Tame the Prof…arghh

By By Gabi Gaston and By Gabi Gaston

By Gabi Gaston

With this semester’s midterms out of the way, it’s undoubtedly time to return to that unsettling series of events you left behind, better known as your life. Yes, once awakened from the drunken stupor that is a week of testing, the average student is brimming with questions of self evaluation. To this I say, “Have no fear, the Guru is here.”

Dear Gabi,

I slept with a co-worker, and it went well, but now it’s awkward at work. Help!

“Copping a Feel in the Copy Room”

Dear “Climbing More than the Corporate Ladder,”

Although I’m delighted to learn that neither of you were injured in this vocational love-fest, it obviously can’t have gone that well or things wouldn’t be awkward at work.

First, you need to look into your company’s fraternization policies. If you two plan to steam up the water cooler on a regular basis, one of you might have to consider a transfer, otherwise both of you could get the old heave-hoe (and I’m not referring to Delores in accounting). If it was just a one-time thing and both of you have escaped with your hearts relatively intact and fit for work, I suggest you try to restore the dynamic you had before you slept together. No one wants to order take-out for the whole office with a side of chow mein and discontent. If that isn’t possible, you might have to consider carrying around a manila folder for the rest of your career to shield yourself from the whiteout-scented shame that no doubt fills your workdays. Short of that, I’d just remind you that the term “Casual Friday” refers to the dress code and nothing else.

Dear Gabi,

I have a professor who belittles me and my entire class on a daily basis. How should I deal with a professor who expects everyone to perform at his academic level?

“The Slight Erudite”

Dear “Hating the Hierarchy of Higher Education,”

Among the years, tears and thousands of dollars we spend to get that diploma, there is bound to be one professor who rubs us the wrong way.

To combat Professor Pompous, I suggest you give him or her exactly what he or she wants. You could spend countless hours intensely studying his or her field of expertise in the hopes of impressing his or her unquenchable lust for academia, or you could do it the easy way. My method consists of three simple steps:

Step 1: Begin wearing a tweed blazer with elbow patches immediately. It will likely smell of Dewey Decimal musk and the inside of a 1994 Geo Metro. This is ideal. It ensures that your professor will be able to distinguish your scent from any other in the room (avoid bears and lonely librarians if at all possible during this process).

Step 2: Any time the professor asks a question in class, whether directed at you or not, simply reply with, “I know what the text says about it, and I know how I feel about it, but I was wondering what your stance is.” This statement has been passed down from generations of “professor whisperers.” The ancient incantation will ensure that you appear engaged while simultaneously stroking your professor’s ego and sucking up class time.

Step 3: In the event of the above steps failing, go up to your professor after class and ask a topical question. While his or her guard is down, subtly switch the subject to one he or she doesn’t know. I suggest free time and personal fulfillment. Then, enjoy the look of sheer panic spread across his or her face from the other side of his or her unnecessarily intimidating podium.

[email protected]@chronicle.utah.edu