Aug 262008
Authors: Brian Lancaster

One of the greatest things about college is the diversity of the people that you’ll meet. In the student center, the classroom, the residence halls and even the stall next to you when you’re in the bathroom, you’ll always have a plethora of new people that you can meet.

However, I have noticed that the majority of teachers can be placed into one of several groups, no matter how diverse the campus population is.

Ladies and gentleman, I now present to you a short list of my favorite college professor classifications.

The Ego

This teacher has information for you, and it will make you better as a person, whether you want to hear about it or not.

While in the classroom, don’t worry too much about making comments or giving feedback; if your opinion doesn’t line up with your professor’s, you’re in the wrong, and are therefore a terrible person.

The Ego may or may not be rude about their method of responding to your comments, but even the nice Ego will have the slightest hint of subtle derision when they tell you why you’re wrong.

The Cool Professor

This teacher is your friend. Well, they want to be.

They will make every effort to prove to you that they’re just normal people, too. They will prefer to be called by their first name, instead of professor, and they might even ask to be your Facebook friend.

Be wary of this professor, because as cool as it sounds to be in a class with a teacher that tries to be nice all the time, it might have an effect on the grading scale.

You see, administrators review the grades that teachers hand in, and therefore, if a teacher hands in an entire class full of ‘A’ students, something is probably wrong (no offense).

Thus, the teacher will, at the last minute, assign some projects or essays, in order to make their grading seem harsher.

The Accent

The biggest complaint I hear from my friends at other schools is that they always seem to have that teacher that they can’t understand.

My freshman year, I had a teacher who sounded like he just got off the plane from the old country and wandered into the classroom.

I didn’t fare too well in that class, and I blame it on the fact that I could rarely understand the teacher.

The greatest part about this particular professor is that, in my experience, these professors are the teachers who have multiple degrees, doctorates, Nobel Prizes, etc. They are completely qualified to teach their subject, yet they have trouble teaching efficiently due to the language barrier.

Be wary of this teacher, there’s mounds of potential for frustration.

The Crazy

The Crazy is my personal favorite teacher, because classes always seem to be entertaining, or at least interesting.

This teacher wants to get you excited for their class and will try to be exciting so that you will pay attention.

The problem with this particular technique is that, while we are at college to learn, we aren’t necessarily always happy about it.

It’s natural for us, as students, to become bored with classes, teachers and work in general. This teacher, in a futile effort to get us excited, has annoyed us, which is slightly ironic, and mildly entertaining. However, if I had to choose, I would choose this teacher any day. Fake enthusiasm is better than absolute boredom.

Have fun in your first week of classes, and keep an eye out for these teacher types, as well as many more entertaining and interesting types of educator.

Brian Lancaster is a senior political science major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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