lf I could do better, I would've DONE it! (goddamn history professor...)

I got my first history exam back today - an 83, a 3.0. I’m not so furious with the grade itself (although I rarely dip that low) with what my prof wrote on the exam. “There were handouts for a reason - you’ve just replicated the textbook.” “Use English punctuation!” (I’ve used the European style of quoting - with the first set of quotation marks on the bottom of the line - since high school. I don’t even think about it any more. It’s not like I’m trying to be stylish or anything, moron. Why does this even matter?) “Try to pay more attention in class. I know you can and will do better than this.”

Dude, you have no idea what that week was like for me. I took that exam on Wednesday, two days after my boyfriend got food poisoning, had to be rushed to the hospital, and nearly died, and one day after I took my first of FIVE exams that week and then had to go to Boy’s place and take care of him the whole night. I literally had two hours before the exam started to sit in the Union and cram two month’s worth of Plato and Alexander the Great and whatnot into my head, and it’s a good thing I did, because in between the time I learned it and that afternoon my brain realized all that information would get me nowhere and discarded it. How dare you accuse me of not working hard enough? I am an intelligent and mature student, and would really like to get my GPA up (it’s already 3.47, for God’s sake!) for grad school. I do not slack off, and I do the absolute best that I can under the circumstances I’m given. And I’ve always paid attention in class, and contributed much more than the other idiots you probably gave better scores to.

Forgive me for being a good student. I’ll try not to have you expect so much from me next time.


I dislike the “you could do better” comment, because it’s so bloody stupid. It invites two responses: “No I couldn’t” and “Rub it in,” selon le contexte.

However, I will have to agree with the prof on one thing. Since high school or not, when you write in English, you should use English punctuation. ¿Understand?

Response Number Three: “I could, but this class is hardly worth the effort.” (Oh, how many times I wished I had said that. I could have lived with out that three credits of philosophy if it gave me chance to put that little maggot of a professor in his place. That smirking smug sanctimonius sonuvabitch.
Not that I’m bitter.)

Of the prof who assigned us essays- 500 word MAX. The topic of one? Explain Freud’s theories regarding the id, ego, and superego.

Well, I wrote the damned essay and he writes back “A little light on information regarding sexuality. Needs much more detail”. Well fuck you! Maybe Freud’s psychanalytical theory needs more then 500 damned words to explain, numbnuts!

He did this throughout the semester- I ended up with a fine grade, but he was a real ass.


Not to take away from your frustration, but do you see the irony in your post? You had two months to be gradually learning this information, yet for whatever reason you elected to wait to study until right before the test. Then, of course, Murphy’s Law kicked in and left you with less time than you thought you’d have.

I don’t bring this up to be a jerk. Your study habits mirrored mine for much of my scholastic career. Once I figured out that if I hit the books a little at a time every afternoon/night, the typical “cram time” for tests was much shorter, because I was only refreshing the knowledge I already had.

Personally, I would have loved it if more of my professors had taken even a remote interest in how students did.

He’s actually complimenting your intelligence, you know.

Well, he’s more vaunting the ability of his teaching and testing methods to bring her intelligence to full flower, a somewhat less altruistic sentiment.

How so, Matt? I don’t see how “you can do better” is a reflection on the mighty teaching abilities of the prof.