Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

This week's words of wisdom are fairly serious. Don't allow other's perceptions of your vocabulary influence how you speak.

As a college sophomore in a program that was around 85% male dominated, I took an intro to computer programming course. Being one of five females in the class, I was clearly in the minority. I have always been one to keep up with the pace of lectures. When the professor or presenter asks questions to the class, I will go against my quiet nature and offer an answer to keep the flow of the course going; I don't like those long awkward pauses waiting for responses. During one early morning class, the programming prof had a Visual Basic code snippet on the overhead and asked for a critique of the code. Seeing that there was duplicated code and after waiting until the requisite long awkward pause happened, I raised my hand and stated "The second line of the code is superfluous. It has the same effect as the first." Apparently, using a four-syllable word was just too much, and the professor went on a sarcastic diatribe on my vocabulary stating that he would work "superfluous" into all his lectures. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for the next four months, he worked "superfluous" into every lecture, the ass. I was mortified, especially when I learned that he carried on the tradition into the following semester, too.

My intentions weren't to sound smart or try to impress the class; I was only attempting to get my point across. Looking back, this occurrence is one of those times of my life I could revisit and have a "do over" as it caused me to be quite unwilling to speak up in that class ever again.

5 comments:

Zoe said...

That's just ridiculous. It's was a college course at a major university, you'd think they''d expect you to use words like that.

Phollower said...

Yeah. I'm pretty sure calling him an ass was superfluous too. Clearly what he did made him one and saying so had the same effect.

Deathboy said...

Holy shit! I don't even know where to begin. I love the irony that a professor teaching visual basic would feel it appropriate to belittle someone for being smart, or educated, or overly bookish, or whatever.

On the other hand, I'm horrified at the lack of pedagogical sense. I hope he has since learned that it is counter-productive to make fun of students (in public). Most of your classmates probably just thought the guy had learned a new word, and was trying to get some practice using it.

And we wonder why the legislature keeps trying to cut our budget...

lkmanitou said...

Being the curious type that I am, I searched and said prof is still in my old department. The kicker is he's received "best prof" type awards from students a few times >.<

The Dwarf said...

Well said Phollower. It was the correct term. Too bad he was so stupid. I'd love it if my students used academic words - or answered questions for that matter.