Don’t Piss Off the Professor…

I’m 52 and going back to college.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been at this institute of higher learning.

34 years to be exact.  34 years ago, the perception I had of professors is apparently different from the one I have now.  I learned the hard way last night that professors are not perfect–don’t know everything–and get kinda pissy when you know more than they do.

I should have expected that 34 years of life experience and real-world education brings more to the classroom than the other undergrads I share elementary school desks with.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a know-it-all in any sense of the word, but one of the reasons I’m passionate about school is the opportunity to engage in an exchange of ideas and beliefs.

So last night, at the start of class, the Professor begins with a discussion of current events.  She led with the poor guy in Florida who was swallowed by the sink hole.  Sorry, Prof, but I can get this on American’s favorite infotainment news network–CNN, so I promptly changed the subject to the Attorney General’s unwillingness to rule out targeted Drone strikes on US citizens on US soil (he subsequently issued a statement recanting this).  She immediately became indignant and stated that she needed to know the context.  I briefly summarized the current debate over the Administration’s targeted killing program, and again, she hedged and seemed irritated and essentially dismissed my “current event”.

To say my ego was bruised is an understatement.  It took about an hour before I finally realized she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and it apparently embarrassed her (speculation on my part, I admit).  Nonetheless it taught me a lesson.  I need to remember that Professors are human too and are subject to the same life stressors we all have and she may not have the same keen interest/passion in current events that I do.  Granted it is a US History class (1860-present) but hey, I’ll cut her some slack.  She’s a competent instructor with a passion for teaching and an engaging style.

I just need to remember to that not everybody see the world through my lenses…and moderate my expectations in junior college while maintaining my enthusiasm for learning.

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About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

9 responses to “Don’t Piss Off the Professor…

  • kingmidget

    If a soldier can fire a gun, if a pilot can drop a bomb, if a helicopter pilot can fire a missile … in a war zone, what’s the functional difference between that and a drone strike attempting to take out a terrorist? I do draw the line at drone strikes that aren’t taking place in war zones where our soldiers are operating.
    If a police officer can take out somebody posing a serious and imminent threat what’s the functional difference if it is a drone strike that does so. Let’s say, there’s a group of right-wing whackos holed up somewhere in middle America,armed to the teeth and local law enforcement can’t handle it. And, they’ve made a credible threat that has been confirmed that, if carried out, will result in significant loss of innocent lives. Wouldn’t you expect the government to do something about that. Military action. A piloted aircraft dropping a bomb. Or a drone sending a missile in to their next. That’s what Holder is talking about. Cops kill U.S. citizens without due process of law every day of the year in this country. Should we dis-arm them?
    I ask these questions because this is an issue I struggle with. I’m a firm believer in rights and due process. I oppose the death penalty with every fiber of my being. But, if there’s a real and imminent threat to me or to you or to anybody in this country, I expect law enforcement to eliminate the threat.
    That’s besides the point of your post which … it’s clear the professor wanting to talk about current events wasn’t ready to talk about real current events that have real significance and meaning.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      I agree with you in principle and fully expect my government to use reasonable force to protect me. At issue is how “imminent” is the threat. I’m okay with police using lethal force within pretty clear guidelines: gun pointed at you or others=shoot; guy has gun in waistband and simply discussing shooting=not okay to shoot. What I am terrified of is the latitude we have given, through apathy, to our executive branch in conducting targeted killings…assassinations without any apparent oversight or explanation. It’s time for some transparency on this issue IMO.

      • kingmidget

        The Holder letter made clear the current administration had no plans on using the practice in this country and also made clear that it would only be even remotely possible under extraordinary circumstances. I trust this administration to do the right thing in this regard. Although I do agree that there has been an apathy with respect to these issues that began after 9/11.

  • Conversations With The Moon

    I’d really like to trust them on this too. But until there’s more transparency, I simply can’t. And I’m worried about the precedent this sets for an administration I have NO trust in…

  • unsolicitedtidbits

    It’s too bad the professor was unresponsive. When my students bring up something I’m unfamiliar with I get out a pen and write it down. Sometimes they even send me links and I always appreciate it.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      You, my friend, would be an AWESOME Professor. Frankly, that’s what I would have expected. However, I’m not expecting perfection…not yet at least 🙂 My first clue was when I emailed her a link to a recent PBS special on Women’s Rights (“Makers”) and as a staunch feminist, I thought she’d appreciate it…I received no response. I’m cool though…I’ve lived long enough to learn to just keep my side of the street clean (or try my best at least).

      • unsolicitedtidbits

        That is a shame! I love it when my students share information with me. To be honest, I like the university work environment because it fosters intellectual growth for me as well. It’s good that you tried 🙂

  • Conversations With The Moon

    Thank you, I completely agree, but it’s a part-time gig for her (she’s an entrepreneur) so I get it. I just needed a reminder that Professors are flesh and blood and not perfect…at least when they don’t meet my expectations I need to temper them somewhat.

  • Conversations With The Moon

    As a purely comical post-script to this thread…she sent out the link I sent her to the PBS special to the entire class; directing us to watch it. Of course no attribution to my original email. But still…my side of the street is clean LOL.

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