Post Academic


Academic Stereotype Fun With Urban Dictionary

I usually wind up visiting Urban Dictionary when I hear a term I don’t understand on VH1, and the definition is usually much worse than I thought. The site also provides sassy definitions for ordinary terms, and the definitions for “professor” offer abundant proof that the academy desperately needs to work on its PR campaign. The second most popular definition on the site is the following:

A person who is an expert at his or her field of study.
Professors do not have a degree in education or teaching.
Matter of fact, I don’t know why the silly bastards are allowed to teach without a degree in education.

Want to know why Professors suck at grading? Because they were never taught how to grade…They were not taught how to teach.

If you don’t like that, you don’t want to see what the visitors to Urban Dictionary have to say about “grad students.” Many of the other definitions were along the same lines, although I was partial to “Someone who talks in someone else’s sleep,” which admits that some students will fall asleep in class even if the teacher does cartwheels and sets off fireworks.

We’ve all had lousy professors and lecturers, but the disrespect handed to teachers and grad students is on a par with the attitude toward lawyers. And at least lawyers make enough money to soothe the sting. I wish they had a comments section so I could add, “They work hard, you know. In fact, I worked so much as a grad student that I found the Hamster World to be a more relaxing alternative.”

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2 Responses to 'Academic Stereotype Fun With Urban Dictionary'

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  1. Hmm, responding to sass with serious defense doesn’t work so well — it’s that whole “that’s not funny” problem. I say fight fire with fire. Put in an entry under “students” that says “annoyingly self-centered oxygen thieves who’ve been raised to think they’re special.” Or maybe that’s too mean…and the saddest part is that I kind of agree with the UD’s assessment: most profs don’t teach very well, either because they don’t care (not getting tenure for it) or because good pedagogy isn’t something that gets covered in grad school.


  2. I was wondering why I didn’t go there. Then I realized that I am a huge softie. In my (admittedly brief) teaching career, the majority of my students were hardworking, reasonable and sober individuals. Maybe it’s because I taught at 8:00 am and that time attracted the hardworking, reasonable and sober.

    You and UD are right, though, many professors don’t realize that they are the cause of their own bad PR.


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