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College will present you with many different kinds of professors. Some of them will be amazing and some of them will give you nightmares that would scare the shit out of Stephen King. Knowing is half the battle, and knowing these professors when you see them will help you get your bearings as you try to survive and eventually pass their classes. Cs get degrees, after all. You don’t need to sell your soul for a good grade. I mean, I graduated and I don’t even have a soul to sell in the first place. People have different experiences with their professors over the years, but I’d be shocked if you don’t encounter these stereotypical professors. You can find them at basically every university and in every department.
1. The Hard Ass
The living embodiment of what happens when man defies nature and fuses R. Lee Ermey with a sexually frustrated honey badger. This professor’s exams are legendary in the way that famous serial killers are legendary: scary, linked to an astonishing number of deaths, and probably not healthy on a psychological level. Walking into the hard ass professor’s class five minutes late may as well be the equivalent of threatening his family, because he will give you to the count of five before he uses his particular set of skills that will make life hellish for students like you. That set of skills, of course, includes the uncanny ability to fail you if you end up on this prof’s bad side. Avoid the hard ass like the plague, lest you end up like that poor asshole Vader choked to death in the first “Star Wars” movie.
2. The Hippie
I hope you like pot, because this prof is all about it. You might as well nickname him Charizard for the amount that he likes to blaze. His class will be easy for anyone who shows up drunk or high, but incomprehensible to everyone else. Your futile attempts at understanding will be met with only frustration, unless you can hold a 30-minute conversation on current topics in drug policy as you trip balls on a cocktail of chemicals that not even Hunter S. Thompson would be cool with. If you have the hippie professor, be ready for a lot of confusion and not a lot of learning.
3. The Hot One
Somehow, you landed a professor who can only be described as “absurdly high-budget porn” hot. You don’t know your grade in the class, but you spend pretty much every day there hoping it’s a double D. Attempts to avoid flirting with this professor might as well be attempts to stop breathing and continue living. You will not be able to escape her siren-like song, which will actually draw you to class for once. If you are a god among men, you may even sleep with her, inviting the potential for an experience even more riveting than boning your professor: trying not to get boned by the honor council and the university judiciary.
4. The Foreign Grad Student
This person isn’t so much a professor as a lesson in cross-cultural relations. You will walk into class on day one and probably never return, except for mandated quizzes and exams. The foreign grad student will massacre English like he’s auditioning for a role in a sequel to the American Revolution, all while confusing you because his vocabulary is a strange mix of incredibly complicated words and expressions your 3-year-old cousin would know is blatantly wrong. No, Xin, the phrase you’re looking for is not “erotic ring,” it’s “aromatic ring.” There’s a difference between something involved in hardcore, experimental sex and an official family of chemical compounds. You probably shouldn’t have felt insulted when we all laughed, especially since you’re the one graduating with your Ph.D.
5. Dr. Unknown
This professor will make the invisible man look like a recognizable public figure. After teaching the introduction on day one, this professor disappeared faster than your scholarship money at $1 rail night. Since his disappearance, a steady stream of stand-ins and guest lecturers has ensured that this professor’s side job as a crime-fighting vigilante is not interrupted. At least, I assume that’s why he’s impossible to find. If you’re going to miss your own class more than 10 times, how do you expect me to show up even half that often? You’d better be saving the city from a crazed man dressed like a circus clown, professor. Otherwise, you’re just wasting all of our time.
6. The Lost High School Teacher
Seeking a career experience in something more fulfilling than dealing with the public school masses, this educator set out for the world of higher education with hopes of really making a difference in someone’s life. Shine on, you crazy diamond. While group work, sitting in small circles and a strict no-talking policy in class may have worked when our parents still set a curfew, it doesn’t work on the collection of emboldened and embittered degenerates now sitting before you. We’re wise to all the standard tactics, and it’s not like you can call anyone’s parents in college. That’s federally protected information now. The lost high school teacher will patronize you like you’re 12, give you a workload like you’re still 15, and most likely expect you to wake up around 7 a.m. again. Much like high school, you’ll want to put this professor in the past as soon as possible.
7. The Ancient Tenured Legend
This professor discovered superstring theory, won a Nobel Prize, sits on the department committee (probably as the chair) and most certainly can’t put his pants on in the morning without a crack team of 10 assistants. While his glory days burned bright, much like a supernova, this professor’s star is dimming. He’s pushing 100 and is so close to death’s doorstep that he’s already taken a couple of death’s complimentary chocolate chip cookies for the road. In class, this will manifest itself as stories that go nowhere and hygiene you wouldn’t have tolerated back when you were still wearing diapers and had a basic inability to see, hear, or comprehend what was going on. At least one of your exams will be punctuated by a situation that basically writes a new commercial for Life Alert along the way. “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t proctor my final exam,” your professor might exclaim from the floor, before launching into a story about the time he accidentally ate guinea pig and was confused by the Portuguese word for “mango.” Someone will eventually call 911 when he or she realizes he’s been using his Nobel Prize as a Life Alert necklace.