Are Challenging Teachers an Irritation or Preparation?

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Prof. Grumpy

Young or old, we have all faced that nightmare of a professor. We dread that time of day when we must enter their den of horror. You are no longer a student in their classroom, but instead a victim to academic chastisement. They explain nothing, but expect everything. The saying “there are no dumb questions” does not apply to them and they will set a personal example in front of the class. Your idea of perfection is their bottom line of expectation. You feel as though you will not make it out of this class alive.

As students we are so quick to jump to such negative connotations of these professors. It seems we expect them to receive a salary for supplying students with the least amount of work possible. We have been so pacified through high school that when we see the first sign of structure and professionalism in the college classroom, we pump the breaks. But why do we automatically view this style of teaching as an attack by authority? Who are we to say how a collegiate classroom should be run?

In reality, these professors will be the most influential professors in your academic life. Think back to the cake walk classes you went through and how much of the information you actually retained and use presently. Not very much, if any, is it? Now remember the professor that drilled a concept into your mind and took nothing less than perfection. That idea is a little easier to remember now isn’t it?

For example; a professor I am currently studying under will deduct points if we say “you guys” during a presentation. His reasoning is because in the corporate world it is seen as disrespectful when there may be ladies present. Now this concept is completely new to me, and at first I rejected the idea. But I must be honest with myself, after receiving a metaphorical slap on the wrist every time I use that phrase throughout the semester, I will think twice before ever using it again. I would rather go through the hardships now, than pay for my ignorance through a blown sales call in the future.

College is there to prepare you for corporate life beyond the classroom. It is what you pay thousands of dollars to attend. So do not feel disdain for a challenging professor but instead embrace the influential experience. He or she is there to prepare you for the cut throat world of business by constructing a cut throat classroom environment.

When we make the transition from classroom to cubicle, our boss will not hold our hand through challenges. They will not be lenient on due dates, give extra credit when you make a mistake, or walk you through an assignment. Mistakes result in loss of money which results in a loss of a job. Just like those challenging professors, corporate will explain nothing and expect everything. Your idea of perfection will be what they consistently expect of you and what they pay you to achieve. In the end, is that challenging professor an irritation, or a preparation?

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About David Polykoff

A Junior at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, David is studying Marketing and Advertising. He is the incoming president of the American Advertising Federation and a VP of Fundraising for the American Marketing Association. His passion for marketing is fueled from his ingenuity and his success is driven from his audaciousness. Though young in the corporate world, David's desire for new experiences and enthusiasm is viewed as a unique asset, and has given him an edge.

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