UConn professors come in many different shapes and sizes, but it’s easy to tell if you’re going to get along based purely on the first day. As you take to Student Admin to rearrange the schedule you spent so much time on in October, keep in mind the following types you’ll likely run into this week.
6.) The tenured:
This professor doesn’t give a shit. They show up 10 minutes late to the first class and hand out a syllabus that says Fall 2013. Having secured tenure, they know they’re practically invincible and talk freely about politics and just about whatever else pops into their heads. These professors know what’s up and kissing up might land you that coveted independent study. They’ll meet you at the Benton probably once or twice over the course of the semester and make sneer comments about the new UConn bookstore while drinking rum and coke out of a mug.
5.) The paranoid:
This professor is immediately suspicious of every student, and talks at length about the punitive measures taken against those stupid enough to plagiarize in their class. They might even have you sign a contract just so you know that “the appropriate academic consequence for serious offenses is generally considered to be failure in the course.” It’s obvious that they copied and pasted the university guidelines from the website because the font is totally different from that of the rest of the syllabus, making the whole thing ironic and annoying.
4.) The person you saw at Ted’s last Thursday:
Likely the T.A.s that were finally given a chance to run their own class. Expect a lot of relevant Internet banter dropped haphazardly into lecture like “Reddit” and “Tinder.” It would almost be ok if the same person hadn’t been sitting 5 feet away from you at Ted’s last Thursday. You’ll continue to run into this professor everywhere outside of the classroom whether it be grabbing a burritos at Baja or a coffee at Sam’s. The line between professor and passing acquaintance is way too thin here, and their close age reminds you of impending graduation compounding your already crippling depression.
3.) The one who read about the beneficial effects of tech in class:
This professor will probably show up to class with a Nalgene water bottle and nothing else. They read some very scholarly articles over break about the positive effects of an “all-tech classroom” and they’re fully embracing it by going paperless. Unfortunately, much of the time these types of professors are technologically challenged and it takes them 10 minutes to log into HuskyCt because they accidentally logged themselves out and shut off the projector. Praise the one kid brave enough to go up and help the professor fix the audio on her multiple YouTube videos.
2.) The one who read about the detrimental effects of tech in class:
This professor has a Nokia flip phone that looks as if it went through the washing machine a couple hundred times. Their poorly typed syllabus says “NO LAPTOPS OR CELLPHONES” in boldface and they reiterate this by confiscating the phone of one kid stupid enough to check the time during class. Their office is one of those ancient looking ones in Koons Hall and their bookshelf is a relic of the early 19th century. History majors will flock to these professors and feign admiration for their archaic attitude while simultaneously taking Instas of their vintage office.
1.) The Dead Poets Society wannabe:
This professor may not even have a syllabus because the educational system is flawed and they carve out a new learning curriculum every semester. Dead Poets Society wannabes (based on the emeritus professor here at UConn, Samuel Pickering) will speak to the passion of a subject, rather than the grading, claiming that grades are superfluous anyways. They may or may not inspire us all to stand on desks, but they’ll definitely incorporate going to poetry readings at the Co-op for at least 20% of the grade because writers are universally under-appreciated.
As you trudge through syllabus week, it’s important to be honest with yourself: that MWF night class in Arjona is in no way doable, let alone safe. Instead, seek out the tenured professors with a zero-fucks given attitude, and your GPA will thank you later.
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