My teacher hates me

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    I know that sounds really 2nd-grade, but I think it’s true. He’s a totally pompous ass, and he regularly makes fun of students in class. He’ll also read people’s papers out loud in class and proceed to explain why they got a D. We turned in a major project on Friday, and he announced today that of the 12 he had read so far, 8 were D papers and the rest were F’s. He doesn’t give us information about how he’s going to grade things, and then he yells at us for not knowing his “secret criteria” for papers. He’ll also tack on random required things that conflict with other classes I have and then gets upset at me when I can’t come. I have been vocal in my complaints about how unfair he is being, and now I think he has it in for me.

    The really upsetting part about this is that it’s for my Senior project class, and I have to have him all next semester too. I feel like I’m going to get a bad grade in the class through no fault of my own, and I can’t even do anything about it because he’s the department chair. Also, I know you’re never supposed to blame a bad grade on a personality conflict with your professor, but how am I going to explain a C- on my senior thesis work?

    I sent him an apology today about something that had been a miscommunication, and he sent me back an email that said “Fix your attitude!” (exclamation point included). I feel like I can’t do anything right in that class. I’m so upset, and I don’t know what to do about it.

    Thanks for listening (or reading).


    Does your shool do semesterly evaluations of the faculty? The school I went to in the States did. 🙂

    I know how you feel…I don’t think my math teacher has it in for me personally, but he is always yelling at us for not participating and asking questions…but then he makes fun of students who do participate and ask questions!! Luckily, we got to write evaluations for him!

    Can you talk to your advisor? Good luck!


    I’m sorry about your situation, and I don’t think it sounds 2nd grade at all. A crappy instructor can make for a hellacious semester. This sounds like something that happened to me, except it was only chem. II, not an upper level class. The guy had an inferiority complex, and I suspect he was a misogynist too; he would pick on the females in my class and make fun of them if they didn’t know the correct answer (or even if they did). He had a special chip on his shoulder for me because on the first day of class I made the fateful mistake of arguing with him that dry ice was made of carbon dioxide, not nitrogen. Anyway, he ended up making a classroom full of enemies by the end of the semester, and we ended up getting him “fired” after everyone wrote negative (albeit truthful) evaluations for him. 😀 Apparently, the instructor evaluations are actually read by someone. I don’t know if writing a scathing evaluation for the dept. chair would work, or if it would be of any benefit for your grade, but you could try. Good luck!


    Hi Drey
    I feel so bad for you. That sucks so bad. I hate it when someone has major issues with themself and then they become teachers. It’s almost like they love power and they are there just to take things out on everyone and make everyone feel inferior. But in reality he is the one that feels insecure with no self-esteem.

    I would complain to someone and write out everything that has happended. And on top of it, you have proof of his issues because of what he said back to you. I am in shock that he said fix your attitude. That is so unprofessional and obviously he is not in the right place right now to be teaching anyone anything. I would complain to whoever is above him. You have every right!!

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Take care,



    I can sympathize as well. I know this (probably)isn’t what you want to hear right now but, learn from this experience, file away what you learn, and know you’ll have to deal with this in med school and residency (in a major way). Sometimes you can “do something” about the attendings, but sometimes “doing something” ultimately gets you into more trouble (and potentially jeopardizes your career in that field). For instance, if you find yourself interested in surgery (and surgeons are notorious for bad attitudes and power trips) and an attending does/says some mean things, you really can’t tell on him (without affecting your chances of matching at that program, and potentially nearby programs). It sucks, and you can fight, but realize it’s with a price.

    And as you progress thru residency, you’ll find yourself “fighting” all the time, with everyone, if you are easily bothered by the attitudes of some of your seniors. Everything is political….and sometimes as students we expect things to be “fair.” But they are not. :no: And I’m not trying to discourage you from fighting for what you believe in, or tolerate obscene behaviors or gross disrespect, but ya gotta pick your battles…and ya gotta realize that this issue is going to be a reoccuring theme in your future, thru med school and residency (and beyond).


    Yah, they’ll be a recurring theme, which is a good reason to familiarize yourself now with your rights and how to enforce them. It’s also a good time to start thinking about how much sh*t you’re willing to eat for a career, and how to jump from one boss to another. Yes, there’ll be times when the game’s not worth the candle and it’s best to suck it up, but there’ll be other times when fighting and winning is possible if you’re prepared and know how much you’re willing to lose.

    A generally good rule is to document the hell out of everything. It’ll seem paranoid at first, but it does have a way of saving your job/spot/reputation. A friend of mine is going through a similar problem in a class now — he’s essentially supposed to “rewrite in his own words” someone else’s work without plagiarizing. Plagiarism’s punishable with expulsion. He pointed out that the assignment _is_ plagiarism, and wanted clearer explanation of the assignment. Now he’s afraid now that he’s pissed off the TA and will get a bad grade. So he’s covered his butt with email and is going carefully through the minefield, and I expect he’ll come out OK.

    Personally, I’d stay away from fields where petty nonsense like that is a make-or-break deal, but that’s me, and why I prefer to work for myself or by contract.


    DrWuStar *DrWuStar*


    i am so sorry you have to deal with a shmuck like him for such an important class. i once had a teacher like that – horribly mean to everyone. he made each of the four girls in the class cry on at least one occasion and made a few of the guys cry too! he also had to follow a special grading protocol with random numbers assigned to students by the department secretary b/c he had been systematicaly grading women worse than men.

    anyway, my advice is document everything about the situation – dates, mean comments, print any e-mails you find offensive, etc. – and take that information to your school’s academic affairs office. while it might not help your grade, i am sure you can do this confidentially, so it should not hurt your grade either. you might at least be able to make things better for the next round of “victims”. i would also stop fighting with him and letting him and the class know openly that you think his practices are unfair because it sounds like it may be doing you more harm than good.

    good luck with this. i hope it works out better than you are expecting.

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