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Top 10 Annoying Acts Perpetrated by Professors

(and How to Cope with Them)

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After spending six years and attending two different community colleges and a university in search of a bachelor's degree, I have had the pleasure of dealing with some real prick professors. Here's my personal list of the 10 most annoying acts perpetrated by higher-learning instructors. I've also included advice on how to cope with their dastardly practices.

10. Takes Attendance Mandatory attendance in college is downright patronizing. You, the student, are an adult and you know (or should know) whether you can handle the material with or without the guidance of your professor's lecture. "It's not fair for the other students, who do come to class every day," is the standard retort a professor will give to justify the practice. That is bullshit. What do they care? And why the hell should you get points shaved off at the end of the semester because you decided to sleep in a couple of days?

Advice: If the class is in a big lecture hall, your professor most likely will pass the roll sheet around and have students initial by their name. Find a fellow student who plans on attending religiously and ask/coerce/pay him/her to initial for you. If it's a small class where the professor actually knows your name, a doctor's note is the only way to get out of having absences count against you.

9. Masticates in Front of the Class: Gazing at a chunk of tuna dangling from a wiry mustache is pretty disgusting. I haven't had many professors engage in this, but one guy, who looked to be older than George Burns' father, was always chowing down in front of the class.

Advice: Keep your head buried in your textbook or a good magazine for the duration of the class.

8. Flirts Incessantly with Coeds: Unfortunately, I have never had a female professor who was guilty of this, but I've witnessed droves of dirty old men whose main reason for taking a job on campus was to try and fornicate with females who were a fraction of their age.

Advice: Ladies, this is a no-brainer. You don't have to put out to weasel an A out of these jack-offs. Just smile, sport some cleavage or short skirt while entering his office a day before grades are due. Guys, act like you're in awe of his Don Juan abilities or else he's gonna slam you.

7. Humiliates Students: Some professors really get off on making their students look and feel like fools in front of their peers. You walk in late for class because you got a flat on the way there, and the professor stops the lecture to thank you for "gracing the class with your presence."

Advice Keep a smile on your face and don't worry about it since you, and everyone else, realizes that the professor is acting that way because he/she is a hopeless loser who has to take it out on students.

6. Insists on Pop Quizzes: It's the morning after a long night of $1 drink specials and upon stumbling into class you hear "Class, clear off your desk; we're having a pop quiz." As if taking a test you've had time to study for isn't difficult enough, some hard-ass prof has to piss on you with a pop quiz at 9am while your blood alcohol level is still higher than your GPA.

Advice Cheat. Usually these quizzes are quick one-word answer deals administered orally by the instructor. Glancing at the smart girl's paper catty-corner to you shouldn't be too difficult.

5. Inflated Ego Resulting in Self-flattering Personal Anecdotes and Elitist Rants: If your professor graduated from an Ivy League school or just about any private school north of the Mason-Dixon line, chances are they're going to remind you of its prestige more often than they write on the chalkboard or slip into an affected British accent. These are the same types who feel compelled to inform you what annoyed them that morning while they were waiting in line at Starbucks.

Advice After your professor's told some smug, pointless anecdote or wrapped up yet another superfluous rant, he will always scan the classroom in an attempt to make eye contact with a sympathetic pair of peepers. When the professor gazes in your direction, bug your eyes out and nod like a madman, as if what he just told you was the most mind-blowing thing you've ever heard. Trust me; you'll find the reaction painted across your professor's face amusing.

4. Monotone Delivery: As far as professors go, you're better off with a flamboyant asshole than a bore any day. Nothing will leave you contemplating jumping out that third-story classroom window quicker than an instructor with a delivery as dry as a day-old toast.

Advice This is the class where you catch up on the latest issues of your favorite magazines. Pay a quarter after each class to photocopy notes from a geek in the front row.

3.Copious Notes Exacerbated by Illegible Handwriting: Notes-intensive classes are the bane of most students' academic existence. Instead of distributing an informative paper detailing the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, the bastard lectures for an hour, jotting the key points on the chalkboard so hastily and indecipherably that they might as well be hieroglyphics.

Advice A) Find that rare soul majoring in stenography and copy their notes. B) Read the textbook.

2.Heavy Accent Renders Speech Incoherent: Being that I'm a scribe, getting through college algebra was a Herculean task for me on par with using a one-iron to land a fairway shot within 10 feet of the flag. When it turned out that my professor rendered English less recognizable than Ozzy Osbourne does, I should've dropped the class two seconds after entering the doorway. Unfortunately, the blonde seated next to me was well-endowed and enjoyed wearing low-cut blouses.

Advice Avoiding cleavage, fellows, is not an option. However, drop a class like this in a heartbeat.

1. Refuses to Give "A": Sounds unconstitutional, doesn't it? Isn't there something in the Bill of Rights that says on a standard grading scale at least one person in the class is entitled to a friggin' A? Well, as anybody who's been to elementary school knows, students' basic rights evaporate the instant they step onto the grounds of a public learning facility. (I've never attended a private school, so I don't know what goes on when Daddy's paying the bills.) In college, once you're seated in the classroom, the professor reigns supreme with all the power and authority of a 13th century feudal lord. The professor I had who refused to give an A to anybody strategically made the announcement the day after you could drop the class and still get a refund.

Advice (All to be done after the semester is completed.) A) Write a letter of complaint to your dean. B) Write an editorial in the college paper humiliating the professor. C) Egg his car. (I only did two of these three things -- I swear.)

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