I know that every semester there's one teacher that I complain about constantly because they drive me mad. Hearing yet another "OMG I HATE MY TEACHER" story probably makes you roll your eyes at this point, right? But OMG I REALLY REALLY HATE MY CLASSICAL ART TEACHER.
1. She's very condescending.
On the very first day of class, she stood at the front of the classroom and asked something to the effect of, "Who here has studied Greek and Roman history for five years or more?" When no one responded she replied, "That's right JUST ME." She's only gotten worse. There are two textbooks she assigned for our class, and when we discuss the readings she always prefaces the conversation with, "You won't understand what you read, BUT TRY" or "I know this is DEEP and DIFFICULT language, so I don't expect you to get it." Well, if you don't expect us to understand it, why did you assign this textbook? Alternatively, why do you think we're so dumb we can't comprehend a textbook that, near as I can tell, is fairly straightforward?
2. She wastes time in class.
The first half of the class is spent in lecture. That's fine, that's what I pay the big university bucks for, right? She doesn't expect us to memorize slides, which is nice, but it also means that she doesn't really go into depth about individual pieces. No, let me correct that: she wants us to look at the pieces and describe how the sculptor makes them extra-sensual, but I don't feel like she has a very scholarly approach. I mean, it's an upper division class; you don't have to treat it like a general art history survey. The second half of the class she either
- Has us read sections of the textbooks out-loud, usually the chapters we were to read before class. If we know she's going to make us read it in class ANYWAY, why read it ahead of time?
- Picks a slide and tells us to write responses to questions, which would be fine if they weren't always slanted towards the celebration of male beauty, homoeroticism, and the sensuality of a given piece.
3. She is obsessed with Greek sexuality.
I get that sex and sexuality were apparently a HUGE part of Greek art, but I don't think it was ALL of it so why do we always need to zoom in on it?? From her ridiculous leading questions on the first day of class to today's "Do you think Laocoön is sexy?" As one of my classmates said, I feel like if I just shouted PENIS and VAGINA at some point in the class, she'd be happy.
4. Her voice is really annoying.
I guess this isn't really her fault; we're born with the voice we have and we can't really change it. But her voice has a high-pitched, nails-on-chalkboard quality that grates on my ears. She also uses really weird pronunciations of words at times, like saying "buh-rack" for "baroque". According to dictionary.com that's a legit alternative way to say the word, but I've never heard it before so I wouldn't think it was a standard. (On the other hand, I have another teacher who says "duck-al" for 'ducal' and I have never heard that pronunciation before, either. And one of the grad students gave a talk last year in which she pronounced the 'pap' in 'papacy' as you would in 'pap smear.' Maybe art history scholars just aren't that particular about how you say words as long as they know what you meant.)
5. She doesn't proofread the papers she hands out to us.
Every week, she gives a slide list to us. Almost every week, I've found at least one typo - usually more - on the page. As previously mentioned, when she gave us the assignment specs for our first essay, it was replete with typos including very obvious ones she should have picked up. This leads me to conclude that she's either very disorganized and writing these at the last minute, or she isn't a very careful reader. Either way, that makes me nervous because she's going to grade papers of mine. How can I trust her to read them carefully?
Also, this is a university. Shouldn't you use spell check just because part of your job is being a professional?
She makes me want to rip my hair out or pull a Columbine.