I May Hate My Professor, But She's The Best Professor I've Ever Had

I May Hate My Professor, But She's The Best Professor I've Ever Had

I think my professor has a lot to question about some of her current teaching methods. But despite all of her flaws, I'll be damned if I don't say she's not an excellent teacher.


Forgetful, curt, frigid.

Those are only a few of the shining adjectives I can think of to describe my professor. A self-assured, no-nonsense middle-aged woman has been the bane of my existence this semester and ironically, one of the most intriguing parts of it. In much the same way that a sore muscle feels painfully pleasurable, I've found myself utterly annoyed (sometimes downright angered by) my professor and her mannerisms, yet enjoying every minute of the class, nonetheless.

On the first day of class, we never really know what to expect. Most of the time, we're neither disappointed nor surprised, but on the first day of the spring semester, I found myself experiencing both emotions in the most perplexing of ways. She showed up fifteen minutes late and ended the class 30 minutes early... delightfully surprising, along with her thick, Mediterranean accent that somehow conveyed to me the air of self-possession that she would carry herself with throughout the entire semester. An air that makes for a passionate, assertive professor that has the power to captivate an entire room.

However, as I stared down at my unstapled six-page syllabus, eccentrically adorned with a grading scale that included an E grade (and no, the E did not stand for "elective"), and observed the nonchalant way she brushed off our questions and exited the class before even half of us were out of the room, I felt the disappointment settle deep into my bones and the knowledge that I would have a less-than-put-together professor creep into my mind.

I was not wrong about my assumption.

I first started to get irritated with her when she entered the wrong grade in the gradebook... and then argued with me for five hours via email about how the mistake was somehow my fault.

Then, I started to get upset with her when she decided to play the role of Petty Betty after our email run-in, and call on me every single day in class, only when my hand wasn't raised.

The passive-aggressiveness was easy to spot. I'm already quiet in person, but to be put on the spot when clearly I have no idea how the hell to answer her question, really ground my gears. Not one for confrontation, I just ignored it and made sure that I always showed up to class extra prepared to speak.

I finally felt my irritation slip into anger when I observed one of her exchanges with another student, where she accused her of standing her up on their meeting, although the student denied ever setting one up with her. She even showed my professor her complete list of sent emails, showing that they never spoke about meeting after class. Yet, my professor couldn't let it go and insisted that the girl had to be wrong. I had to roll my eyes and shake my head at the whole thing. Clearly, my professor lived a frazzled life and somehow felt it appropriate to put the blame on her students. The terrible thing about extremely self-possessed people is that their unceasing belief in themselves makes it hard to see when they should question themselves.

I think my professor has a lot to question about some of her current teaching methods, like why her syllabus includes grades that don't exist, or why she never gives us rubrics or outlines for our assignments — or better yet, why the deadlines of our project keeps changing, despite the fact that we've all complained about it.

But despite all of her flaws, I'll be damned if I don't say she's not an excellent professor. In my two years at Rutgers, I have to say she's the best one I've ever had.

When I slip into my seat at 9:15 a.m., I know that I'm going to walk out with a firmer understanding of the world and my place in society. It is because of the intelligent, ardent, and honest discussions that we've had in class that I walk away each week feeling more and more "woke." It is because of the fire in my professor's eyes and her dedication to holding others accountable, that I have questioned myself, the institutions that make up our society, and my own choices more than I ever have before in my life (and I consider myself a pretty cynical bit*h).

She has the power to take a concept that I already know and understand, and speak about it in a way that transforms it into something completely new.

She has the power to make us think and when it feels like the only thing that matters about a class is whether or not you pass it, it's pretty darn refreshing to be immersed in an environment where your focus is solely on the content and not your grade.

If I met my professor in any other context, there's a good chance I would've liked her.

There's no doubt she's intelligent, and on the off chance that she does crack a smile, it really does light up a room. However, in the context that we did meet, I much rather would've preferred a more easygoing, structured, and accountable person. But alas, we can't all live up to other people's expectations. Although I would like to trade her personality for those of my other professors in the past, she's given me something that no other has (at least, not on such a tremendous scale), and that is a lens to think critically about and observe the world around me in a way that I didn't know was possible.

And if I had a choice between a nice, lackluster professor, and a hard-ass, yet impeccable one — well, I'd pick the hard-ass every time.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.


To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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If You Go To College, You Know It's Nothing Like The Movies

Leave all your expectations behind about college because it is not what the movies make it seem like.


Every senior in high school watches movies about college and thinks that it will be exactly the same, and trust me, it is not. College is actually very different from the movies. Yes, there are crazy parties sometimes, and yes, the school work is hard, but there are so many things that movies and shows just don't portray accurately.

One of the biggest things that movies get wrong is the fact that they show professors as not helpful and very strict. Most professors in college actually do want to help you, and they really want to see you succeed. Yes, there are some that are very strict, but the majority of the professors are laid back and want you to do well in their classes.

Another thing that the movies get wrong is the partying. Yes, there are college parties, but people also study and do school work more than party. College is actually a place to get an education, so don't expect to be going out and being wild every night. Also, parties in college are much smaller, and much more crowded than the movies show. Don't be surprised when your expectations are not met when you go out to your first party.

Finally, what most people don't realize is that in college you will get homesick and you will miss your family, which is perfectly normal. You will also create some of the best memories of your life as well, and meet amazing people while you are there and they will be your friends for a lifetime. So, don't worry too much about college, because it will be an amazing time and you only get to live out those four years once in your life, so try to make them the best you can.


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