Drexel Faculty: Like No Other

During my time here at Drexel, I've tried to figure out what it is that makes our school so unique. At first, I thought it was our consistent number one ranking of having the "Ugliest Campus on Earth," as determined by Princeton Review surveys. But then I saw schools that really have ugly campuses. Trust me; you should be glad you don't go to the University of Phoenix. Unless your ideal campus is the 8th floor of a Chestnut Street skyscraper.

Then I wondered if the essence of Drexel could be rooted in the collective apathy and contempt for the administration that the student body seems so oddly proud to hold. But it turns out that this phenomenon is a common phase observed at academic institutions around the country. It's called ages 13-25.

It was in class the other day that I realized what it is that makes Drexel so... so very Drexel. It's not the school itself or its students. I believe that the Drexel spirit is best embodied by its unique faculty/student relationships.

For better or worse, we have all walked out of the first day of class with one thought on our brains: "Only at Drexel." Don't get me wrong; we have an extremely talented and well-experienced staff of educators at this school (read: desperate attempt at brownie points). It just seems that the peculiarities of said staff stick out in my mind whenever I'm talking to someone who's never heard of Drexel before (a.k.a. Anyone west of Harrisburg). Perhaps a few examples would support my argument. See? I learned that here.

I had this professor a few terms ago who was from- I want to say somewhere in Eastern Europe? Okay, I'm geographically stupid. That's not the point. The guy spoke with such a deep voice and a strong Slavic accent that whenever he spoke, I swore he was more qualified to be a super villain from a spy movie. The potential Soviet bloc/Communist ties didn't hurt either. Regardless, I would daydream during class, certain that he was secretly plotting to hold the world hostage with some overly elaborate, scientifically flawed "Super Death Ray." I thought that at any moment he would reveal his diabolical scheme.

"And so you can see, x does in fact equal 42... and now you are going to die, Mr. Bond!"

This would obviously be followed by a maniacal cackle and all exits being immediately sealed at the press of a giant red button on his desk. But sadly, he never did reveal such a plan. Though sometimes after class he would pause in the doorway, look in my direction and wink as he slid a finger slowly across his throat. Sweet guy.

Last term I had a kooky Economics professor. He was definitely French. Nothing against the French, but something about the way he spoke always made me feel dirty:

"The supply curve is established by plotting the data like so. But then- ah yes- then you have the demand curve. Demand- it is such a strong thing- it cannot be stopped. Demand is passion. It needs and it wants. It longs for the touch of a distant lover. It cries out into the pale moonlight, 'Give me that which I desire most and give it to me now!' And if there are no further questions, I'll see you at the midterm."

And he was always taking cigarette breaks in the middle of class. Weird.

It's not always the professors' quirks that distract me from the educational process. I know it's shocking, but students are due a greater portion of blame. We're like beasts in the wild, seeking to exploit any weakness to our advantage. Personally, I'm always amazed to watch a lazy, apathetic student transform into a fearless negotiator when it comes to avoiding class work.

"Alright, class. Homework two is due today."

"Yeah, about that, I didn't exactly get around to it. How about next week?"

"Okay, take your time. The important thing is to do it right and make sure you understand the concepts."

"Right. I'm gonna be a little busy next week. Why don't we make it extra credit."


"Thanks, you're a real pal. I'm going to grab a sandwich. Make sure those lecture slides are up on the web before the exam."

One trick I have no problem with is the glorious Ten Minute Rule. It worked in high school and it still applies in college. Whether you're a student or professor, if you're ten minutes late for class, you're bound to start thinking, "Ah, screw it. Why don't I just go to the strip club?"

So if the professor isn't there after ten minutes, you might as well leave. Then again, professors are never late. So even if they're five minutes behind schedule, you can consider class canceled. Okay, so if your professor isn't there when you get to class, you hereby have my permission to go back to bed, watch reruns of Dawson's Creek or do whatever it is you do when you're skipping class.

However, I do think there is one area that professors and students need to work together. We must unite to break the will of the one know-it-all student, the sits-in-front-of-the-room jerk who seems to be a requirement for every class. This is the ass who feels the need to contradict the professor at all times:

"Um, professor? When I was on co-op, that's not the way we did it."

I'm sure dressing up as Winnie the Pooh at Disney was a great way to spend your summer, but do your best to keep a lid on it. This is the same bastard who always ruins the chance of getting out of class early. The professors will give the usual, "Next class we'll go over..." spiel over the sound of shuffling papers, zippering backpacks and de-silenced cell phones.

"... so, if there aren't any questions, we can quit a little early." And that's where this bastard takes it upon himself to play a lightning round of Stump the Professor.

I speak directly to the faculty now: you know who these students are. Please do whatever it takes to make sure that they do not succeed in life. Punish them for their egotism. Fail them for their selfishness attitudes. Frame them for terrorist activity; I don't care. We'll all help, I promise.

See? Drexel is a special place; a place where students can count on their instructors to cooperate in the destruction of overly ambitious students.

If you still don't have an appreciation for the brilliant educators at our university, just consider the respect they've commanded from me. I of all people made it through this whole discussion of Drexel's faculty without once mentioning the ridiculous language barrier. Don't they require these people to speak English? Ah, damn. Almost made it. I am so failing Calculus this term.

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