If ever you've looked yourself up on Rate My Professors, you'll appreciate Rate Your Students.

(via Crooked Timber)

On a related note, check out this praise for the ideal teacher: Severus Snape. I'm going to have to work on my style.


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My favorite comment on your page (Paul Myers, right?) was the kid that rates you a little below average, with the brilliant observation:

Way too smart

I was mysified with the comment about "this course is not even biology" or somesuch. Any idea what that is about?

Hank "not ratable" Alme

By Hank Alme (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

OTOH, You rank MUCH higher than Mr. Dembski... BTW Nice review Bill!

Noooooooo! You aren't supposed to look me up over there! I can't bear looking myself up on that site.

I suspect the "this course is not even biology" comment is about our introductory course in biological principles. We get a lot of students who show up thinking biology means memorizing the names of scraps of cat guts, and we force 'em to sit through lectures on the scientific method and how to design an experiment and how to properly read and cite papers. Many students resent it.

One of my favorites from that site comes from a big introductory biology class that I teach:

"Talks too much"

Heh, my favorite complaints are always "he makes us think" and "he never just tells us the answer" (or some variants). A class is only a success if I get a couple of those in the evals.

Rate Your Students is amusing, but there *are* some ratings in there that are a little disturbing. I suppose a little harmless venting is okay, but still. The second rating in the following made chills (bad kind) run up and down my spine:…

PZ: Ken Miller kicks your ass in those ratings. It must be the religion. :-)

I couldn't remember where Dembski has washed up (and apt term for him academically) so I googled him and found his bio on his own site saying " ... William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville ... " Amusing how deeply ingrained the lying is that he can't give the correct name of his school, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I do suspect, though, the bona fides of the rater purporting to have taken a class from him, as the language isn't what I'd expect from someone who could stomach the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Not that I think that he wouldn't merit the ones, based on what I've read of his writing. Someone that full of himself doesn't usually make much of a teacher.

I'd love to have seen Dembski testify at Dover. The cross might have killed him.

By The Dreadful P… (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

PZ, looks like you're a piker. I checked out my phys and hist geology prof. He got a 1.4 in easiness and some really nasty comments. Only prof I ever had that actually made me think.

By Marine Geologist (not verified) on 13 Jan 2006 #permalink

Funny how a prof's rating is inversely proportional to the grammar quality of the student's commentary. I also think that students who continually leave their cell phone on during class should receive an atomic wedgie. And those who actually answer them should be forced to attend class nekkid for the remainder of the semester.

My two favorite profs last semester were the hardest profs I had. By the time the dropping deadline came around, these classes consisted of only older students (22-55+ yrs of age) and very mature 20-21 year olds. The students that dropped were the ones that consistently partied too hard to study or wanted the information spoon fed so they could regurgitate it verbatim. While it's sad to see many students refuse to think, it was also nice to get to know others who had passion enough for the material that they were willing to engage with it. Of course, I'm 28, and going for a 2nd B.S. in physiology... so I'm a little older ;)

If I had appeared on a "Rate my students" site a few years ago I can't imagine it being too positive. I was a little bastard for a while unfortunately before I eventually started to put in the hard work. Things all worked out in the end however, and now I'm the mad microbiologist I am today.

I suppose I should be glad there's no "Rate my sysadmin" site (that I know of, at least).

As for Snape, I liked him as basically a good guy who also happened to be a hard-ass, so I'm not terribly happy with his character development.

A question about the new blogging laws. Now that anonymous character aspersions (or whatever it is) is going to be illegal in the blogosphere, is it possible to get "rate my professor" shut down due to this policy? Not saying it should be done, but it seems like that could be an application of that regulation.