Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things To Not Say To Your English Professor (Or, A Survival Guide for the Dim-Witted English Major)

I'm going to make this a quicky, since I have to give a presentation on Cavalier love poems tomorrow (SO exciting). Over the last couple of days I have been trying to compile in my head all of the insanely stupid things people say to or ask professors in the classes that I have been in over the years. I wanted to come up with a top five list, but for now, I will just give you the two that were said this last week, and then add more stupid things as they occur. Consider it your Stupid Things To Say live feed.

First. No matter what those heartbreakingly sweet professors and fourth grade teachers tell you, there is such a thing as a stupid question. Example: Never, oh never ask an English (or any other) professor this: "What is the point of reading (doing) this?"

The unfortunate student who asked this question in my Medieval Literature class got a verbal butt kicking from students and professor alike. Don't ask that question. Ever. It's stupid.

Second. If you ever find yourself being asked by an English professor what your thoughts were on a reading, never raise your hand and say, "Well, if you analyze it to death you could probably say anything about it." That's just so....wrong. Not to mention disrespectful to author and instructor alike. (Alright, I'm gonna simmer down now, I can see I got a little soap-boxy there)

Please feel free to share any stupid things you have heard or maybe even have said yourself. Whether the incident was in a classroom or not, I get sort of a kick out of this stuff.

And, as always, thank you for reading.


Kimba said...

Do you remember the list we kept at Cold Stone of stupid things people would say / ask? Every single one was classic.

As far as my job, I have to say the many times I slipped at first and said the "R" word... :) But I've had a billion more things people have said to me. The most common one happens directly after I answer the phone with "Special Olympics, this is Kim", and they ask, "Is this Special Olympics?".

I have to bite my tongue each time to not slip out a snarky remark.

Abby said...

Oh, the Cold Stone list. You know, I thought of that list as I wrote this post, and wanted to include it, but some of the only things I could remember were "What's in the mint?" and "Is that a frozen slab of marble?"

Abby said...

Another ALMOST stupid thing that happened at work. (This is hilarious) We had an appointment scheduled and next to the appointment it said '7 1/2 months pregnant'. One of our sweet assistants was in such a hurry she took a female patient back, seated her, and said "So, you're seven and half month's pregnant?" without really checking to see if it WAS the pregnant patient. Trouble was, the lady was kinda large, and you couldn't even tell she was pregnant at all. After the assistant said it she told us the patient didn't say anything for a minute, just kind of looked at her, and she had this moment of panic like, "Oh my gosh, what if this ISN'T the pregnant lady and I totally just insulted her?!"
Luckily, it was the pregnant lady.

heather said...

How funny. I thought of the Cold Stone list too. Then those thoughts were quickly thwarted when I realized that I may soon be one of those said idiots. I'm not saying anything on my blog and it isn't a big secret or anything but I am registering to go back to school. I am following in your ever inteligent footsteps with English as a major. So note to self... ask no questions at all because i GUARANTEE it would be a stupid one.

Oh and as for the comment on Kim's blog... all I have to say is you are quite keen.


Kimba said...

I know, I wonder if we kept it somewhere, the list was huge. I remember having numerous debates with people about which nuts were usually included in rocky road ice cream. Or they'd just be like, "Are these all the flavors you have, or do you have Rocky Road?" And I actually had several people ask me if the stone was hot OR cold. Yeah dude, we heat this baby up to 100 degrees! And somehow it's still ice cream when we give it to you!