I’m a decent person.
When I’ve really enjoyed a class, I write a nice course evaluation. I try to be as specific as I can. I sometimes mention whether or not the professor is pretty (I just can’t learn from people I don’t find mildly attractive — it’s weird); how much such-and-such course relied on a textbook; what it specifically lacked; and anything else a common shopper might like to know. I write evaluations because I know that some people really do read them. I read them — religiously. And I appreciate them.
Some people, however, save themselves thirty seconds and don’t write them at all. Fine. Others take hours to craft the perfect masturbatory manifesto filled with obtuse analogies to accurately describe a given class. So to respond, here’s my “masturbatory manifesto” detailing the paradigmatic examples of hairy-palmed course reviewers.
The Astrophysics Whore
Who the hell writes a course evaluation for Charles Bailyn’s popular astrophysics class and ends it with, “Wanna sleep with me? Great.”
And this person (but really, we know it’s a girl) isn’t even asking Charles Bailyn to sleep with her — she’s making advances on the common student reader. Furthermore, this evaluator (Astro 160 Response #4) insults Sexy Bio (psha!!!!), then claims to be a dork, but is also anxious to share her new-found astrophysics knowledge at “cocktail parties,” all the while asking for sex in exchange for her knowledge of “white dwarfs.” Seriously.
Response #4 further promotes the class to students who liked the movie “Contact,” have read a Carl Sagan book, feel that their lives are meaningless, and “somewhere deep in your heart enjoy doing a math problem because, hey — it has a right answer.” Perhaps, Response # 4, there is somewhere else you should be sharing your desperation with the world rather than in your course evaluations.
The Violent Programmer
Other evaluations, like Response #8 for Intro to Programming (CPSC 112), take out some serious rage on a poor reader like me: “If you’re a Master Programmer looking for an easy grade, take this, and you’ll cruise thru, but f*** you because you’re f**ing it up for those of us who are really trying. If you’re not a Master Programmer looking for an easy grade, this is really not the best way to learn programming. It was a lot of self-study, and the Master Programmers in this class will f***k you over tenfold.”
At least most of his grammar and much of his spelling was fine. Although, really, five letters in “f***?”
The Frustrated Financier
I guess the Economics 252 (Financial Markets) final was pretty hard; Response #7 wrote his evaluation of the class immediately afterwards.
The bitter remarks introduce the student as “scarred” from “Financial Markets” and subsequently illustrate the course as follows: “Imagine going to the market thinking you’re going to learn how to sell fish. Well, you get there and they teach you every single goddamn thing about that market, from how to set up the umbrellas, where to park the vans, what every single commodity being sold costs, the number of people who come in every day, this year, next year, ten years ago, 30 years ago, and the projections for the next 10 years…” and the analogy goes on and on for 301 words.
The kicker? “P.S. This evaluation is so … unique because I haven’t slept in 35 hours. I haven’t slept in 35 hours because I had this final today. This is the 3rd time — midterm 1, midterm 2, final. Go figure.”
This poor guy must have absolutely failed his class if he felt the critical need to write an evaluation before recovering from 35 hours of twitching over his “umbrellas and vans.” The lesson to be learned? Writing a terrible evaluation will not improve your F. It will only make us laugh at you.
Please, just get some sleep.
S. Zelda Roland listed her cell number in her “Sexual Meanings” course eval.