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Ass. Prof. January 31, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in education, societal commentary.
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I was conversing with my favorite barista today, and she asked me how things were going.  I took this opportunity to complain about someone who has been getting on my nerves.  She looked at me sympathetically and said, “It’s a professor, isn’t it?”

I almost spit out my drink laughing.

She asked me what students thought of this person.  I had no idea, so I whipped out my iPhone and did a search on Ratemyprofessor.  I’d never seen such a low score. Not that I take RMP seriously at all, but I have to admit the descriptions of this person as a teacher were an awful lot like my interactions with hir on a peer level.

I have to wonder, though, why it seems like profs seem to fall to the extremes of personality.  Based on the conversation with the barista, it’s obviously not a secret.  I realize that being intelligent and creative can create a sense of superiority, especially if you don’t often have the opportunity to hang out with people who have the same level of intellectual facility or background knowledge.  On the other hand, if you take the stance that you’re always smarter than the other person, how do you ever find out if someone else has a good idea or a different approach?  (Or is it fear that they will have a good idea and you won’t?  I’m not sure.)

There are also a few who manage to make it through without becoming asses.  Somehow they manage to feel confident enough in their abilities to put their egos aside and give other people a chance. Believe me, I really appreciate them.

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Comments»

1. anandi - January 31, 2012

Those sorts of asses are everywhere. I definitely admit that I’m willing to cut assholery a bit more slack when the person clearly is brilliant. It seems like in tech companies (and maybe academia), that’s the prevailing view.

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