The Awards: 4

OK, so I got on the Department's Honour Roll with Distinction for all three courses I taught in Fall, 2010. Yada yada. Now--you know 'em, you love 'em--on to student comments. (Warning: As always, remember that snarkiness and sarcasm filters are now OFF.)


"I really, really wanted to write something ridiculous just to be featured on WAYS, but I decided that might hurt your chances at getting honor roll again, which you truly deserve...[I] don't give "pity laughs" to profs trying to make jokes...with that in mind I can say I laughed a lot, which kept class interesting and made me want to be here."
(Aw, gee, thanks. And here you are on WAYS, even though you didn't write anything ridiculous. Others did, however. BTW, don't worry about your comments hurting my chances at getting on the honour roll--my abysmal teaching will take care of that.)

"Don't mock previous student evaluations at the beginning of the course under the guise of being fair. What are the important concepts? Emphasize these. What is the purpose of this class? I don't feel that I undertand perception any better than when I first began this class. Teach more. I'm not paying for you to distill notes from a textbook, I can do that myself. SPEAK LOUDER!!!"
(I will only mock evals here on my blog, 'K? "Teach more", eh? I'll have to look into that. In the meantime, learn more. AND DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE COURSE IS OVER TO TELL ME TO SPEAK LOUDER!!!)

"I found the instructor did not treat students with respect. He was arrogant and mocked students with legitimate comments/questions."
(WTF? Here's what treating students without respect would actually be like: "That's a stupid question. You're stupid. Don't waste my time with your stupidity." I don't do that; I've never done that. You must be confusing me with some asshole.)

"Notes are overly wordy."
"Lecture skimmed topics."
(I'll reduce the number of words, but at the same time go into more depth. Necessarily, polysyllabic entities will be employed. Antidisestablishmentarianism!)

"Notes were very disorganized & hard to follow. I am still unsure of what the purpose of this course is. Nothing memorable about information provided because it was delivered in a dull way. I strongly dislike perception because of you."
(Well, then, mission accomplished. I hope you dislike it even more after you finish taking my Advanced Perception course this term.)

"I am near the end of a 4 yr degree and this has been one of the most enjoyable classes I have taken so far...not so much for the content but for the excellent presentations & entertaining lectures."
(Well, then, mission accomplished. I hope you enjoy it even more after you finish taking my Advanced Perception course this term.)

"I really appreciate how Dr. Loepelmann knew beforehand that some topics were harder to grasp than others and took the time to explain it to us in different ways (approaches) so that we understood the material. He is an excellent prof; one of the best one I've ever had in university. I specifically chose this class because he's teaching it."
(Thanks--it's all part of my teaching philosophy: Teach more.)

More comments coming soon!

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

Is that a-hole, perhaps, Snyder? Ahem....

Anastasia said...

Some of that was surprisingly snarky - well done! Although I feel that you still have quite a bit of ways to go before you achieve real snark. Work on that.

And if you really want to impress students with 'polysyllabic entities' go with floccinaucinihilipilification. "The floccinaucinihilipilification of properly working error-signals can lead to catastrophic effects."

Nat said...


Anonymous said...

I have concluded that you take a lot of pride in your teaching. Afterall, it IS your job! And as you should.
I am wondering what your take is on professors who either don't reply to emails, or tell you to read the textbook, etc, when are asked a question.
For lecturers who also do research, I think this is valid. They have a lot of other things to worry about without having to deal with students' pointless questions. What is 1 out of 300 students, anyway?

Now, do you go out of your way to help students because you want them to do well? Because you feel responsible, being the teacher? Because ignoring emails is rude?

I would like to hear your take on it, as a prof who seems to put some actual effort into teaching!

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: I don't think ignoring emails is valid if a student is seeking help understand something. (I actually do ignore certain emails: the ones asking me to increase their grade after the final grades have been submitted.)

I can understand the frustration of some instructors if they spent time in class trying to explain a concept--and then they get asked to explain it all over again. This is especially maddening if very few students were in class when the concept was explained--students don't come to class and then they want the instructor to explain it all over again to them one-on-one. This might be where the "go read the textbook" comes in.

Why do I help? I want students to understand the stuff that I try really hard to explain. If you spend the time and effort coming to see me or sending me an email, the least I can do is spend some time and effort trying to help you. Otherwise, why don't you just "read the textbook"? Or watch online lectures?

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