has anyone won over a mean prof?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by vixen, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. vixen

    vixen I like members
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't think I've ever encountered a prof so mean in my life...I'm not exaggerating, but I think the lady is malicious. She cuts people off and belittles them in class and she is very discouraging in her office hours. The problem is that its my postbacc year, I'm doing ok in my other two science classes, but my biochem prof is the devil I think. I am working my ass off in her class, and trying to get more help from her and she makes me feel so lousy and discourages me from even trying...(but I won't give up). Has anyone won over a prof they thought was mean? Any advice?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    2
    What do you mean "won over"--if you mean got a good grade despite everything and won their respect, I did. I had that totally ass**** guy for one of the upper level bios for a YEAR--he was the only one teaching those sections; all I did was busted my ass in both classes. After that, he started respecting me. I think if you show genuine interest in the subject and doing well, she will love you.
     
  4. half_full

    half_full Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2001
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to agree with lady in red. Many professors REALLY DON'T LIKE pre-medical students. And I think they feel this way for all the same reasons that most of the general population feels; with most pre-meds, the ends justify the means. I think that if you show an interest that merely isn't superficial in an attempt to "get by", then the professor is more likely to relate with you. Mind you, they were also undergrads that went to school and HATED pre-meds for jacking up the curve. I know, I was an avid "non-premed" for years.
     
  5. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,264
    Likes Received:
    3
    I try not to mention that I'm a pre-med, if at all possible. Especially since my major is Physics... The profs are used to pre-meds sitting in their first year classes, and asking questions like "Is this going to be on the MCAT??". ;)

    The faculty don't like premeds because they are only interested in learning what they have to know for the MCAT, and other students don't like premeds because they are jacking up the curve. Luckily there are enough premeds around that we can stick to ourselves... Which might be a part of the problem.

    So, anyway, I've had a bunch of profs who have just given me the meanest look when they found out I'm a premed. I think that if you make it clear to the profs that you are in their class for more than just a good grade, then things might get better. Try asking her about her research. Profs usually like talking about that... ;)
     
  6. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I'd like to echo what the previous posters have said. Try to keep your premed life on the DL. I had an extremely ruthless and vicious prof for an upper level bio course but finally won him over by being very interested in the subject. Be careful though, don't just pretend to be interested, actually *be* interested! At the same time, don't get so fascinated by it that you start asking 100 questions during lecture. Find a happy medium.

    If your prof is receptive to talking during office hours, then go ahead and take advantage of that. That's what saved me. I would go in with a genuine quesiton about the material and end up asking about something in his office and we would just start talking. Showing them that you're more than a brain is important too. In my case, treating the prof like I would treat an acquaintance worked (i.e. don't limit conversation to the subject matter only.)

    Hope that helps and good luck!
     
  7. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    PS: Humor & talking about any similar interests always works as well, but make sure you choose the right time and place for it.

    Once this I was asking this prof a question and the phone rang while he was on the computer, teaching me, and drawing a diagram all at once. Under my breath I said, "And they say men can't multitask!" Not particularly funny in my eyes, but he loved me to death for it. :confused: I felt kind of bad if he found that much humor in it, but oh well. He was nicer to me after I brought humor into conversations. Likewise with discussing similar interests. Find a similarity between the two of you and start talking. In my case, we talked about traveling and exchanged pointers on where to go and what to do. Things like that should work. Again, good luck and let us know how it turns out. :)
     
  8. vixen

    vixen I like members
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    Actually I'm a predental student, but they don't know that and I've never mentioned it to them.
    This lady is very old and you can tell she doesn't want to teach anymore. I've heard rumors that her husband cheated on her and she's been bitter since, but its only hearsay...anyway, she is just a very rude lady.

    The thing is, I am not the only one who feels this way. It's the kind of thing where you walk out of class, and people you've never spoken w/before,now you're having long conversations with them. It's almost anarchy in that class...she gets mad when people ask what chapters we will be covering for the rest of the semester...how is that a wrong question? We only have about 40 students in the class, and only 15 show up because they can't stand her.

    I also think she gets frustrated because she cannot hear well so when people ask questions, it takes us so long for all of us to relay the message to her. I guess she's a highly distinguished prof though, and she brings in a lot of money in research. I can see that she's a bright lady, but her attitude is not just mean, but really unfair. No one talks in class, only some questions are asked, people don't bombard her w/questions, and everyone treats her w/respect, yet she is so rude. I don't understand.

    I've come to realize that there are 3.5 weeks left, I'm not taking biochem II because of her, so I will kill her w/kindness and do my best, this is my only choice. I think because of my other chem prof who does more than enough (she has review sessions for us on saturday, she's done so much to help us), I am getting screwed w/my biochem prof.

    I guess it should balance out, but I CANNOT get a C in biochem. This is my make/or break year. Anyway...thanks for the advice...any more stories would be good to hear. :)
     
  9. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,264
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've had some bad professors like that. They've been around forever, and they've sorta lost all will to teach. It's too bad...

    Anyway, what I've usually done is tried to be as nice as possible, and studied my ass off to get the best grade I could. Do you do course evaluations? At our university, those things are looked at very seriously. I don't suppose that they could get rid of her, but at least the university could be aware of the problem.

    Sorry to hear about your problem!
     
  10. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    2
    bribe her with chocolate--you can't go wrong with that. All women love chocolate. so bring her a little box with a christmas card and thank her for the 'learning experience'; tell her how much you love biochem because she has been such a wonderful teacher. I never done this (never had a reason to :D and was lucky with most of my profs--they were ALL males :D )but, hey, whatever works...a C is serious enough to bring you down a lot, esp. if its your last year! :D
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!! this is not technically a bribe, since the monetary value of chocolate is so low.
     
  11. gosh those are the worst situations to be in!!!

    honestly, if u see things going downhill, immediately DROP the CLASS ASAP....cuz they are really really waiting for u to mess up and screw u over big time after the final!!!!!!! :eek:
     
  12. vixen

    vixen I like members
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    thanks watcha, I feel much better now :rolleyes:

    But seriously, I can't drop it and get a W now. I am doing one year of postbacc classes, the whole point was to get good grades...I spoke to her and she said I have a chance of getting a B because they reward improvement. I have A-'s in my other classes now, so the only thing I can do now is work my ass off. Our grading system in the class is 3 exams (INcluding the final), all non cumulative. I hope I have some goodwill working for me.

    lady in red, were you serious about the chocolate?
     
  13. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    2
    yes, i am serious--if nothing else works. just a small box of chocolates with a christmas card may soften her up enough to avoid a C, at least. i don't know what else you can do if you can't withdraw; i assume you are a very good student so hopefully she can see that, too. when you talk to her if those last days, do NOT mention your grade; just mention how you want to 'improve' and learn the stuff; thats what i did, anyways; i never mentioned the grade issue, just asked how i can master the material.
     
  14. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2000
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    2
    d00d, I hope that even with two posts, you're tongue in cheek.

    Bribing anyone, especially a "brilliant lady," comes off as just what it is: a bribe for a grade. She'll figure it out. So, she's not too friendly, but she controls your grades. It's likely too late to figure out what you can add to your interactions with her to make it both more palatable and put you in a favorable position with her. But gifts? No. Especially not from a current student in a class of hers.

    Work hard, do your best. chalk it up to experience. And keep your chin up.
     
  15. vixen

    vixen I like members
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    5,760
    Likes Received:
    1
    how about just a thank you card? this way she would also remember my name after finals are over. (I think she tends to forget names)
     
  16. nezlab99

    nezlab99 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lady In Red-
    Bribery is unethical. You are old enough to know that. It's students who operate like you who give premeds the bad reputation. I'm not trying to get personal, but everyone knows that is wrong.
     
  17. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,264
    Likes Received:
    3
    With all due respect to everyone involved, I don't think "lady in red" meant it to be a bribe or anything like that. And although I don't really know her too well, from what I've seen she is far from the kind of person who 'gives premeds a bad reputation'. She's always been really helpful towards me, and generally a great asset to the SDN boards!

    I think that a prof might be a bit suspicious if all of a sudden, right before exams, you gave her a box of chocolates. But if, say, you had been in her office a lot all year asking questions, or that there had been some kind of relationship established before that, I would see nothing the matter with it. I'm a TA, and I've had students give me little things at Christmas time, and I haven't thought the worse of them for it. Granted, I don't mark their finals, but still, a little box of chocolates is a lot different than a $100 bill. It just illustrates that you do understand the sacrifices they have made for you.

    Just my two cents, anyway...
     
  18. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    2
    well, thanks, brandonite! i never bribed anyone, but i LOVE CHOCOLATE, and if i was a professor, i would take my bribes in chocolate!! i guess i make a lousy professor :D :D ; now, for real, if you are a hard worker it always pays off; contrary to what nezlab believes, i was never one of those pre-med types, hell, i was not even a pre-med for majority of my college career. sorry you took it the wrong way; i guess a card would suffice...good luck simseema. ;)
     
  19. nezlab99

    nezlab99 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lady In Red
    I'm sorry. That came off a like a personal attack, and I didn't mean for it to. I do think it is bribery, but I didn't mean to judge you personally.
     

Share This Page