In which I have OPINIONS about things, but mostly am snarky:
I have thoughts on this article in the Huffington Post. Please go read, if you haven’t already. The beauty of the internet is I’ll still be here when you’re done.
I have these thoughts as someone who lived with a professor who mostly didn’t care about titles on a day to day basis. (He cared about achievements, but that’s not quite the same thing.) He also cared a great deal about his students learning and understanding what he taught. Actually, as an aside, unless one is tenured (sometimes even then), you do hear from your dean if you have a rather high fail rate. (Dad used to review those sort of numbers when he was in the dean’s office.)
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume this fellow is tenured.
I agree with his comments on citations – at least for Western culture. (Other cultures handle appropriation/attribution of thoughts very differently.) It doesn’t help that there are posts on Tumblr and various sites claiming to show the appropriate methods of citing internet sources that are actually only barely correct, or only apply to a certain style. (You do know that there are various bibliographical styles and some apply to some academic regimes and not others, yes?)
Otherwise, this sounds a bit like an excuse for being set in his ways and he sounds like the sort of professor I would have endured, possibly passed the course in, but ultimately learned nothing other than what asses people may be. And I specify possibly passed for a reason. I had a professor of his ilk for my statistics and probability course (the real Math class, not the Business Stats and Probability, because this was for a computer science minor) that I ultimately could not pass. He could only teach one way, and he honestly didn’t care if we didn’t learn his way.
And, to be a semantic pain in the butt myself (because I have a sense of humor, and I know I can be a snarky one), I offer the following definitions:
(All definitions below are from the New Oxford American Dictionary.)
1 (also full professor)a teacher of the highest rank in a college or university.
• an associate professor or an assistant professor.
• informal any instructor, esp. in a specialized field.
2 a person who affirms a faith in or allegiance to something: the professors of true religion.
Breaking these down to verbs we learn the following:
profess |prəˈfes, prō-|
verb [ with obj. ]
1 claim openly but often falsely that one has (a quality or feeling): he had professed his love for her | [ with infinitive ] : I don’t profess to be an expert | [ with complement ] (profess oneself) : he professed himself amazed at the boy’s ability.
2 affirm one’s faith in or allegiance to (a religion or set of beliefs): a people professing Christianity.
• (be professed) be received into a religious order under vows: she entered St. Margaret’s Convent, and was professed in 1943.
3 dated or humorous teach (a subject) as a professor: a professor—what does he profess?
4 archaic have or claim knowledge or skill in (a subject or accomplishment).
verb (past and past participle taught |tôt| ) [ with obj. and infinitive or clause ]
show or explain to (someone) how to do something: she taught him to read | he taught me how to ride a bike.
• [ with obj. ] give information about or instruction in (a subject or skill): he came one day each week to teach painting | [ with two objs. ] : she teaches me French.
• [ no obj. ] give such instruction professionally: she teaches at the local high school.
• [ with obj. ] encourage someone to accept (something) as a fact or principle: the philosophy teaches self-control.
• cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience: she’d been taught that it paid to be passive | my upbringing taught me never to be disrespectful to elders.
• informal make (someone) less inclined to do something: “I’ll teach you to mess with young girls!”
1 [ reporting verb ] direct or command someone to do something, esp. as an official order: [ with obj. and infinitive ] : she instructed him to wait | [ with direct speech ] : “Look at me,” he instructed | [ with clause ] : I instructed that she be given hot, sweet tea.
2 [ with obj. ] teach (someone) a subject or skill: he instructed them in the use of firearms | [ with obj. and clause ] : instructing electors how to record their votes.
3 [ with obj. ] Law give a person direction, information, or authorization, in particular:
• (of a judge) give information, esp. clarification of legal principles, to (a jury).
• inform (someone) of a fact or situation: [ with clause ] : the bank was instructed that the money from the savings account was now held by the company.
So this professor professes to instruct, but not to teach; well he certainly taught me something about jaded and lofty professors who are forced to teach below their pay grade.
(end of sarcastic rant: *yaaaaawns*)
Originally posted in similar form on my personal Facebook page, May 21, 2015. It has been in my draft folder while I decided whether to edit and post, post as is, or delete. I edited slightly, but they were additionas rather than subtractions.