There are two ways the old professor can go. If you're lucky, you'll get the older professor whose rickety, liver-spotted hands have been grading papers since before perforated edges were invented and who is just waiting another year or two to retire. His assignments are brief and he's convinced that the class is 25 minutes shorter than it really is. You would love him if he weren't so repulsive. Sadly, the odds are greater that you'll be stuck with the other type of old professor, the one who intends to keep teaching in spite of his age. The only time-wasting tangents he'll ever get into is how everything has gone to sh*t in this modern age, and how students don't care at all. He will give you a 30 minute lecture on how dangerous Spell Check is and how type writers are much more efficient. But no matter what type of old professor you end up with, there's always the super high chance he'll die mid semester and then you get an automatic A, right? Right?
Sometimes God loves you in a very special way, and as a reward for reading nine hundred pages of Shakespeare, he'll send you the hottest professor you've ever seen. All your life you thought tweed was for dying englishmen, but then she walks in looking like she just came from a foxhunt sposored by Victoria's Secret. Every article of clothing on her body seems custom made to hug all her curves and keep you from learning a single thing. How are you supposed to focus on the subtle ironies within the supporting cast of Candide when you're busy trying to pop a button off of a blouse with your mind? That's assuming you'd actually have a chance, which you don't. She is already dating an equally good-looking man who's written two books and has a collection of tribal masks in his billiard room; the closest you'll ever get is going home and finding a website where the porn stars wear glasses.
You'll know it's him when you walk into class and say "Good morning, Professor Richmond," and he shoots back, "Call me Larry." When discussing pop culture he begins every sentence with "If Hendrix were alive," and he swears he won't state his political opinions, but he will say that he was disappointed when you merely voted for Barack Obama and didn't set your parents' house on fire as a tribute. He pronounces "Darfur" with an "African" accent and is repulsed by the current lack of student activism. You're repulsed by the fact that he is bald on top, but still insists on harnessing his last few strands of hair into a ponytail. As far as he is concerned, there is no such thing as an arrow or a gun or a cylinder, they are all penises, and the Grand Canyon is just a massive vagina. Whether or not this symbolism was the author's original intent is irrelevent; Larry won't let the opressive views of "fact" take his class captive. If Hendrix were alive, he probably wouldn't like Larry.
Since the first day of class, when your professor handed out a pop quiz, shouted JUST KIDDING and started rapping to Kanye West's "Good Morning," you began mastering the fake laugh, the major tool that would get you through his lectures. Each class session brings you another lesson in faking laughter, as your professor clearly thinks a classroom full of students counts as an audience. As if the jokes weren't bad enough (were Tim Allen impressions ever funny?)your professor always finds a way to tie his pathetic life story into the class material. Option D is always a reference to sleeping on his mom's couch or his ex-wife's new boyfriend, Frank. But don't worry, he always finds a way to make his hardships funny. Or maybe you've just gotten really good at the fake laugh. Almost as good as his Aaahwrooooooh.
The New Professor
Your advisor said The New Professor had excellent credentials, which is true. But he got those credentials by treating college as nine years in a monastic cloister, and won't have much sympathy for your "social life" and "meals" and "minimum of six hours of sleep a night in order to function normally the next day." He wants his undergrads "to really commit to the material," and wants to earn the respect of the older faculty, so his first semester of teaching will be your worst semester of learning. The New Professor has a notion that every undergraduate will be exactly like he was: a future The New Professor. He's shocked that even though he set up office hours, no one comes by and uses them. And no one does the optional extra reading but dammit The New Professor is going to refer to it in lectures anyway. Also, shut that laptop right now. The New Professor was in college too and knows you're on Facebook, or AIM, or one of those awful humor websites.
The Self-Obsessed Scholar
It's not that she's an egotistical bitch, it's just that she wants you to know that she is most definitely the best source of knowledge in her particular field and many adjacent fields. Just ask the many books she's written, all of which she has assigned to you even though she's just going to repeat their contents in class, right down to that hilarious anecdote about going to a dinner party at Gore Vidal's house. You can find your school's primary crop of douchey overachieving kiss-asses in the seats of her classroom, entranced by the majesty of the Self-Obsessed Scholar's reputation. The worthless name dropping and the drooling adoration of the front row aren't even the worst part though. No, the worst part is that so many people are in the class that the wireless connection never works. Now how are you supposed to figure out who Gore Vidal is?
Written by the CH Interns, Illustrated by Owen Parson