“Rate My Professors” is Completely Unbiased (My Arse)

Preparing for college means a lot of things. You might be living on your own for the first time, so you stock up on the Ramen, microwave ovens and flimsy IKEA furniture. You have to buy textbooks, which burns a fat hole in your already starving wallet while bookstores laugh at your student poverty. You register for classes, get your photo ID, contact your hopefully sane and not freaky roommate, etc. It’s a lot to do!

And then, when you get your schedule, you scan down the list of classes and think “Wow, freshman year is going to be great. My class is going to be super easy and my teacher is going to love me!”

What? Who am I kidding? You’re probably thinking “Holy shiitake mushrooms, how am I going to handle this schedule?! And…”

And then you look at the professor’s name beside the class name…

“… What the heck is my professor like?”

Cue the chorusing angels and ethereal light beaming down on your head through fluffy parting clouds. Here is where the beauty of the Internet comes in.

RateMyProfessors Logo

If you haven’t heard, there is a website called Rate My Professors, where students – this should be pretty obvious – rate their professors. It’s a pretty popular site and I just had to check it out. It’s so popular, a lot of people schedule/change their classes based on the site’s reviews. Plus, there’s even an app for it. So I couldn’t resist. In general, I try to be an open-minded person, who takes hearsay with a grain – more like a vat – of salt. To really understand something, you have to experience it yourself, yes? This is my philosophy.

However, because I have Antzin-Pants syndrome, which I touched on in this article, I couldn’t help checking out my professors to see what others have said about them.

Boy, did this make me laugh and cry at the same time. 

What I have gathered from this site is that most of the people who leave reviews either really love the professor or really hate the professor, so you don’t get a whole lot of unbiased, “average” ratings. But then again, how am I supposed to know they’re unbiased? Sometimes, it’s easy to spot the begrudged and the smitten:

Excerpts taken from review of statistics professor:

VERY POOR TEACHER, DOES NOT EXPLAIN ANYTHING, BORING LECTURES, TOO MUCH HOMEWORK.

Yeah, he’s hard. Granted this is college. It should be a challenge. The class will go fine is [sic] you pay attention and study. Tutoring will also help. Just ask questions and make him go slow. This man lives for stat’s.

Excerpts taken from review of computer science teacher:

I thought Karla was an extremely boring teacher. Two hours of her was just too much for me.

She is energetic, hot, and ambitious. She has the whole class on the edge of their seat waiting to learn more…too bad she’s taken…

No professor is “one size fits all.” You have people who will go into an ALL CAPS RAGE about a professor and then you have people who will confess a somewhat inappropriate amount of affection for a professor… Seriously, did that review really call the professor “hot?” See, this is the part that makes me laugh.

ROFLMAO

The part that makes me cry (aside from laughing so hard), is the person in my head saying, “But what if it’s all true?” Extremely opinionated reviews are easy to ignore if they’re scattered, but when there is a pattern of reviews indicating a general consensus, you can’t help but wonder if the masses are right. The reviews for the statistics teacher are largely negative. The nicest review was that second one above. The reviews for the computer science teacher are largely – overwhelmingly – positive. There are only a couple of negative reviews and those reviews aren’t even that harsh.

There are keywords in the reviews of my third professor: “brilliant,” “pretentious,” “frighteningly brilliant”, “snob,” “genuinely interested.” I kid you not, almost every review for this professor has one of those words in them. Can 10 pages of reviews be wrong? Let the poster for a mediocre movie do the talking:

Ryan Reynolds is okay

Ok, this was a stupid picture insert.

People fear the unknown. That’s part of human nature. Maybe you’re one of those “gonads of steel” people who laugh in the face of danger. Even then, the unknown still reaches into your core and pokes your huevos ever so subtly, telling you “hey, you have no idea what you’re getting into. It could be nasty.”

So maybe the reviews are right: my stats professor is an unorganized burn-out; my computer science professor is a hilarious and quirky hotty; and my honors professor is a pretentious scum bag, who may or may not be after students’ interest.

Well, you know how I’m going to find out if these are true? I’m just going to go to class. Rule in life: Judge everything for yourself.

Have you used Rate My Professors? How do you feel after reading your professors’ reviews? For non-Freshman: How accurate were the reviews for your professors?

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