This Is About A Professor You Know

No one listens to professors unless they are in some way captive. It is very rare that a professor is asked their opinion beyond their classroom in the very real and dynamic world that exists outside of UVM. No one listens to them because, by in large, they have nothing to say. They talk about problems more than solutions, appearance more than reality. Many professors would have you believe they are significantly important people.

It has been my experience that professors are long winded, self important, and above all else, revel in their ability to make stale observations about the world around them that lack any insight whatsoever. This is academia, and it consists of a collection of uninvolved “academics” (the term academic is used loosely here) with little to offer, less to say, and enough time to say it. Among them you can find poorest thinkers and the worst speakers. They are an arrogant and loathsome group that props up the status quo and tries to convince you they are active critics of the same system. Professors do serve a role though, and like any multi-million dollar business, they serve to catalogue and process all of their business’ clients. They have regular hours for their clients and present semester portfolio analyses (grades) in much the same fashion as their corporate counterparts. They even have board rooms, although they choose to call them Faculty Senate meetings. Professors teach because they do not do what they teach on any level approaching substantive, or they can no longer do what they previously had. In both instances they are industry throw backs.

Relegated to the halls of academia these industry throw backs exist in a strange environment that is at once a mirror of the world outside their doors, with all the political/economic/social shortcomings to boot, with the controllable qualities nonexistent in the former. They love this environment, and rightly so. Without it they would have to work summers and hold standard office hours every day of the week. Academia has none of the disadvantages they would otherwise face in the real world. They offer criticism without being criticized. The traditional solution to low quality teaching has always been to pay professors more. Maybe a market bias has driven all high quality professors away from UVM into a more favorable market. The biggest problem Students face in academia is representation. We don’t get to choose our professors, only our classes. I would rather learn about literature from a writer than from a tenured professor that has been at UVM longer than all his colleagues. Those areas of study at UVM that would have us believe they teach us to “think” are among the worst offenders, and their professors necessarily follow suit. With rare exceptions, my time here at UVM has shaped my thinking into disdain and contempt for professors, never the opposite. But who cares? Normally I find fundamentally static situations irritating and not worth addressing, and rarely do I care to write about them. The only benefit I find to writing a critique of academia and professors is the same benefit I receive when yelling at a thunderstorm. You can change professors, politicians, and thunderstorms as easily as you change the American political system. Which is to say, not at all.