10.23.2016

"How do I University?" EXTRA! - Professors

Well, well, well.
I decided to write a little extra for this week's thread.
I got the idea form a group of Italian Youtubers called Nirkiop with their video "Che professore universitario hai?" if you are Italian speakers, please give it a watch and laugh.
Below you will find a list of some stereotypes regarding Professors, I will help you to identify them and share some tips with you on how to face them.
Before we proceed, however, I used scores reguarding the parameters difficulty and rarity. Scores are indicated with stars. Please check the scales below:

Difficulty:
* = Super easy
** = Easy
*** = Medium
**** = Hard
***** = Extremely Hard

Rarity:
* = Almost unique
** = Rare
*** = Medium
**** = Pretty common
***** = Zubat in Mt. Silver


The youngster
"Shit! I haven't put the beer in the fridge! Warm beer sucks!"

Difficulty: **
Rarity: **
Appearance: Youngster professors are the ones with an average age of 35-40 years old, they wear either hoodies or tees and will sometimes put a shirt on just because they forgot to do their laundry. Some of them will even have random parts of their face pierced.

Behavior: Despite being in the middle age, they feel like they are still in their twenties and they will be pretty friendly while interacting with you.
In their lectures, they will often report you practical examples of their previous works, not without an hint of self-irony.
During practical activities, they will be the one encouraging you to think out of lines, sometimes make you act at the borders of safety. Well, "risk isthe  spice of life", they said.
They will often be found out smoking and don't be surprised to meet them during your nights out.

Bonus points: Professors like these are pretty nice to work with since they don't take themselves too seriously. Not to mention that they are study-fresh and (educationally speaking), you will receive a totally modern approach to techniques.

Critical points: They are easily distracted, they will forget to answer to your email or to correct your exams (not to mention dissertations!)
Despite they are eager to make you learn using new and sometimes even expensive devices, they forget that you are most likely at your first approach with that, which in ninety percents of the cases means one sole thing: disaster.
Sometimes they tend to explain stuff just once, being strong of the fact you understand everything at the first shot.
They usually aren't patient enough to sit an interview exam, thus they will probably make a written test. They won't shut up for the entire test though, telling jokes and puns and making it difficult for people to conentrate.
Sometimes, they are not really concerned about practical matters such as organizing a test sheet, you will probably find out that a page is missing or something of the like. They will reassure you telling everything is okay, but they will probably forget it while they are correcting the exam, giving you a much lower mark than deserved.

How to cope: If you start a final dissertation or internship with them, move way before you plan to finish, otherwise you risk to miss the deadlines.
Don't be shy and ask them whenever you aren't able to understand what they said, either in class or practical lectures.
During the exam, check you have all the papers before writing your name down and bring a pair of hear plugs.

The retired
"And this is how nitrog-YAAWN!"


Difficulty: ***
Rarity: *
Appearance: By looking at them, you've left wondering if their pet is a dinosaur. With the average age of one hundred years per leg, these professors are long retired but yet they keep on with their teaching activity.
Undershirt even at forty celsius degrees, shoes older than their mothers, they arrive with a true leather suitcase which smells like dust and mould from which they take out papers they later project to the wall (technology is off limits with them).

Behavior: Prone to narcolepsy and excessively stuck to the past, they will bore the heck out of you listing you down the entire classification of domestic muschrooms.
They tend to get confused a lot and need someone to guide them through the academic environment. Will get easily confused when put in front of a remote control.

Strong points: Most of their lectures will be based on old techniques and books that will be pretty easy to find. They tend to forget faces, so if you arrive late at one lecture there will be no problem.

Critical points: Almost the seventy percent of what you'll learn with them will probably be useless and overcome, meaning that you'll have to learn everything again if you decide to start working in that sector.
They are extremely boring and you'll fight hard to keep your eyes open during their speeches;
Completely hopeless at technology, communicating with them even by phone will be impossible;
Their outdated style would probably apply to their program as well, doesn't matter if with the new academic regulation, their program was cut in half, they won't reduce the overall working load.

How to cope with them: They are extremely sentimental, so pretend to display a bit of affection towards their subject (even though you hate it to the core) and they'll get sympathetic about you.

The Easy-going 
"I think I put my wife's tong on, who cares, it's easier to use the restroom!" 

Difficulty: *
Rarity: ***

Appearance: It looks like they dress up in the dark and brush their hair by sticking two fingers in the electric socket. Their shirts are cheap and eyesore. Some of them will walk into class with a piece of toilet paper stuck to either their shoes or peeking out of their pants.
If men, the beard would be shaved in spots, if women, they will have lipstick spread on their teeth.

Behavior: Clumsy and distracted, they will always be late and if they have any chance to skip a lecture and leave it to their assistants, they will do it. At some point of the lectures they will most likely get bored and start joking to no end.
They would forget their head if it wasn't stuck to their neck.

Strong points: Their lctures are more like a break, they are pretty close to the students and won't act like assholes.

Weak points: Since they are extremely distracted they will forget to answer to your email and won't pay any attention to the material (there will be so many typos to be impossible to read), mreover, if you are working with them, you will have to remind them yuour name multiple times.

How to cope with them: Those are among the easiest to cope with, not being assholes and being pretty polite, if you just use other sources out of their material, you will have no problem dealing with them.

The moody
"Study hard because my exam is one of the most difficult even if it's so easy even a stone can pass it"
Difficulty: * or *****
Rarity: **

Appearance: They wear fine clothes, sometimes of unlikely colours, together with flashy shoes and tons of bronzer on their face and hands. Those peculiar outfits which scream "beware, they're nuts" from kilometers away.

Behavior: It is really up to which foot they got off the bed in the morning. They have abrupt mood shifts for even trivia stuff so expect them to pass form the super available and gentle people to satan in person.

Strong points: They usually are very good at explaining stuff and have several links to the job world, so if you succeed to grab them as your supervisior and behave well, you'll be granted some chances.

Critical points: They are nuts, the least squint of error will lead you to an atrocious path of sufferance. Mind your words, mind your data.

How to cope with them: Observe them really close, at least hint of upsetting, change subject or correct what you just said. You'll be spared from death.

The meticolous
"There's difference between blood orange and red!"
Difficulty: ****
Rarity: ***

Appearance: Their clothes, hair, glasses and nails are flawless. They walk keeping their back straight like they've got a huge hairpin hung behind their shoulderblades.

Behavior: They are neat-freaks, even the smallest and apparently meaningless numbers are of vital importance. They recall each person's face and name.
Their love for order is almost obsessive, they started planning their academic calendar two days after being born.
Their material is carefully prepared and they put references at the bottom of every single slide,
Extremely punctual and stuck to the routine, they will panic if anything shifts a bit from their inner mental plan.

Strong points: they are very accurate and the material they give you is optimum to study on; they will explain everything to the inner detail in order to make sure you learn everything you can.
They have the email app installed in their fingertips and will answer you within few seconds.
Available whenever a student has some doubts about their subject and people working with them are never left by themselves.
They are extremely objective, so kiss-asser would have no effect with them.

Critical points: They'll give you everything but will pretend even more, they are not assholes but will ask you for the smallest details during the exam and will corect even the slightest error, not to mention that if your calligraphy sucks, your mark will suck too.
They'll be very meticolous when correcting your essays, so don't be surprised if you have to write it more than once.

How to cope with them: Take part to every lecture and don't be afraid to ask for anything you haven't understood. Pay eculiar attention while writing your essay or preparing your exam with them and you'll be rewarded.

The apologetic
"I am sorry, I can give you more than A+++++, please forgive me!"
Difficulty: *
Rarity: *

Appearance: They are plain, you wouldn't even guess they are professors, they walk silently (much like Kuroko) and appear out of nowhere.

Behavior: They are very concerned of the students' opinion, so much that they will submit their own course evaluation tests to monitor the situation and promptly fix whatever's not working in order to get a positive feedback.
Their favorite word is "sorry" they will repeat it whenever they're given the chance

"Sorry, I am late""I won't be here tomorrow, sorry about that""I'm sorry for breathing your oxygen! Tomorrow I'll bring my own tank not to pollute your precious air anymore!"

Stong points: They are modest, doesn't mater how many degrees are hung in their office's wall. If they need to explain something which is not exactly in their range of competences, they won't be ashamed asking a colleague for advice.

Critical points: They are easily influenced by their colleagues, so if some of their fellows is around and you need a favor or something, try again next time .

How to cope with them: If you don't like the mark you were given, try to put on a scene, ninety percent of times it will earn you an extra point.

Yes-man
"So today I've got a meeting with the lab-staff, a skype call with my colleague in South Africa, a lecture in the bachelor, a seminar in the central hall.... wait, maybe it was the other way round?" 
Difficulty: ***
Rarity: ****

Appearance: Jacket unbuttoned, black eyebags and hair brushed by half. They drag their entire house along because they know it would be long before they see it again.

Behavior: Always late, they use the same material they used ten years earlier or they steal it from another colleague. In the best cases, they set the font as Wingdings and you will find yourself a sudden archeologist trying to interpret a slide.
They are like the Holy Graal: everybody knows they exist but nobody has ever seen them. Yes, because between a meeting and another they barely find time to come to lectures,  let's figure out having a meeting with a student!
They are involved in all the projects you can ever think about and never say no to upcoming PhDs or dissertation students, so they are always overwhelmed.
Their inbox is constantly full, they don't even have time to set the answered mail aside, so sometimes they see the "read" mail and would think they answered you while they didn't.

Strong points: Being always absent, they won't have much time to settle the exam properly each time thus, with the right contacts you'll know what to expect at the final test.

Weak points: Whenever you'd need them, they will magically disappear: flying on the other side of the planet or just going to a meeting in the central hall. Students' deadlines and these professors are natural enemies.

How to cope with them: Send the same email twice, if they didn't answer, take every chance to talk with them (you need to talk to them and se them in the hallway? Stop them right there), if you know you've got a close deadline for your final dissertation try with another one, change your plan.

The world citizen
"You only speak three languages? You'd need another one to make your CV more appealing!"
Difficulty: **
Rarity: ***

Appearance: Their mobile phone is officially a fourth limb, always taken into calling one of their colleagues on the other side of the planet.
They don't bother making the season change in their wardrobe, since they'd need to wear every kind of piece of cloth, because you, now it's hot in Spain but Canada in the afternoon is going to be pretty chilly.

Behavior: Their Skype is always on, even during lectures. They will spend hours talking about how advanced the American cromatography is or on how Frenchmen are better at managing time.
They will always remind the students on how important to discover new realities and learn more languages. If Italian, in ninety-nine percent of the cases will make you feel like a shit highlighting the fact that you're going to be unemployed unless you move abroad.
Their teaching material looks like the handbook of a cheap appliance: a muddle of text box in different languages, some of which you didn't even know the existence of.

Stong points: These professors usually have several contacts abroad, they are involved in international projects and will often visit or invite their colleagues for seminaries, thus if you are interested in some overseas program, they are the people to look for.

Critical points: Almost all their material would be in a different language and can be difficult to understand.

How to cope with them: If you're not keen on learning a new language (or fiteen different) find someone's notes or study with someone who can help you translating stuff. Usually the exam is held in your native leanguage.

The celebs (aka the assholes)
"Everybody hates me but fuck them all, I have power and I have money, all they can do is shut the hell up and bend down in front of me!" 
Difficulty: (*****)^5
Rarity: ***

Appearance: They are the most insidious ones, whether they have expensive jackets or terrible matted old sweaters, they have that black aura coming off of them.
Their apearance could be messed up or extremely neat. They know how to camuflage far too well.

Behavior: They are the very true essence of assholeness: self-centered, selfish, arrogant and with not just one, but a whole set of different faces.
They are settled at the summit of the institution's financial branch, they are the ones bringing the money in and this gives him an immense power because, who cares if the students, complain? They will never be kicked out! (It's hard to keep going without a cent).
Every time they are invited in a seminar, they have to remind you every single time how important they are and that is your interest to be on their good side. The major problem is that they don't have one.
Differently from the moody ones, these ones are harder to predict: they can change from a second to another without any warning. Each survivor will tell you a different story about his exam because they use different judging criteria with every single person.
They are strongly sure that everyione around has a deep admiration towards them.

Strong points: They make the other exams look easier.

Critical points: they are hardly predictable, will change their mind after few seconds on opinions they gave in the first person. Even if you are in their good side, they will find something to make you struggle with. They pretend perfection when they're far from it. Usually they suck at explaining.

How to cope with them: Magic anyone?

I hoe you enjoyed this extra chapter. Did I miss anyone? As always, thank you for reading!

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