Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rate My Professor?

Maybe I'm super out of the loop, but I just found out Rate My Professors is a lot more commonly used than I thought.
I mean, I knew the website existed, but I didn't think anyone actually looked up their professors before the semesters started?

There are a lot of issues I have with this:
(and yes things are about to get real because I'm making a numbered list)

1. Who's writing the reviews? Only students who have strong opinions, most likely. And this means that most of the reviews are either completely negative or ridiculously gushy. This isn't an accurate consensus of what a professor is going to be like.

2. The content is insanely superficial. The website itself is superficial, but it gets worse. Most of the time the reviews are some asshole's opinion of aspects that aren't even truly related to the professor. The class is hard. The textbook is boring. She makes bad jokes. And there's a fucking HOTNESS RATING?! What the actual fuck.

3. I'm sorry you got a bad grade but that doesn't mean the professor sucks. I like how some people post that they received a grade like a C- or a D and that they "barely cracked open" the textbook, and then they have the audacity to blame the professor for their lack of success. Saying things like "worst teacher ever" and not elaborating on what qualities make this particular professor the worst makes it seem like you had a personal problem with the professor, and that doesn't mean that the professor isn't good at his job. And to be clear, I don't only have a problem with the negative reviews...

4. Just because you think the professor is "cool" doesn't mean she should get a good rating. Yes: all professors are smart. That goes without saying, so you don't have to say it on every fucking review. They all have their Ph.D.'s so yes they're intelligent. But can they teach well? Are they trying to help you be successful? And seeing comments like, "Dude this professor is awesome! super chill!" or, "Easy grader, I loved her" aren't really insightful to their abilities as a professor.

5. Why should I care about someone else's opinion of my professor? I honestly hate the concept of trying to see what someone is going to be like by reading other people's opinions. Especially with  college courses, everyone's experience is so unique that it's hard to judge how your opinion will compare to others'. And with everyone looking to jump on a bandwagon, people love to come in with their preconceived notions about a professor and they aren't open-minded enough to let their own opinion form. This is something I've noticed happening based on word-of-mouth reviews, and that annoyed me. So imagine my disgust at seeing this website and finding out it's actually taken seriously.

Maybe this is a dumb thing to rant about, but I've been burned a couple times by taking courses from teachers or professors who are allegedly awesome, and found that their class was a huge waste of my time. And I've also found that a lot of times the professors that students complain about tend to be some of my favorites.
All this because I live in my happy little bubble where my opinion goes uninfluenced by what others have thought of professors in the past.

I feel strongly about this. So I'm ranting.
Also, I have an exam tomorrow that I'm supposed to be studying for. So I'm procrasti-ranting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015