Would it kill you to snicker and point like a decent human being?

I spent my birthday yesterday working on a paper for my experimental psychology class. It was originally due Wednesday, so I made an appointment to meet with my professor today before I put the finishing touches on it.

Outside his office, I ran into a classmate. Didn’t I get the e-mail he sent to the class, she asked. The due date was pushed to noon on Friday. Fair enough, I think. I would have gone out for my birthday if only I had checked my e-mail yesterday afternoon, but it’s no great loss.

When I came home, I checked my e-mail. Apparently, this is why the due date was pushed back:

The ambiguity is maddening. I think I could hold a meaningful scientific conversation with a professor in the relevant field, but how the fuck can I be certain? Go visit a random sample of professors, speak to them about the paper topic, have them fill out a questionnaire about my performance and analyze the results with an SPSS spreadsheet? Grab every evolutionary and social psychologist on campus, herd them into a conference room and ask them to explain their respective theories so I can see if I get them? As interesting as that would be, it’s too late for that.

I would rather be told straightout that “Your paper is a sucking black hole of mediocrity and we are all dumber for having read it” than wonder whether or not I’m amongst the happy few. Hand out dunce caps, set my paper on fire in front of me, just let me know!

I love you. And if you’re a dude, I might even consider switching sides!

Fionn, sounds like a place I used to work at. If person ‘A’ made a mistake, you couldn’t single person ‘A’ out and tell them, no matter how politely, that they had goofed. Nope, you had to tell the whole department that someone had made a mistake, and you had to be vague about the type of mistake and when it was made, so that you wouldn’t hurt the self-esteem of the person. Of course, this tied up lots of our time listening to people saying things like, “Uh, this thing, that we normally do right, was done wrong and we need to make sure that we’re not doing it that way anymore.” Needless to say, progress was only made when someone (like myself) was willing to be an asshole and say, “Hey! Shit for brains! Ya fucked up again! Stop it!” Naturally, my reward for this was an ass-chewing. I take a great deal of pride in knowing that the company is now on a rapid, downhill slide, which if it continues, will be only second to Enron’s implosion in brevity.

Didn’t your professor tell you at that time if you were on the right track?


And that’s funny because…?

Just kidding, Zette.

[sub]It was supposed to be a reference to the thread title. Sometimes I’m too clever for my own good.[/sub]

You’re even more clever than you think, Kamandi – I thought you were implying that the prof was performing a bit of experimental psychology on his students. “The ambiguity is maddening,” etc. :wink:

:: Zette slaps herself on the head for not getting it ::
DER! Carry on. I’ll be over here hitting myself with a clue-by-four… :slight_smile:

Regarding the OP, I know what you mean about the ambiguity. I think the prof was just giving the old “Look your paper over and make really, really sure that it is complete and accurate”.

Personally if I got this on a paper:

I would probably crawl into my sock drawer and sleep for days…

You’ll do fine, don’t worry :slight_smile:



Ha ha!


Very flattering! But unnecessary, as I’m a woman.

Zette, if I got the sucking-black-hole comment in earnest, spending several days in the sock drawer would be the best-case scenario.


I always knew I was a genius.

Tried to post this earlier but it didn’t go through, apologies if it shows up twice:

I have a slightly different take on this statement. Unless this is a senior-honors or graduate level course where the students are expected to be doing professional-quality work, I think the professor is saying he suspects several of the papers are plagiarized, not that the rest aren’t good enough.

That’s what I thought, too. I don’t know your prof, of course, but the professors at my school have never expected any of the students to be on the level of someone with an M.S. or PhD in the subject, unless you’re writing your senior thesis or something of that sort. Unless you’re going to an amazingly tough school, I’d be more prone to think that some students had papers that were so good that they seemed to be written by someone who’d taken more than just a semester or so of courses on the subject, which is what the teacher was implying.

So, what did your professor say about your paper?

Hey, it could be worse, you could be taking communications classes. My portfolio professor pulled that on us once. “Some people seem to be getting really good work done, but overall, there’s a big lack I’m noticing. Why doesn’t everyone meet after hours here and we’ll discuss what you can do to improve your work.”

Apparently, “meet outside of class and discuss” meant go to a local bar and buy teach a couple of pitchers and bullshit. No wonder I don’t feel confident enough in my work. Hmm.

But as has been said numerous amounts of time, I’m sure you’ll do a great job. Don’t overanalyse your work, though, cause that will just drive you insane. Keep on the same path, and you’ll do a great job.

Oh, and as for your professor: EYE GOUGE, EYE GOUGE!!! :slight_smile:

The class is required for students writing honors theses and is a de facto requirement for anyone going on to grad school. The professor likes to refer to it as “mini-grad school.”

I hadn’t thought about the possibility of plagarism, but it seems like it would be difficult to plagarize anything in this class. We had to work up our own studies, run them, and write up the results. The class only has 12 students, so both the professor and the TA are well acquainted with how much we know versus how much we don’t. Then again, I’ve never plagarized anything, so I could be entirely off-base there.

I’d take the advice, but I suspect most grad schools would have a problem with it.
“Hmm…A in clinical, A in abnormal, A in personality assessment, four semesters as an undergraduate research assistant…professor missing an eye? What the hell?”

I’m convinced professors are evil, just evil. Why else would they teach, but to torment young, impressionable minds?

In one of the (few) classes I’ve taken- some drafting course, I can’t remember much more than that- the teacher told me that since I was doing so well on the assignments, he would from that point on start grading my assignments more stringently than the rest of the class’ assignments.


Now, I’m all for personal improvement. I’m all for doing things the difficult way, if it’s for my own good. But dammit, if I deserve an A, give me an A, even if it’s coming easily to me.

It sounds like your professor and mine are in cahoots (boy, I’ve always wanted to use that word!). Heck, maybe they’re related?

Hell, how do you respond to that email you got, anyway? Isn’t it HIS fucking job to tell you if you don’t “get it”?

Oh, and Spritle? She’s damn gorgeous, to boot. :slight_smile:


Wow. And I thought I was over finals. Nightmares return.

Good luck, you’ll do fine.

While I could demand to see pictures, just knowing that she hass a working knowledge of SPSS is enough for me! (Even though it’s really a statistical analysis package, not a spreadsheet.)

[sub]Dear God! I’m such a geek![/sub]

Oh, I hate it when teachers do that! Both the unclear criticism and the more-stringent grading system.

And SPSS–GAH. The stupid program that took forever to boot up on the lab computers. Wouldn’t you use the output to analyze the results? That could be your problem. . .::d&r:: :wink:

Seriously though. . .what he said was not only vague and indirect, but really nasty to boot. He sounds like he might be an arrogant jerk who is unwilling to rip one person directly, so instead he generally insults the entire class.

Meh, a POX upon him!