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Nearly the end of the Semester... [Dec. 13th, 2012|10:30 am]
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[ameliorate]
Have you ever had snarky, blunt, no-nonsense, highly organized, no-excuses instructors? 
How did you feel about their teaching style/them personally?

I've had a number of these professors and I can't say I've ever not liked them. (Although, if I had one that was all of these things and not organized I'd probably hate them.) When I was a kid I thought it was just because I was a good student and didn't typically get shit from my teachers; however, as I grew up and faced a few of their sarcastic comments, I found I still liked them. I appreciate their intelligence, diligence, and the fact that they hold their students responsible. 

Still, I felt bad for a few of the students in my political science class. We have a critical book review due at the end of the semester and a few people were asking for an extension because the book was hard for them to understand. The teacher said, "No. It's a college level course and imagine that... a college level book. Who would have guessed you might be expected to read at the grade level you're in?" While I agreed with him, it seemed a bit harsh. On the other hand, most of them are people are in their freshman year and should be aware that procrastinating on a 300 page book isn't a good idea.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nynaeve_sedai
2012-12-13 06:38 pm (UTC)

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I've had a few that were snarky/blunt and knew what they were doing - I appreciated them because they didn't put up with crap and we actually learned something (not that being snarky/blunt was necessary for learning).

Maybe because I tend to be overly blunt, I don't think it was too harsh (snarky, sure). Part of college is learning time management (hey, I don't blame them for asking). I can empathize with the prof being irritated to the point of snarky though. I had a biology prof that was awesome - we were in a gen ed biology and he recognized that we weren't biology majors, and tried to make sure the class wasn't going to kill our GPA while keeping things interesting. Our first test fell on a snow day (down south this shuts everything down), so he let us take it home encouraged us to use our notes/book, and even gave us his e-mail address and phone # to call him with questions. Ten people copied each other *facepalm* I think we got full on snarky in the next class session.
[User Picture]From: anchellada
2012-12-13 06:39 pm (UTC)

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i liked them even if i failed the class.
[User Picture]From: smartaleckstef
2012-12-13 06:39 pm (UTC)

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I don't think if you really want to teach that sarcasm and belittling people is not the way to go.
I personally think it's rude.
[User Picture]From: crysania4
2012-12-13 07:29 pm (UTC)

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I agree with this. I teach (college) and I would never treat my students like that. Even if I might say something similar to fellow teachers.
[User Picture]From: stephani673
2012-12-13 08:21 pm (UTC)

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This. I'd never use this tone with my students -- I don't like snark and it's rarely appropriate in the workplace.

There are more civil ways to go about things. If this paper was due at the end of the term, the prof might not have a lot of wiggle room on the deadline. I have two days past the end of finals week to have my grades in the system. I refuse to accept anything turned in after that Friday, but I ALWAYS have students who try to turn in work at 11pm on Sunday.
[User Picture]From: saikaro_x
2012-12-13 06:48 pm (UTC)

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Yep.
Everyone has their own teaching style, but I prefer professors to be understanding and flexible. It's possible to be both and be firm at the same time; I think that's what makes a good teacher IMO.

Edited at 2012-12-13 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: saloonperfume
2012-12-13 06:50 pm (UTC)

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IDK, I think he sounds like an asshole.


I prefer teachers/professors that balance no-nonsense and personability.
[User Picture]From: blkrabbitofinle
2012-12-13 07:04 pm (UTC)

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The last one I had was unfortunately also a fucking terrible instructor, and her attitude meant she blamed all the students for being lazy/etc when the entire class was trying really fucking hard. After she got snarky with one girl who I knew was actually paying for tutoring in an attempt to get a grasp on the material, I started getting snarky straight back.
[User Picture]From: hikerpoet
2012-12-13 07:14 pm (UTC)

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It might depend on some of their other qualities, but I wouldn't automatically dislike them for that reason.

It could depend on tone, but it doesn't sound like it is too harsh. I pretty much agree. Of course it is supposed to be challenging. If I found most of the books assigned at my university easy to understand I would have felt cheated out of the education I was paying for. Now, if they came for some questions or advice early on, after the first few chapters, and got rebuffed then, than that might be too harsh. But most schools have tutoring centers and peer/study groups and office hours and libraries with similar critical reviews, and dozens of other resources for getting through a challenging book aside from an extension which, face it, often isn't more than a few dozen hours in the realm of things and can be WILDLY inconvenient for the professors.
[User Picture]From: elikaa
2012-12-13 07:20 pm (UTC)

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nope, can't stand snarky people in general. There are other ways to get me to understand something and being a know it all asshole isn't one of them.
[User Picture]From: bad_lcuk
2012-12-13 07:23 pm (UTC)

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I like them even if i do really badly in their class. (eta) that being said, no-nonsense and blunt does not equal rude. Your prof was rude. I dont always mind rudeness, so id probably still appreciate the non-nonsense back of this all, but the prof is being rude.

Edited at 2012-12-13 07:24 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: whataspacecase
2012-12-13 07:24 pm (UTC)

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I agree with your professor's decision, but not his execution. If it were my students, I'd keep the deadline the same but offer study sessions to help students work their way through the book. The fact of the matter is, plenty of high schools don't prepare matriculating college students very well, and that isn't really their fault.
[User Picture]From: hatefatwhores
2012-12-13 07:47 pm (UTC)

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Only twice and they were my favorite professors of all time. I think that's how all professors should be. It SHOULD be difficult to get through a college course and a lot of my professors treated us like babies and gave us open book tests and if enough students complained they'd curve exams or give extra time for an assignment. Granted, I benefited from those things, too, but I think most of the professors I've had did not hold their students accountable for their own education. Otherwise, what's the point?

ETA: I'm a TA this semester and when I grade exams/hw I can clearly tell who cheated off of each other, especially if they're friends who usually come in and sit together during class. I'll show the professor, but even though the syllabus CLEARLY states that cheating will not be tolerated whatsoever, he always ALWAYS gives them the benefit of the doubt and that's so annoying to me because if they're cheating in this class they're most likely cheating in other classes. If he was more like the professor you described students would not be taking advantage of him like that.

Edited at 2012-12-13 08:38 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: briansue
2012-12-13 07:55 pm (UTC)

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Those are usually my favorite professors. One in particular. He was my astronomy and then physics professor and he was just incredible. He was always snarky and such, but as long as you did the work and didn't make excuses it was never cruel. He didn't put up with any bullshit though and I love that. I love highly organized professors because it rubs off on me and I learn really well.

I think there's a difference between being rude and having high or realistic expectations. If those were students who had really been trying all semester that's a bit harsh, but I'm guessing they weren't and they might as well learn their lesson in their first semester rather than later in their career. Teachers who make exceptions for laziness really bother me, and that's coming from someone who has had to learn the hard way not to be a shitty student.

I do have one disrespectful professor this semester and I can't stand him. He's disrespectful and talks down to us and thinks he is SO AWESOME and we are SO STUPID.

I guess the sum of my ramblings is snarky/high expectations/no-nonsense is good. Rude and condescending is bad.

Edited at 2012-12-13 07:57 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: snooji
2012-12-13 08:00 pm (UTC)

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I had a drawing prof who was great if you really wanted to learn. He'd ignore any piece that was half assed. You could ask him to critique it, and he will, but it was always really harsh. I remember he announced once something along the lines of, "you were probably all the best artists in high school, but in the real world you're all crap. If you weren't, you'd be working not in art school. So unless if you think you can make a living right now, your work sucks. Accept that and learn." He made more students cry than any other prof in the entire university and had a ridiculous drop rate. He'd always allow 40 or some students in the class, but by the end expect only 10 of us to stay, and this class was required for the program.

He was probably the best professor I've ever had. He's ridiculously supportive despite how harsh he can be. Even after I dropped the program he saved a spot for me in another class of his because he'd rather someone who wanted to be there than someone who didn't. I ended up taking a spot of someone who needed the class for their program, and I just wanted an elective.
[User Picture]From: vodkabeforenoon
2012-12-14 01:02 am (UTC)

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lol my macro prof was like that. She overfilled the class knowing only fifteen of us would survive.
[User Picture]From: grrlplea
2012-12-13 08:18 pm (UTC)

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they're obviously not going to make the class easy, but every teacher/professor that I've had who's like that has made me a better student. so I can't say they're not effective
[User Picture]From: dragonkiri
2012-12-13 08:32 pm (UTC)

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I love teachers like this. If I heard a teacher saying what you quoted, I'd have been obnoxiously cheerful or gleeful for the rest of the freaking day. I find such harshness is usually well-deserved.
[User Picture]From: ameliorate
2012-12-13 08:43 pm (UTC)

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lol. I suppose in a way it's sort of "haha, yes!" for students who really do work hard and get their work done. It is sort of annoying when you busted your ass one semester to get your work turned in on time and your classmate who continually brags about their awesome party fun gets an extension. Although, some people do have really busy schedules of children, jobs, and schools and it sucks for them to have someone who's inflexible. -nods-
[User Picture]From: dragonkiri
2012-12-13 08:53 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, I do understand where you're coming from. I've just had far too many classmates who believed they deserved special treatment, so this kind of "nope, sorry, deal with it" kind of attitude is always the most refreshing thing to see.
[User Picture]From: georgefantana
2012-12-13 09:43 pm (UTC)

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I had a few and mostly I respected them and enjoyed their classes.

Makes sense.
[User Picture]From: commabut
2012-12-13 09:50 pm (UTC)

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Yes, I loved having teachers like that. Coincidentally my favorite one was also a Poli-Sci teacher! I found his style refreshing and challenging in a meaningful way-- I was a much better student after taking his class. However, he was not very popular with the majority of students. Some students just couldn't handle his bluntness/snarkiness and chose to view him as an "asshole" because he didn't coddle them rather than learning anything or taking responsibility for themselves.
[User Picture]From: running_jumping
2012-12-13 11:18 pm (UTC)

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My Latin teacher was like this, and half the class had a crush on him.
[User Picture]From: vodkabeforenoon
2012-12-14 12:58 am (UTC)

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I honestly don't see the problem with that sort of response.
300 pages is not that big of a deal... I read a book every damn week and had to write a critical essay every Monday. I personally think that sometimes being under that kind of stress makes you better at absorbing information and writing papers.

My Children's lit prof is honest... no-nonsense, highly detailed/organized and does not take excuses. She was never rude about it but she did tell us that this wont be an easy class. Students still complained as if they were forced to take the course and blamed her for their shitty grades. I don't get it, I get good grades when I apply myself and when I don't I get the grade I deserve. I am not going to get upset at the professor because I did not manage my time wisely.

Edited at 2012-12-14 12:59 am (UTC)
[User Picture]From: metalheavy
2012-12-15 12:04 am (UTC)

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Students still complained as if they were forced to take the course and blamed her for their shitty grades.

I hate that sfm.
[User Picture]From: fleckerbug
2012-12-14 04:31 am (UTC)

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Yeah. No, I don't tend to like them because they're often wrong or out of line and stick to their guns tooth and nail because they think they're right about everything.


300? Pftt.
[User Picture]From: mrschuckbass
2012-12-14 05:48 am (UTC)

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They are my favourite kind, but only if I'm not the subject of their snark! :P My favourite teacher's a great example of your description and I learnt A LOT from him.
[User Picture]From: metalheavy
2012-12-15 12:02 am (UTC)

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My sociology professor was like that. I liked her teaching style and she was nice if you treated her with respect, but I found some of her tactics on the childish side. She lectured us constantly about being late (8 AM class), and I completely agreed with it because I find it incredibly rude when people walk in 15 minutes late and well into the lecture, but one day she had enough of it and told us if one more person walked in late that day she was going to walk out. So she walked out. I thought it was ridiculous to punish everyone who was there on time, had gotten up early, and had paid for the fucking class. It was also pretty hypocritical of her considering she often cancelled class with no warning. As in, not even a cancelled class note on the door.

Also when it came time to turn in term papers, she gave everyone who didn't have perfect formatting a zero. My margins were .75" instead of 1" and I got a zero. Luckily she let me submit a reformatted version, probably only because I was nice and never came in late. Everyone else had to do a 10 page paper (the original was 3-4 pages) that they only had like 2 weeks to do.