What a former college instructor really thinks…

The Swedish Chef Performs Neurosurgery

People sometimes need to be told what their talents aren’t.  I have seen students sucked into majors in which they had remarkably little talent… just because the professors needed more butts in the desks.  Of course, you can’t have half of your department’s majors flunking out of your classes, so you have to constantly tell them how good they are at the subject and give them grades to match so they’ll continue. First rule of college teaching: if you inflate your students’ self-esteem, you can inflate your department’s budget allocation.  And maybe you’ll even get a pay raise in the process.

And then sometimes you end up with professors who passed through the system in this manner, acquiring lots of self-esteem but very little knowledge.  The experience of taking one of their courses is a lot like watching the Swedish Chef perform neurosurgery.  You’ll see lots of colorful things flying through the air, but they’re all disconnected from any sort of larger body.  Brain cells get slaughtered, but onlookers get a good laugh.  After all, the Swedish Chef keeps his job by making his audience happy.   In the end, the entire experience is a bloodbath and a brain is left wishing that it had some real sustenance.

In spite of this, there are some benefits to having the Swedish Chef perform neurosurgery.  I’m sure that those brains, when tossed with the Chef’s favorite ingredients, would put any hospital’s food to shame.  Waste not, want not.

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