Dunk the prof- a game of punishment and revenge

Hello all. (Note to mods, I’m trying to deal with this in my usual happy, sweetness and light way…but if the pitizens are better for this sort of thing, by all means let it go there)

I just got back from my latest statics exam. Those of you who know me well have heard my bi-weekly diatribes on this prof’s stupidity and insanity. I’ll hit the high points here:

~couldn’t come up with a religion other than Christianity…while ending an impassioned speach on tolerance and diversity in education.(Dimwit.)
~charges points for asking clarification questions during an exam. (Yes! What a wonderful educational outlook! Engineers should never check to make sure they understand the limitations of a problem statement before charging in!)
~assigns and collects homework on sections not covered in lecture yet.(This one is okay, he can’t teach anyway)
~complains about our showing up to office hours and how much work he has to do for us.
~reads his “lectures” out of the book. (Oh yea, you work hard preparing)

But the latest exam was a beaut. We asked for a practice exam to be posted on the class website so we could…oh, I don’t know…prepare for the exam! He took the class before the exam to give us a “practice exam” which he then informed us he could not grade and return until after the real exam…but that’s okay because it didn’t cover what was on the real exam anyway. :rolleyes:

It sure didnt.** A quarter of the exam was problems of a kind that were not discussed in class, were not assigned in homework, and really were not on the practice exam.**

So, for his failure as a teacher, I was willing to let him slide. For his delighting in playing head games and screwing with my grades, I want him…severely discomforted. Any creative ideas to this end would be apreciated.

Stabbing him with a pencil through the throat is a starting point.
Forcing him to convert to New-Age Taoism is another.
Beat him with the textbook saying, “And what’s this resultant force? And this one? And this one?”

  1. Just say to yourself (repeatedly), “This, too, shall pass”

  2. Buy any of George Hayduke’s books on revenge (“The Book of Dirty Tricks”, etc.) and choose anything not illegal.
    I don’t mean to be flippant about this, hon. I know what you’re going through and sympathize with you (though I think the failure to come up with any other religion besides Christianity is, frankly, hilarious). It’s too bad you have other vocational plans, though–I think you’d make a great teacher (almost as good as Isobel Veritas?). After all, you’ve had great lessons in what not to do.

Hang in there. I for one believe in you.

Let’s see… I think you need a special one for this guy.

OK, we’ll need a cattle prod, an elephant, and a very potent laxative. I’ll not get into details here, but the words “explosive forces” will no doubt show up in the lab report.

Don’t worry dear one. This too shall pass. snicker

Just think, “Six more weeks. Six more weeks.”

(Oh, and welcome back Dan!)

Hang in there, MrBlue, and just hope that you don’t have the same Prof for the follow-on course, because after “statics” comes … Mechanics!

Do they still use Simon’s text to teach mechanics? That book was renowned for its clear explanations, but also for the fact that several of the problems from the ends of the chapters were later shown to be unsolvable!
Minor hijack:
I took Physics at a small college with an exemplary Physics Dept. Unfortunately, the college had just hired a new Dean of Faculty (what most schools would call a “Provost”) whose dusty old PhD was in Physics. he convinced the Physics Dept chairman that he wasn’t just an administrator, but still a viable teacher. So they let him teach mechanics. That was painful! Not only does he pretty much match your description of your prof (Hmmm, Could it be? Nah, too much of a coincidence.), he repeatedly assigned homework that he had no clue how to do himself. When we would raise questions about the assignments in class, it was always “I haven’t looked at that yet. Ask me next week.” (Umm, the assignment is due next week?!)

And, his secretary figured that mere students had no business with the almighty Dean, so she would refuse to let us schedule appointments to meet with him in his office.

Finally, the entire class waylaid him in the hallway, and convinced him to go over one of his assigments with us. The session went something like:
Him: Have you tried blah blah blah…
Us: Yeah. Doesn’t work because …
Him: Oh. Have you tried blah blah blah…
Us: That too. Doesn’t work because …

He finally gave up, and we all trooped down as a group to the Physics Dept Chairman’s office. Give that man credit - he listened to us and then assured us that the Dean would henceforth not be allowed to teach any required courses for majors.
And the moral of this hijack is:

Document your gripes. Keep it factual and unemotional. Then find the person in your school who will listen. If you can do this as a group (a substantial fraction of the class), so much the better.

As a person who is now a prof (not in Physics though - go figure!), I can tell you that most departments are more sensitive that you might think to student complaints. For one thing, a lot of faculty really do care about teaching and the Dept’s responsibility to its students. For another, if student complaints are clearly justified and wind up getting the ear of Deans, Provosts, or other higher-ups, the Dept can be severely hurt. Depts compete for resources within the school, and “image” with the higher-ups is an important part of that competition.

Now, the flip-side of that advice is that even the best teachers will have a few whiners every semester. Your challenge is to separate yourself from that pack, so that no one can trivially dismiss your complaint You do that by documenting your complaint and, if possible, showing that your point of view is shared by a substantial fraction of the class.

Psst… It’s Medea’s Child you should be addressing. No big deal, I’ve done that myself from time to time.

Sorry, Medea’s Child

Can I plead the “absent-minded professor’s defense”?

On second thought, you might not be particularly sympathetic to that one right now.