Pretty much everything gets a review these days. It’s not just restaurants and movies anymore, but things like hospitals, pretty much every single product on the market, and of course your own performance at work. We all are under scrutiny like never before.
Naturally, professors are not exempt from this. Under pressure to deliver not only practical knowledge to be used to pass courses and kick start careers, professors are rated on their ‘hotness’ and ability to deliver classes with charm, wit and entertainment. Failure to do so risks a scathing anonymous review on the review site ‘Rate My Professors.'
Of course, there is plenty of mischief at play on the site and most professors do not take such trivialities seriously. Or do they? While few would admit to it, who wouldn’t have a peek at what others had to say about them? Its human nature, particular for the naturally curious as most academics must surely be. Even I have a look below the line every now and then to check out what you guys are saying about my appalling grammar!
This professor decided to turn the tables and deal with his criticisms in the best possible way, with humour and grace. With so many keyboard warriors out there lashing out anonymously because their exaggerated demands weren’t met, this guy has found the blueprint for dealing with the mean things people say about you online and it has inspired others to tell their own review stories.
Scroll down below to check out what memories this has brought up to other readers on reddit, and feel free to add your own comments in the comment section. And if you wanna be mean then go ahead, I’m not going to read them!
"Instructor Needs Desperately to Reduce Caffeine Intake.
Goes off on Tangents, Talks Really Fast, Then Loses Me.
Should Not Be Allowed to Reproduce Let Alone Teach.
Given his eerily calm and cool nature, I often feared that he would pull out an AK-47 and mow down students who frustrated him. He definitely acts like I imagine a serial killer would. If nothing else, I'm motivated to do well just to keep from pissing him off."
My biology professor once read his evaluation surveys in front of the class. His top choice was "He is so great, I would dust my Belgian waffles with his dandruff"
I had a professor like this in college -- physics; he was from Boston, had a bit of an accent, irish heritage, funny with a pretty good sense of humor.
He starts our first class with a stack of reviews like this, they're ordered from good to bad. He reads the first few, pretty positive, several sentences each; he gets a bit bored of those, so he flips the stack over and reads the very last one. It only says:
"You s*ck, I hope you die."
Everyone gets a good laugh, including him. This is in like 1998 or so, so after everyone settles down, he says:
"To whoever that is, if you're in the class, I just want to assure you, that sometime in the middle of the next century, I will definitely die."
Still one of my favorite in-class memories.
I'm a trainer at my work. I had one person submit anonymous feedback on me and it said "I'm not sure if he's killed anyone, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did". Which I thought was funny as hell. I printed it and put in a frame that hangs in my office. Sometimes I get questioned about it and I'll always share what it is. I know who posted the feedback due to his writing and humor. When they ask how I'm doing I always reply with "I haven't murdered anyone today....yet"
One of the favorite things my student had written was: that I needed to "step out of the lukewarm bath of incompetence that you have been steeping in for the last 5 years."
My favorite professor walked into class one day & said, "We're ahead of schedule, I'm super hungover, & I don't feel like teaching. So just ask me questions, I'll answer them, then I'll ask you a question." We did this for 75 minutes. Just all the students getting to know our teacher & him getting to know us. He was asked his favorite drink. "Scotch." Favorite food? "Scotch." If you could replace water in water fountains worldwide, what would it be? "Scotch, obviously. I don't care if you don't like it. I like it & that would be an enormous convenience."
He inspired me to pick up another major (his field) & to try scotch. Writing this now with a glass of scotch next to me. I've never looked back. Thank you, Mr. Andrews.
I suffered repercussions myself for leaving one review. It still makes me red behind the ears thinking about it:
As a somewhat overeager freshman, I was perhaps too honest in a review of my journalism 101 prof; this was my first class of my major, and she failed to live up to my Rory Gilmore-like expectations. The class was very small, and she fawned over a Barbie carbon copy, queen of her HS prom type in the class. I had no problem with the girl herself- she was genuinely interested in the class because her fashion interests stemmed, like many, from magazines and culture setting iconic editors, etc. The problem was the professor: she was an aging dumpy woman and she positively GLOWED having a beauty queen's undivided attention, and the course pretty quickly became tailored toward the girl's interests, and I was left disappointed with my introduction to my major, even more so because this woman was also the wife of the head of the communication's department, and like good little journo I am, I had done my research on her before choosing her class months ahead of time. She was a former editor for our largest local papers and one of the largest in our state, so I thought all of these factors would give me a great foot hold in the door. I was sorely mistaken, I gained absolutely nothing from that class, and a less experienced student not already working the industry would most likely have been turned off on the subject. And I told her so in the review, in a professional but frank manner.
Semester ends, summer begins and she calls my phone, leaves a VM asking me to call her back. I just knew it had something to do with the review. I was wrong again- I had no IDEA how truly petty and bat shit she was. She proceeded to call and leave messages, including texts, for the rest of the summer, as well as emails, all of increasing desperation and aggravation, and it was most definitely regarding my review. She openly stated in her messages that she knew it was my hand writing and she demanded to know how I could say such things and to DISCUSS IT WITH HER RIGHT NOW. When I remained radio silent, contemplating and dreading the situation all summer, she then proceeded to somehow convince her husband to contact my guidance counselor and force a meeting of sorts to discuss if my major was the right choice for me, during which time I'm sure she would have been present and ready for a fight. This was years ago but I believe I just continued to ignore her contact and she eventually stopped.
Fast forward a few years and I've just left a solid career with a well-read online publication after being contacted and courted heavily by a local paper with a major board of tri state heavyweights, including Geraldo Rivera. I thought I had it made, and they put intense pressure on me to leave my job and work for them within a week, as they had just wiped almost their entire staff and brought in a new editor with a stellar background. I burned that bridge obviously with my old job just to walk in my first Monday with devil professor grinning, holding my set of keys and ready to give me my tour. She apparently was the new star editor, and SEVEN YEARS LATER recognized my name and pushed to hire me. Just so she could complete the psycho picture and torment me in my job and make my work a living nightmare. She crushed my soul within two weeks and I walked out. Couldn't go back to the old job, and it's put a serious dent in my career.
It burns me up. Those reviews were anonymous. She abused her powers and harassed me, stalked me, made assumptions right off the bat it was me with accusations, and then plotted and manipulated like a goddamned movie villain to lure me to a new job with burned bridges behind me, just to get her petty little revenge on that review and show me she knows her shit. Congrats old lady, you won. I just loved journalism and my state and wanted to work.
My history professor’s favorite review from a student was “Tried to be a son of b*tch and failed.”
The best professor I ever had opened the first class with his Rate My Professor reviews. Most people said he was too difficult, some said he was absolutely amazing, and one person said that “he stalks about the room like an agitated orangutan.” The class was hard - we went from 30 students to nine, but I liked him so much I took his two other courses, then sent him a thank-you note 12 years later for inspiring me. Fortunately I caught him right before he retired.
One professor I've had would always mention his favorite he'd gotten from years past: "By far the best example of wasted sperm I've ever seen"
Edit: The kicker was that the student signed it in order for the evaluation to be kept in the professor's evaluation records.