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Rant About Uni Professors


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Like the title says, there isn't really much room for advice in this situation anyway. So let's just go through a little rundown on how life in college should ideally function. You write graded research essays, cool right, well not really, because you see there's this template that they keep posting on each Module's page on how research essays are graded, and they mention very specific criterion along with their assigned weights, all of that is fine and dandy until one as**ole professor decides that they are going to mark papers in a radically different way from everyone else in the department. "oh you thought you had to include a "Theoretical Review" in your essay before you start digging into the studies that are based on actual data and stuff like that, because that's what's actually written in this freaking template that is supposed to comprehensively communicate the standardized marking criterion for all modules, hence you can find it on each individual module's page, well think again, because I decided that I wanted the entire paper to be made up of only that second half of this criteria, and those 800 words worth of theoretical analysis you've put in there is totally worthless to me, haha gotcha. Now did I communicate this clearly enough, oh yeah there was this one time during class that was literally a month or so before this whole quarantine situation settled in where I vaguely talked about the structure of the paper without highlighting the critical exclusion of one of the main marking criterion despite the fact that the question I wrote myself says "highlight the different schools of thought that study the relationship" , oh sorry didn't I tell you how that I personally considered each individual study to be a "school of though" in of itself, did you make the rational mistake of thinking I was referring to the theoretical part of the essay that's expressly mentioned in the marking table, well boohoo for you I guess, life's not fair , deal with it or kill yourself, whichever's most convenient for you blah"

 

Ranked among the top students in my cohort for two years in a row, only for this piece of sh#t to come and deal my GPA the dirtiest hand it's been dealt since I first enrolled in this garbage overpriced uni. It seems that even in the presence of a standardized marking criterion, professors still find a way to abuse their power just so that they can have things their way. And of course I could go and whimper to the head of the department about this, she'll come up with some bullsh*t justification or try to make me out to be the one at fault when clearly the opposite is true.

 

Okay whining is over I guess. Does anyone else have stories about crappy encounters with university professors?

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Holy run on sentence, buddy.

 

Just kidding.

 

Not meaning to kick you when you're down. Just bugging you.

 

I hear you. In micro econ I remember not understanding anything the teacher was saying because his accent was so thick. I basically self-studied. Arts courses were ok... don't remember them being eventful but very entertaining and I enjoyed them. You have to talk to your prof. Unless your courses are all fact/formula based or on calculations, you really need to understand what the teacher wants.

 

Keep your chin up. This is one course only. I have a question though - was the entire course graded on one essay only?

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Thankfully no, but still a D on a 30% essay is a pain in the behind. And yeah holly crap I know my punctuation is bonkers, I stopped caring at this point lol. I literally just use commas as a substitute for every punctuation mark that exists. I just got off of a zoom meeting with her, she literally called me an idiot at some point, and then thought it was inappropriate when I said that the question shouldn't have been phrased that way. If you studied econ you would know that the phrase "school of thought" is primarily used to refer to stuff like Neoclassical Economics, Marshallian Economics... etc , basically any dense body of theoretical literature; it definitely has nothing to do with individual papers studying through regression and what not specific cases in specific countries, and yet that's what she wanted the entire section of literature review to be made up of. But yeah I'm an idiot I guess lol

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It sounds like she was looking for something very different. How frustrating. Is the course over? D of 30% is .6 x 30% = 18% out of 30% meaning you lost approx 12% out of 100% for the whole grade.

 

That's not bad!

 

You can still score an A if you've been getting close to 100% in the other areas. Or a high B.

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My university is under the British system, a D in the British system is 40% not 60% , and anywhere above 80% only happens on average every coon's age. It's cool though I've already prepared myself for getting a C at best in this Module, I got better grades in the other ones, definitely gonna hurt my GPA, but oh well can't change it now, fingers crossed.

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I see. In that case definitely see whether you can do a make up assignment or project.

 

You're going to have to do a clearer job of appealing your case if you want a chance to resubmit the project or let your prof know about misleading instructions.

 

I couldn't make head or tail of what you were trying to say about the essay format (sorry! punctuation counts!) but I'm understanding that there were bulletins posted about the standard format everywhere in the department or the course. You could also appeal to the dean or the head of the department to discuss your grade or the misleading expectations for the assignment. At the very least, maybe the course can be organized a bit better and they may review your case and allow you to resubmit the paper due to issues surrounding clarity.

 

I'm also curious how your peers fared? Was the class average for the paper also a D?

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The grade with the highest frequency was D yes (I guess you'd technically call it the mode of the class). There were a bunch of Cs and only about three As, one of which chose the other topic (we get two options on what topic to write about). Let me re-explain that part: so basically the essay has this section called literature review, it is composed of theories and practical tests (empirical studies with data and models) , that's what we've done so far and what every other professor has asked of us, which is like I said what is already written in the online coursework template on every module's page. She decided to do away with the theoretical section, so half of my essay was basically off topic in her eyes. The problem is in the phrasing of the question: had she said "using recent empirical studies" instead of "highlighting the different schools of thought" , I would've understood easily what she wanted. Like I said, the phrase "school of thought" is normally associated with historical bodies of theoretical writing, which is consistent with the what the template says about the marking criterion ,that both the theoretical and empirical elements need to be in the essay , but she only wanted empirical studies in the literature section, which is obviously not what the question alluded to whatsoever nor is it consistent with the standardized format we've been following for all of the other modules. Hope I made it clearer this time, but yeah my university is pretty authoritarian, they would never accept a re-submission or anything like that. They always side with the professors no matter what.

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I agree. It appears confusing. I wouldn't translate "different schools of thought" to empirical studies either. It sounds more theoretical.

 

I know it sounds mundane and annoying but this might be a good cue also to clarify anything that appears confusing in the rest of the course. Now that you know you have a confusing prof and there is a known history of confusion with this teacher due to different use of terms or language, always clarify first before starting a draft or brainstorming. I've had my fair share of academic confusion and frustration so I do feel for you.

 

Maybe the course will be marked on a curve too.

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At the end of the day , does it really matter as long as you pass? Get your qualification?

 

Perhaps this prof is a blessing in disguise. Setting you up for what it’s going to be like once employed.

Tbh I think what you said to her in your zoom meeting was inappropriate. Instead of telling her what you think she should have said , you could have been more polite by telling her how you misinterpreted her words and why and also if she could expand on or explain her wording in order to help you understand better next time.

 

If you truly find this University not to be respectable , why don’t you transfer?

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Billie28 , man I've already been employed in the crappiest of places and I've already met people 10 times worse than this professor lol (worked as a sales agent for 4 months and had the worst supervisors pressure the hell out of me to get the target, once I almost got it, I got fed up with them and quit) . And yeah I know it wasn't the most appropriate thing to say, but tbh I was so pissed because you don't just phrase your question in a confusing way and then cost someone a jab to their GPA like that, and university professors often forget that they are practically working for us, we are paying them, and so when we believe that they are doing something wrong, we should have the right to bluntly tell them about it. The problem is this crappy culture that deify teachers for god knows what reason. Like if you're working for me and you make such an idiotic mistake, I should have the right to at least be frank about it with you instead of tip toeing around it during the conversation. The reason I can't transfer now is that I'm an Econ student in a private university in Egypt , the only other option for studying Econ is one public university that requires a ridiculous high school average for acceptance. And the thing is higher education is garbage pretty much everywhere in Egypt, I keep hearing stories about how students in western countries can negotiate with their professors stuff like that, and how professors are flexible enough to allow for other options in situations like this. I think I once read a blog about someone who missed their test and messaged their professor telling them honestly what had happened, and the professor was nice enough to let them have another chance at it. I am 100% certain such a thing would never happen in any university in Egypt.

 

You know what else, there's this other prof that I'm good friends with and we chat regularly on Facebook. I discussed the situation with her and of course brought up the question of whether I should talk to the head of the department about this incident, and she told me it's better not to do that, and that she'll try to bring it to her attention herself without causing trouble. So yeah they don't listen to students at all and they always find a way to put the blame on them.

 

But yeah you're right, it doesn't matter, the GPA is gonna suffer and perhaps my initial job prospects a little bit (hopefully not) , but I know in the long run it's attitude and experience that affect job prospects the most, not GPA. What I was angry about is indirectness of some people. Like if you want something just say it clearly, what's hard about that. Don't be vague and then cause someone else unnecessary trouble and then blame them for it.

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Wiseman2 , maybe if I hadn't been called an idiot by her during the conversation, that would've been easier. You're right there should be an adult-adult dialogue, the problem is they are the ones treating us like children and refusing to accept responsibility for any mistake they make, that's why things get too frustrating for me to maintain such a professional attitude, because they are so disrespectful and unprofessional themselves you know.

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Billie28 , man I've already been employed in the crappiest of places and I've already met people 10 times worse than this professor lol (worked as a sales agent for 4 months and had the worst supervisors pressure the hell out of me to get the target, once I almost got it, I got fed up with them and quit) . And yeah I know it wasn't the most appropriate thing to say, but tbh I was so pissed because you don't just phrase your question in a confusing way and then cost someone a jab to their GPA like that, and university professors often forget that they are practically working for us, we are paying them, and so when we believe that they are doing something wrong, we should have the right to bluntly tell them about it. The problem is this crappy culture that deify teachers for god knows what reason. Like if you're working for me and you make such an idiotic mistake, I should have the right to at least be frank about it with you instead of tip toeing around it during the conversation. The reason I can't transfer now is that I'm an Econ student in a private university in Egypt , the only other option for studying Econ is one public university that requires a ridiculous high school average for acceptance. And the thing is higher education is garbage pretty much everywhere in Egypt, I keep hearing stories about how students in western countries can negotiate with their professors stuff like that, and how professors are flexible enough to allow for other options in situations like this. I think I once read a blog about someone who missed their test and messaged their professor telling them honestly what had happened, and the professor was nice enough to let them have another chance at it. I am 100% certain such a thing would never happen in any university in Egypt.

 

You know what else, there's this other prof that I'm good friends with and we chat regularly on Facebook. I discussed the situation with her and of course brought up the question of whether I should talk to the head of the department about this incident, and she told me it's better not to do that, and that she'll try to bring it to her attention herself without causing trouble. So yeah they don't listen to students at all and they always find a way to put the blame on them.

 

But yeah you're right, it doesn't matter, the GPA is gonna suffer and perhaps my initial job prospects a little bit (hopefully not) , but I know in the long run it's attitude and experience that affect job prospects the most, not GPA. What I was angry about is indirectness of some people. Like if you want something just say it clearly, what's hard about that. Don't be vague and then cause someone else unnecessary trouble and then blame them for it.

 

Ok it’s become a bit clearer to me now.

You chose this university because you didn’t qualify for another and that’s what pisses you off. And you feel the need to prove yourself but this prof is apparently getting in your way?

IMO she is not. She is simply a hurdle like your previous employer , you didn’t rise to the challenge then and quit your job, but you feel less empowered now because if you quit, it’s you who suffers. Even though your previous employer didn’t suffer, simply replaced you.

 

You are paying for an education. You are not paying this professors salary.

Her income is unaffected by you.

 

If you feel she is only earning an income simply because you are in her class , then leave it. And take your classmates with you.

 

Stop with the self entitlement already!!

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First of all you know nothing about me or the things I've been through to make such assumptions.BTW my parents initially were pressuring me to get into engineering, and I fulfilled their wishes which is something that lot of people can't do because public engineering schools in Egypt are very hefty when it comes to high school requirements (and I guess that's the case in most other countries too), and I barely met them but I still got in at the end. I eventually realized it wasn't for me and I wanted to study something that I actually wanted. Here's the catch though, I was an IGCSE student and to get into engineering I had to take Math AL , which was extremely tough and brought my GPA down by quite a chunk. The econ department in this public university only requires OLs to get in, and obviously if my parents hadn't been overbearing from the beginning I would've been able to focus on OLs grade and get into the field that I actually wanted (I got 3 A* and 5 As in my OLs btw, and with a retake or two I could've easily gotten in).

 

In my previous job: people were quitting by the dozen every month, I was one of the ones that lasted the longest from my batch, most of them quit before me and some of them weren't even students. I was working at a place that was an hour and a half away from my uni which is on the outskirts of the city, and the place where I worked was an hour away from my house, I had classes during the morning, and I had to work part time 5 hour shifts in the afternoon, and then come back home around midnight, add to that the constant pressure and overall ill attitude from supervisors that already had many of colleagues, who only had their jobs to worry about, to submit their 2 weeks notice (that was the reason people were constantly quitting and the turnover rate was crazy in that place). I could've achieved the target as I was very close to it anyway and even my new supervisor mentioned that when I told her I was going to quit, but the ill attitude from the management in that place pretty much did it for me.

 

Also what do you mean leave her class? And go where exactly? We don't have the option to choose our professors, each module is assigned a prof and we have to deal with it that way. No one in my class can stand this woman even my friend who's another top achiever, trust me if we had the choice to leave we wouldn't have stayed for another second. And I can get education from any source other than uni btw, it's the qualification that I and my classmates need, so we have to deal with the hurdles they put in place for us. So yeah we are paying for her salary, because there are a gazillion online sources that are infinitely more useful than this fast talking lady who no one, including my said top achiever friend, can understand anything from what she says during class. And since we have no choice but to keep paying and dealing with this BS to get our certificate, I'd say yeah we're pretty much being forced to pay for their salaries, because the overall quality of higher education is awful and professors think they can do whatever they want to their students because there are no consequences for their actions whatsoever.

 

Oh and BTW my previous employer was a call center company who is always desperate for employees, that's why they do a thorough retention interview with people who are considering quitting, and that's why they kept assigning me involuntary overtime, and why we had to beg for another chance to go on a break when we missed the original designated time because we had a long call, because everything is on a timer there and they desperately need a certain number of people with that ready status on their soft phones during certain time slots. So yeah I'd say that the collective act of me and many of my colleagues quitting was a bit of a problem for them, surely they replaced us, but imagine the hell the HR department has to go through to keep replacing that great of a chunk of their workforce every month or two and it's all because of the unrealistic targets commonly found in sales job (ask anyone in that field) and the ill treatment from managers that most people on the floor couldn't stand and would gather up in the break area to vent about the crappy working conditions.

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Wiseman2 , maybe if I hadn't been called an idiot by her during the conversation, that would've been easier. You're right there should be an adult-adult dialogue, the problem is they are the ones treating us like children and refusing to accept responsibility for any mistake they make, that's why things get too frustrating for me to maintain such a professional attitude, because they are so disrespectful and unprofessional themselves you know.

 

Who is they? Isn't this about one individual professor?

 

I'm going to take a wild guess that when you achieve a poor grade or have a less than stellar evaluation at work you tend to place blame on the teacher or supervisor as in "he gave me a D" instead of I received a D in this class"

I challenged a grade in graduate school. He was a visiting professor who did not honor the curve that was in place. I went to him then to the Dean. I got my grade raised one letter grade as did everyone else in the class who did not achieve an A. My experience with him in no way affected my experiences with other professors or professors in general. Perhaps stop the condemning broad brush of an entire profession?

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Bataya33 I think you misunderstood what I meant to say, sorry that's my fault for not articulating my point with enough clarity. I was angry when I wrote this, but I've calmed down a bit since. I meant to say that that is the general attitude of professors at my uni and in most universities in Egypt in general because of this culture that gives teachers the right to treat their students with poor attitude. Tell me about a western a country where it would be tolerated for a professor to call a student the R slur or any other insult for that matter during class. Well here they think it's funny. So no I'm not condemning all professors or anything; just the ones who abuse the loose cultural limitations of their country to mistreat their students and easily get away with it, and again I'm sorry if I made it sound like that I was doing.

 

I agree with you though, we tend to blame others when we don't get what we want; I think that's pretty natural, isn't it? However, that doesn't necessarily mean that this is always wrong or that we are always being unfair when we do that, as I've mentioned, the other professor that I'm very good friends with was the one that pointed out for me how we are normally graded on the theoretical frameworks of our papers, so if she had been the one to mark my paper, I would've easily gotten a much a better grade, heck I just got an A on another essay in another module that she was responsible for grading. So I think it's clear who is the source of the problem here, what do you think?

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When I said leave her class I meant leave the University you find not to be of any use.

 

Call centres worldwide have a high turnover of staff , the reason being that many are not cut out for the job including you.

The supervisors were and thats why they progressed to that role.

Don’t feel bad that you didn’t make it. You are in a minority there.

 

“And I can get education from any source other than uni btw”

 

Then go get it!!

 

If you do not want to pay for your professors salary, then get everyone in your uni to quit and she will be out of a job.

 

I didn’t make any assumptions at all. I responded simply to your words only.

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BIllie28 I think we are approaching a dead end with this conversation. Have you worked at a call center yourself? just curious because you seem to exhibit some extraordinary lack of knowledge and empathy regarding the working conditions in this industry. My supervisors weren't necessarily the ones cut out as you may think, because the policies change every now and then: the policies and the work conditions they worked under were very different from the ones I worked under, so let's not pretend that luck had nothing to do with it along with the patience to deal with the ill treatment. Basically the longer you stay, the more likely you get promoted, and by the longer you stay I really mean how long you can deal with the unbearable pressure from supervisors and entitled customers, if that's what it means to be cut out for the job, then I'm glad I wasn't, and I don't think it affects my ability to prove myself in anyway, nor is it related to me being entitled. You don't seem to have any experience in the field, so perhaps tone down your judgments a little bit.

 

*sigh* , dude this is getting exhausting, first of all how am I gonna get everyone in my uni to quit, what are you even talking about? We all need our certificates to be employable in the future, that's how the system works, you can get the knowledge and the skills from anywhere, but if you don't have a stupid piece of paper to show for it then it's all worthless basically. And I already responded to your question regarding how I wouldn't just transfer to another university, but you seem to think that people have absolute 100% control over the situations they face in life, how naive honestly.

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I also specifically mentioned that the system of higher education is overall poor in quality, so which university I'm in doesn't really matter because it's gonna be the some kind of problems anyway. This post was just for venting and for anyone who had any stories to share.

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Hey There LaHermes , trust me I'm salvaging all I can from wherever I can, it's the certificate I need, unemployment is a huge problem here in Egypt, no one can get even a half decent job without graduating from college, that's how the system works unfortunately, so we have to deal with certain professors abusing their power just to get our certificates, sad but true unfortunately :/

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“ first of all how am I gonna get everyone in my uni to quit, what are you even talking about? We all need our certificates to be employable in the future, that's how the system works, you can get the knowledge and the skills from anywhere, but if you don't have a stupid piece of paper to show for it then it's all worthless basically. ”

 

My point exactly. You can’t get everyone in uni to quit because they don’t share the same belief as you. There are people in this professors class that score A. Why would they follow a disgruntled student that scored a D?

 

Get your stupid piece of paper.

 

No employer cares about your grade , they will however care about attitude.

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Three As , that's literally about 10% of a our small sized class, I already mentioned that the most frequent grade was also D and the second most most frequent was I think C and B almost equally , so the distribution of grades is definitely skewed. And it's not about them sharing the same belief as me, it's about all of us not having any other choice, our beliefs can go to hell as far as the system is concerned. Whether we are getting our money's worth of genuine knowledge is irrelevant as well. It's a system that is fueled primarily by greed and governed by blind bureaucracy. And one of the people who got an A whom I know personally can't stand her either because her explanation of the topics in the curriculum is awful (the research essays are based sources outside of the curriculum, and the final exam is what actually includes the topics we covered in class). But like I said we're all stuck , so what are you gonna do :/ ?

 

And also I know a professor that I personally got an A+ in his class, but I did so through going the extra mile to teach myself things he was supposed to teach me. If someone had come up to me and told me I had the option to join another professor's class where he actually explains things adequately and save my self this extra bit of effort, I would've joined them right away.

 

The problem is that there's no competition in the market for university tutoring, you get a PHD and your position in the department is eternally cemented independent of your performance or the feedback the students report about you.

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