Worst Professor You’ve Ever Had?

Paulo_Dybala's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 541

First of all, I don't hate professors in general. I think, for the most part, many of them are kind, generous, and incredibly talented in their respective fields. However, I am coming out of a semester where a TA in one of my classes and a professor in another were actively trying to bring the class average down as much as possible. In fact, this same professor, given the fact that I've applied to transfer to some schools (she was made aware of this because she needed to sign something to verify my grades), told me that although I may be hardworking and smart that those of "my kind" were not meant for those type of schools. This got me wondering if anyone has had a bad experience with a prof.

Comments (64)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 6, 2020

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Funniest
May 6, 2020

I took a class called set theory (math major) and my professor was so old that he didn't even stand up from his chair, just used the space on the chalk board that his hand could reach. constantly called kids stupid and bullied a kid to almost tears once. Took him twice cus it was entertaining but man he was brutal

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May 9, 2020

Yeah my worst professor was a dinosaur too. He taught introductory accounting and worse huge thick frame glasses and need a magnifying glass still to read anything. All paper too, had started his career in the 1950s. Only class I dropped.

Gun rights activist
May 15, 2020

That hits dangerously close to home. Had a quantitative class professor who was getting his mental math wrong (probably due to age) and whose handwriting was basically the upper right quadrant of a circle centered at the origin...

May 6, 2020

A comp sci professor who was senile and taught the class on Macs. Average of 50% fail rate for that class. He also canceled classes for 3 weeks straight near the end and didn't respond to anyone's emails regarding a final project worth a whopping 60% of the grade. No TAs, assistants, or anyone to help the class. Turns out he had the lowest Ratemyprofessor rating on campus as well.

Can also attest to the curves for economics programs. Many Business/Finance people dropped upper-level Econ electives all the time because those classes mostly curved to the B-/C+ range and only Econ Majors usually got higher than that. Econ minors were rare because of this.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 7, 2020

where did you go to school?

May 7, 2020

Hillsdale College and Chapman University

  • Intern in CorpDev
May 7, 2020

I had a math professor who gave me an F on the final because he assumed I was cheating. Another student and I had the same answer on a question. After meeting with him, I was able to prove that I did not cheat. What was bizarre is that he didn't even confront me or ask about it, just gave me an F.

May 7, 2020

Not on a personal, but on a professional level:
The worst professor by far was what one would call an absolute try-hard. A micro econ guy who tried to teach advanced game theory to dim-witted gym bros who just wanted to "go studying at a university" (the majority of my comrades-in-arms). His lectures were famously both very overcrowded at first (since he was quite the charming fellow with a lot of funny and interesting stories to tell) and very empty after two weeks (since he required knowledge of fucking Lagrangian mechanics for his stuff). Nobody, and I repeat, nobody got anything better than a C+ or maybe a B- at the final exam. I tried, and got so far, but in the end, I didn't even show up for the exam - which was stupid because I missed out on a lot of credit points with this move.
Fuck this guy, and FUCK Lagrange!

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 8, 2020

This sounds exactly like my prof. Did you attend vandy?

May 9, 2020

No dude, we don't even live on the same continent lol

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

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May 9, 2020

This is the reason why I think most classes should be P/F, especially for out-of-major courses. Grades destroyed my passion for learning in both high school and college. There are many courses that if you walk away with a decent grasp of 40% of the material then you genuinely learned something.

May 9, 2020

Preach, brother. So many great courses I ditched just because I saw the ever-declining GPA on the screen and had to think about what the next "bullshit course" for me had to be. Sadly, many guys who are just in it for shits and giggles need the incentive by the grades to push them.

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

Jul 2, 2020

"you tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end it doesn't even matter" - Linkin Park reference

Jul 2, 2020

You have great attention to detail, you'd be perfect for IB :D

Vincet Voluntas - Will shall win

Jul 2, 2020

I found the Lagrnage methods to be very interesting when applied to economics. Last year in my econ courses.

Jul 2, 2020

To be fair, I'm not sure that courses that cover complex topics such as micro/ game theory should be dumbed down to concepts you can easily regurgitate.

To understand and appreciate much of economic theory you need to go into the maths, understand proofs, understand and visualize relationships amongst variables, otherwise you don't actually understand how it "fits together/ works" - you just accept concepts as dogmatic.

Harder theoretical courses require effort that is not on par with practical/memorization based courses. If that means lower averages, so be it - there are kids grinding out the 4.0's in these majors.

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May 8, 2020

Good candidate is this professor from Rutgers

May 9, 2020

......

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 8, 2020

Finance Professor who up and left for his beach house in Hawaii with 2 weeks left in the semester.

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May 8, 2020

In my prof office hours I asked him to go over a question I got wrong on a midterm. He looks down at the paper for about 5 second and then in his thick Russian accent says "you not very smart are you". That was the first semester of my freshman year and I never went back again.

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May 9, 2020

I was an Econ major and an asshole. I accidentally recommended a friend into the intro 101 class by the guy who taught the 'fail out' 300 level econ class, because he was the best professor in the school. Unfortunately it was also the hardest of the 100-level classes offered and he wasn't that good in Econ.

In several classes I was the guy who sat in the back and tried to combine the right answer with an asshole comment. In half of my Econ classes my partner in crime was someone who went on to be a PM at BlackRock. When one great teacher began asking questions followed by "Anybody but (me)" I knew I'd won.

The worst teacher I ever had was in Theology. He was a pompous ass, and demanded certain items that had annoying things like wordcounts to make his crap class look legit. If I can say what needs to be said in 500 words, why do you want me to pad it to 3000? The Old Man and the Sea is barely 100 pages, Why would you try to turn it into Atlas Shrugged?

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May 9, 2020

Had a similar liberal arts prof - lots of them subscribe to "I don't give A's because I want you to try and keep improving"

May 15, 2020

Always liked quant topics more due to that - can't argue with the right answer.

May 9, 2020

I had a linear algebra professor that was Russian who exclaimed the first class that almost none of us would even be receiving even B's. Whole course was based on exams, of which consisted of 4 proofs and 3 traditional questions. The proofs were impossible...I mean graduate MIT guys would struggle with these, ended up walking away with a C-, but all my buds failed.

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May 9, 2020

Lmaaoooooo I had the same experience but our professor was from Poland

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

Most Helpful
May 9, 2020

I had a calculus 2 prof who was a Fields Medal winner. His whole shtik was teaching post-doc-Will-Hunting-level math to our 1st year undergrad selves. He had no syllabus, assigned no homework and no reading, and his lectures were him literally scribbling on the blackboard for an hour each class as he derived higher-level equations which would take days and days to complete and explain. Not even the TAs knew what the F he was talking about mathematically.

And when someone asked "So what's going to be on the midterm?" he responded "Just do some problems from the book. You'll be ok. This stuff is easy." Half the class dropped the course that day.

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May 15, 2020

I got rocked by Calc 2 and 3. Mostly my own fault though. What'd you end up getting in that?

  • Associate 2 in VC
Jun 20, 2020

Oof. Did you go to school in the Bay Area?

Jul 2, 2020

Why is a Fields Medal winner teaching a class that is TA worthy? If I were him i'd be mailing it in too.

May 9, 2020

Cringeist Professor on planet Earth. I kid you not, this fucker wears Matrix-like shades during class with cowboy boots. HE NEVER REMOVES THE SHADES. He randomly walks the aisles demanding music vibers/listeners to take out their headphones. He forces you to pay attention in lectures by adding random ass facts in tests that can't be found searching Google's engine. Super hard to cheat since you never know who/what he's looking at. First time seeing his eyes was through Zoom, thanks to covid.

May 9, 2020

matrix agent

May 9, 2020

I can't remember any profs that were really bad but that might be because I have blocked them from my memory or it was a long time ago. With that said, I do remember one who was fantastic - Dr. Farrokh Langdana, who is currently the Executive MBA Program Director at Rutgers. I took an international economics class with him and while I was only semi-interested in the topic, he made the class super interesting.

May 9, 2020

How was your experience with the MBA overall? I have a cousin who just got his from Seton Hall, and after 9 months still can't find a job. (The current situation obviously isn't helping) With six letters after my name, and a paper co-published with two HBS profs, I'm not sure it would do anything for me.

As to best professor I actually had in college, "Stormin' Norman" taught 300 level econ classes as well as that one section of 101. In his spare time he worked out, and could supposedly bench 300, drag raced his fox body mustang, flew and brewed beer with sappy economics inspired names like 'Marx Red Ale.'

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May 9, 2020

The MBA probably helped me get a job as a portfolio manager but it is also possible that being a CFA charterholder helped me get that job. I did the MBA immediately before going through the CFA program. I was a visiting student at Rutgers due to where I was living at the time. My degree is from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. If I had to do it all over again, I would have been more serious about grades in high school, which would have helped me get into an IVY. I had very good grades in HS but not elite grades. I was very distracted by sports when I was young, especially baseball.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 9, 2020

That's more personal than academic, but I had a pretty weird experience with one of my profs. I was taking a somewhat useless requirements class my freshman year in a liberal arts department. During the office hours, the professor of that class asked me what I was planning to do in the future; I was super lucky to land a BB internship for the summer, and thus responded finance. He got seemingly surprised, and proceeded to question me in more details - including the information about my upcoming internship. Idk what was bothering him so much, but upon hearing the name of the bank I was going to intern at, he followed with asking if I was planning to switch to philanthropy later (??). He then proceeded to describe how I should look into the finance departments of non-profits, saying I would be a much better fit for those positions. This conversation went on for a decent amount of time, and he even brought it up in class. I still don't know if this conversation had anything to do with me being a female or rather the professor's avid passion for nonprofits, but it left a pretty bad aftertaste regardless.

  • Intern in _none
May 9, 2020

What would being a female and him inquiring about non-profits have anything to do with each other?

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May 9, 2020

I had a young econometrics professor who accused me of cheating on the final. For context, I never went to class because I has a long-distance girlfriend I would travel to during the week. I failed the midterm pretty badly (22/100). However, you could allocate whatever percentage of your exam grade (80% of the class) between the midterm and final so I put 100% on my final.

Two days before the final, I emailed her telling her I would fail, and asked her if I should drop from the class. She said, "I cannot evaluate whether or not you will do well because I have never seen you in class."

So I just studied my ass off, read the whole metrics book, and re-did all the PSETs. I learned an entire course in 36 hours. I went in to take the exam pretty worried I might have missed something to study or done things differently than how she did it in class. The unweighted mean score of the exam was a 62/100. I earned a 96/100.

She emailed me while I was on my flight to Austria for Spring Break accusing me of cheating. She put my grade on hold and did not report it to the school. She told me I would have to retake the exam on the board in her office when I got back. Since I was only taking the minimum number of classes, it temporarily downgraded me to a part-time student. It messed up me receiving my scholarship, and I ended up having to front tuition to stay enrolled. Though they did eventually pay me back, it was a huge pain in the ass.

After I got back from Spring Break, I re-took the exam in front of her, having to explain each step, and earned a 92/100. She gave me my original grade and apologized for accusing me of cheating.

I think she just felt a little useless that a student could learn a quarter's worth of material on his/her own in less than two days.

A year later, I saw her out at a bar, ended up buying her a few drinks and going home with her. So she was the best and worst professor I ever had.

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May 9, 2020

I will give you an A+ for creativity.

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May 9, 2020

hahah had to be said

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May 9, 2020

No one should be giving you any MS. It is probably bullshit but it is very funny. In a way, this is one of the funniest posts I have ever seen on WSO. I can see people reading it very carefully and then at the end they are probably are saying, "get the fuck the out of here."

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May 10, 2020

Depending on the class, I suppose I can believe that you might be able to cram a semester's worth of lessons into 36 hrs, but I am quite incredulous that you took the same prof home from a bar. It's just a bridge too far. No MS from me, but I'm doubtful this happened.

Jul 1, 2020

Bro I can't tell how old you are based on your posts. You're either a 22 year old fresh out of college and into BOLC, or youre some guy with years of work experience who managed to score with his professor

Jul 2, 2020

I took this class during my second year of college.

I delayed my start date a year so I worked a year in VC before transitioning over to PE part-time and starting BOLC.

May 9, 2020

Had an M&A professor that in every class would read aloud the Wall Street Journal for 1 hour out of a 1 hr and 30 min class every class. He had a quiet voice so no one would hear him, and people would be lost with what was going. Additionally, he assigned around 5,000 pgs of reading material and did not cover any of it at all.

His first mid-term was the exact same copy of a test bank, and most people did well. His final was brutal as he combined about a dozen unknown test-banks and most of the class probably failed it.

Array

May 12, 2020

.

Jun 16, 2020

hey can you please pm me

May 14, 2020

I just had an awful Discrete Math prof. He was a foreign post-doc with a less-than-perfect command of the English language (and perhaps the same goes for the material). The guy would arrive at least 5 minutes late EVERY SINGLE CLASS and then call attendance for the next 10 minutes. Then when he got to the teaching part, he would read directly from the slides and take long pauses between each sentence, all while pacing in front of the board and dropping markers. Then we would get out of class 15 minutes early.
He was very kind, though. And an easy grader:)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 15, 2020

had a really boomer type eurasian fella teaching some bs presentation skills / professional skills (graded) class in my first year

weird old guy had a reputation for liking good looking guys, started getting cheeky with me in class and touching me in class, sending me emails asking if i wanted to join him for a swim

put up with it thinking i'd get an easy A fucker gave me a B- if i wasn't drunk / hungover 90% of my first year i would have filed a complaint

man fuck i was questioning why there were so many gay posts on wso lately now here i am contributing

May 15, 2020

Couple Anecdotes:

Econ seminar professor that gave me and another student an A- instead of a regular A even though we earned it because she "doesn't give As in seminars, otherwise people will think it's too easy and won't take my class seriously". Class was environmental economics, I wrote a paper on the Keystone Pipeline so i guess that's what pissed her off

PoliSci: Class was called something like "Politics in the Media". Professor was this dude with a bad goatee that ran his own podcast and forced every student to follow him on on Twitter and retweet at least three posts during the semester or he'd give you a 0 in participation.

Another Econ professor with whom I took a bunch of classes, great guy but had his head in the clouds half the time. One time he ran off half an hour before class ended because "I left my 4, 6 year old and the dog down at the park, they're probably fine but I should go", that one cracked me up hahaha

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May 15, 2020

The second guy sounds like he is very insecure.

Jun 16, 2020

Not really a worst professor story but worth sharing. I had a professor who was once explaining some economic shit and the topic of welfare came up somehow, and he looked at the only black kid in the class and was like "you would know plenty about this right?"

Lowkey could have lost his job for that, but I was friends with the kid and he is the most zero-fucks-given person I know and just laughed that one off. I was so confused by all of it.

Jun 16, 2020

I had two that were awful in different ways:

One was an easy class, Business Writing. But her grading was completely subjective to however tf she was feeling at the moment. One of my friends actually submitted the same essay twice for the same assignment. She graded both, not thinking, "Hmm I may have read this before."

He got both assignments back with different grades. Wildly different. A- and a D+. For the same exact work. She tried giving him the lower grade, he brought it up with the Dean and other students complained too. She stopped teaching at the school after that.

Another was truly genius when it came to math. She taught us multivariable calc but would go off on tangents about her studies in physics. It was very interesting, but the material had to be self taught. It was her last semester before retirement too. The class was weighted weirdly, I think it was around 70% based on the final. She shows up 45 mins late to a 90 minute final and doesn't use a curve. One person passed with a C-, so we all ended up getting Withdrawn on our transcripts rather than Fs. Sort of a waste of a class.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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  • Intern in PropTrad
Jun 17, 2020

One professor would show up 15 mins late for a 90 min class, give us a 20 min snack break and then leave 20-25 mins early. eg of assignment set - he would write Economies of scale on the board and say write 3000 words on it and make it original. He would then spend remaining teaching time humiliating and demoralising ppl if they asked him obtuse questions like you know...when the assignment was due or what the guidelines were. This was on the days he even bothered showing up. If you emailed a question he would answer it 6 weeks after he had graded and handed back your work.

work. iI tassignment.

Jun 17, 2020

I had a professor fail me on a paper that he himself helped me on the whole semester.

Turned in the exact same paper to a different prof and got an A.

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Jul 2, 2020

My German calculus 1 professor's mother decided to die mid semester. So my professor decided to book a flight to Germany and morn the death of her mother for then next 3 months. Impossible to understand her super heavy accent for the 2 weeks she was teaching.
So I ended up skipping the lectures and only going to TA Review sessions. Did well in the course until the final. (Damn shell and disc method integration gave me some trouble near the end of the semester).

Had a macro prof who would give take home exams. Studied under Rudi Dornbusch with Paul Krugman. To pass his exams you would have to read 35 pages of research of macro economic theory per question. He would have about 12 questions. I liked that I was taking a less mathy doctoral MIT course in econ while not attending MIT. Probably my favorite prof I've had.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jul 3, 2020
Comment
Jul 3, 2020
Jul 3, 2020