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The angry ranting of the concert deprived

I feel sorry for my STAT prof., and you’re going to hear why. I originally wasn’t going to talk about him in such a public venue, but he’s given me no choice. Basically, he’s a crazy old man, like all college math professors (but strangely enough, not bearded). Unlike other professors, though, he doesn’t teach math. I think I’ve seen him try, in between reading articles in the Daily, but he doesn’t accomplish much, owing to several factors. For one thing, half the time I look up from the paper he’s telling a story about how engineers are stupid or about working at “a nameless aerospace company in Seattle,” (Listen, dude, you’re not fooling anyone. Just call it Boeing and lets all move on with our lives.), or else embarking on some other tangent unrelated to statistics. Today I actually had to turn to Chris and ask, disbelief straining my voice, “Did he actually just say ‘Jewish penicillin?’”

For another thing, he interrupts himself at least once every five minutes to accuse people in the audience of having questions. “Mr. Wang, do you have a question? No? You sure? Ok. Irma! Where’s Irma hiding? Irma has a question, where is she?” He’ll continue in this vein until someone bites the bullet and raises their hand to ask something. But he never hears their question the first time, responding with the most nasal “Eeeeh?” you can imagine. I wasn’t dumb (or unlucky) enough to let him learn my name, a fact for which I thank Baby Jesus and all the Saints everyday, and I sit in the back to keep things that way.

The hectoring of his audience, as annoying as it is, pales when compared to his inability to operate even the simplest of computer programs. Dr. Rose’s mortal enemy is the paperclip in MS Word, with whom he has several battles a day. We’ve spent upwards of ten minutes of lecture time on some days trying to explain to him how to get the paperclip to go away and not come back, and how to make Word stop capitalizing his words for him. Our attempts to help him are met with more nasal eeeh’s. He’s like a helpless turtle flipped onto his back, legs kicking uselessly. Early in the quarter I found this sort of spectacle funny, but now I feel nothing but a tired mix of pity and contempt. Even worse, he refuses to take responsibility for his own incompetence, blaming “Bill” every time he makes a mistake. “Oh, I just love Bill’s software. Thanks, Bill, you know just what I want.” Shut the fuck up and learn how to use Office.

Based on my observations, I’d say his inefficacy at teaching is due mainly to loneliness. I’ve seen him standing outside the lecture hall ten minutes or so before class starts, gazing wistfully around for one of his students so he’ll have someone to talk to, then latching onto them like a rabid wolverine. I’ve seen the eager gleam in his smile while addressing bad jokes to the people whose names he knows. I’ve seen him shuffling off after class with definite melancholy, his captive audience gone again. We’re to blame here too, for encouraging him. I don’t mean me; I’m too busy avoiding eye contact to laugh at his jokes or validate his computer struggles. I’d estimate that 10% of the lecture, the piece which sits in the front rows, are actually somewhat enamored with his eccentricities, egging him on to be “that kooky stat prof who never wears long pants.” I assure you that the discerning 90% of the lecture returns his puns with glassy-eyed stares and curt sneers, as they should.

And so I implore the above 10%: don’t encourage him, people. This sort of behavior belongs in a retirement community, not the front of a lecture hall. Just because Dr. Rose would be better off spending his golden years surrounded by drooling cretins doesn’t mean you have to make that his reality.

I realize this post is a bit more acerbic than you may be used to, but I have good reason: I’m pissed. Fastixx made a billing error with my Death Cab tickets and never told me, so it turns out I don’t have tickets. Pray for scalpers.

Posted in Musings.


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