Teacher’s Pet

If you ask anyone in the “know” about Dartmouth’s strongest quality, those in the “know” will answer back with, “the people.”

The people at Dartmouth are what set this eleemosynary institution apart from the Harvards and Devrys of the world. But even as great as “the people” are as a whole, there is a set among them that stands above the rest. Usually, it’s because they’re up on podiums in front of lecture halls. Yes — our professors.

Take a trip with me as I wax poetic on why the professors at Dartmouth are quickly becoming my favorite people on this campus.

They can’t keep their hands off of each other.

It is a proven fact that Dartmouth professors are in love with other Dartmouth professors, and not in the sense that they admire each other and are constantly in awe of their fellow colleagues’ achievements. More like, “Hey, I’m an econ professor. I saw a hot art history professor at the Community Cookout after Convocation. I want to marry her and have two kids with her, and then we can ride tandem bikes around Occom Pond.” And then, within a year, it actually happens.

I love that about Dartmouth. It is pretty much the cutest thing ever to see two professors walking home with their little undersized backpacks.

The only thing to be careful about is dissing one teacher in front of another because, chances are, you are dissing his spouse.

They are smart.

So smart. Like, sickeningly smart. It’s incredible. Moving on.

They tuck their shirts into their light jeans and wear belts.

One might read that header and say anything from, “What the hell are you talking about?” to, “You just really wanted this list to get to seven and needed some filler.” Whatever. These are the naysayers that we all need to keep out of our lives. I know for a fact that a few of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The Shirt-Tucked-in-Belted-Denim. It is a look that I have tried in the privacy of my own home, and I looked terrible. It is a look that many students think they have down, but you all look terrible. But when a professor does it in class, it’s like I’m watching “America’s Next Top Model” (Cycle Six, not Five) while being taught about the Pleistocene. I love it. I love it.

They love the fact that the market is crashing.

So, on the first day of classes, when my first two teachers made jokes about the market dying, I didn’t really think anything of it. But when my third professor also made a joke about it in our first class, I finally started to catch on.

I haven’t asked any of my professors directly why they are so amused by the fact that their generational counterparts in the financial world are losing their jobs, but I would bet that Dartmouth professors are followers of the old saying, “The chickens come home to roost.”

Many of our beloved professors are smart enough to have gone that route and made a lot more money doing so, but they love us (and tenure) so much that money doesn’t matter. Plus, you can’t wear a shirt tucked into jeans on Wall Street.

They don’t take life that seriously.

They often dress down (see bullet five and the end of six), and sometimes they unleash one of the “letter-bomb” curse words in class. Often, they throw around slang to help explain very complex concepts. Part of me thinks at one point in their lives, Dartmouth professors were once our age. I obviously have no proof of this. It’s purely conjecture. That said, every now and then I catch a glimpse of the 21-year-old, irresponsible, carefree college student in these professors of ours, and I smile.

They are as ADD as you and me.

Basically, if a professor of mine doesn’t go off on four tangents every class, I get sidetracked because I will spend so much time wondering when the tangents are going to come. I sit in class, pondering what trigger word will remind my professor of his son’s Bar Mitzvah two years ago. Will discussions of a professor’s office hours somehow lead into a tangent about the show “The Office” or the movie “The Hours?”

Tangents keep kids like me in school. Tangents are my anti-drug.

They just want us to like them.

You know when they crack those really horrendous jokes and the room is so quiet, you can hear the loud breather in the front? You know when something good happens in class and they raise the roof, which unfortunately then turns everything bad? You know when they show up at Tri-Kap dance parties and request Flo-Rida? They do these things simply because they want us to like them.

Sure, their job is to educate the masses, but at the end of the day, they just want us to like them. So, I charge all of you, student body, to be nice to your teachers. Laugh when no one’s laughing in class. Walk with them between classes. Ask a question after class just so they think you’re interested. Just keep them happy, because they deserve it.

Rembert is a staff writer for The Mirror and a grade-A, brown-nosing suck-up. As such, he has license to use words like ‘eleemosynary’ (c.f.: ‘thetan’ from “In Praise of Tudin,” Oct. 3) in his articles and then send his editors line after line of Daniel Webster when they say it doesn’t make sense: “This, Sir, is my case! It is the case not merely of that humble institution, it is the case of every college in our Land! It is more! It is the case of every ELEEMYSONARY institution throughout our country — of all those great charities founded by the piety of our ancestors to alleviate human misery, and scatter blessings along the pathway of life! It is more! It is, in some sense, the case of every man among us who has property of which he may be stripped, for the question is simply this, ‘Shall our State Legislatures be allowed to take that which is not their own, to turn it from its original use, and apply it to such ends and purposes as they in their discretion shall see fit!'”

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