cum laude with honors...but 1 class like that and it would have been over for them!
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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It was three years ago, and I was mostly over it. But then he showed up at the gym and I remembered just how upset I was.

Gary - that was the only quarter I didn't make Dean's list...I would have graduated with high honors without his freaking class.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:59 PM   #7
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Well then, you have my permission to follow through with Meg's advice!
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:03 PM   #8
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Oh, mandalinn, that's awful! What a :bleep: . Interesting that you saw him at the gym, a place where one takes out aggression and relieves stress.

I've had sketchy professors. There was the one that called me all the time after midnight and left long rambling messages. Then there was the online professor I had who never returned emails or phone calls even when people called the dean to complain. I had technical issues with taking a final and he failed me with NO response of any kind. I should not be in the next section of the class, but I am and am doing well. If I get an A, I'm going to appeal the failing grade of the lower level. This is a man who will always be in search of his next Grammy and could care less about his students.

This semester I lucked out. My professors are the reason I get out of bed (not really, but they are pretty amazing).
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:32 PM   #9
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What he told you was unethical and if you had gone to the review board with his instructions in hand, he wouldn't have been able to say anything.

This makes me so mad since I'm in academia (18 mo. to Ph.D!!!) and I hate it when my colleagues get on these power trips.

I have a bit of anger issues, as in I hold it in until I explode. If I was in your situation I would either change my time or call him an insufferable *bleep*hole right there in the gym. And then sashay out. Wow, I feel better now...
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:09 PM   #10
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When my dad was going to college to complete his Masters in education, at one point he was student teaching for this woman who was taking the same class he was and basically told him that if he didn't do her work for the class that she was going to give him a bad review of his student teaching. He was furious.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:12 PM   #11
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Speaking of bad classes....

I had an upper level math class I needed to take. The book we had was out of print, so the teacher handed out photocopies of pages of the book well after the class had started. No one understood the professor. I went and sat with the TA every day for about 3 weeks (10 week quarters). About a week before the final, I finally understood the material. I ended up setting up tutorial sessions for my friends in the class to teach them what I had learned from the TA. Half the class failed. (My friends didn't )
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:51 PM   #12
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I guess its silly to be bitter now, but man, every time I see him I just want to throw something.

He wasn't there tonight...good thing, too, what with the dumbbell suggestions...
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:00 AM   #13
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We had a prof...the guy was tenured - he got caught plagiarizing a major study by the big chemistry society so he couldnt get research grants anymore.

Every single semester he would select one student, accuse them of plagiarism and fail them. They would have to retake the class the next year from him again as he was the only professor.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:08 AM   #14
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I had a nursing prof once. A friend and I would discuss what we learned in class walking to and from and sometimes I would explain stuff to her in a way I understood it. One of the ways I used to explain it made sense to both of us and we both used the example on a test.

She basicly accused us of cheating.

I would rather fail than cheat, so I do understand your frustrations. It's...9 years later and I am still ticked to think about that conversation.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:31 AM   #15
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And I had a math prof. One he was terrified of public speaking so he would look at the board or the floor and mumble. He never once looked at the class.

Anyway, he would teach graduate level math theory in undergraduate classes. So if you were taking calc 1 and learning differentiation, he would show how the theory of differentiation was derived. REALLY upper level stuff. He only taught undergrad "off semester" so mostly he had grad classes

But he tested straight out of the book. Open book, open notes. Material he spent exactly ZERO minutes covering in class.

He gave no homework, he gave at most 1 midterm worth maybe 10% of your grade. The rest was all one big final. That you had no preparation for from him.

The first time I had him for Calc 1/2 I studied my butt off, took notes like crazy and got a 42% on the final...that was worth a B

The second time I had him for Calc 4, I went to class and took notes but studied the book well and got an A

The third time I had him (boy was I royally pissed off by then) for statistics I warned all my classmates to ignore what he talked about in class (whooo does statistics have some high level theoretical math). In fact I told them not to go to class at all and they all freaked at me every week...Anne, you better go to class he is teaching stuff that is NOT in the book. I went to precisely 2 classes. The first one and the one the day before the final. I did EVERY single problem in the book that had the answer in back.

I got a 100% on the final, the next highest grade was a 54%. Boy did I mess up the curve. But they were all fairly warned.

He told me what a pleasure it was having me in his class
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