Some Kind of Professor


James Hanley

James Hanley is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Rose Woodhouse says:

    Love it. Related: my favorite student evaluation ever was “She went and had a baby during the semester and her substitute sucked.” My husband just got one last semester that said it he was mean to people with disabilities.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Maybe passable means plausible?Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I’m still pondering whether “passable professor” means my teaching is marginally acceptable or that students can pass my classes.

    But having tenure renders this a purely academic inquiry!Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Well, it may be relevant that I was denied promotion to full professor last year on the basis of supposedly not being a good enough teacher.Report

      • Avatar Patrick says:

        Hm, I don’t know anything about your pedagogical style, in person or all, but having had plenty of conversations with you on the blog here I’d be hard pressed to imagine that you’re anything but more than a “good enough” teacher, James.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:


        My best students mostly say good things about me, but there might be multiple ways to interpret that evidence.Report

  4. I’m still pondering whether “passable professor” means my teaching is marginally acceptable or that students can pass my classes.

    Maybe they think the cost of taking one more class from you is worth the tuition they have to pay.Report

  5. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    Do they no longer teach how to write legibly these days?Report

  6. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    You’re a good, passable, above average blogger too.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:


    Have you ever been called a potable professor?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Since he’s not not a potted plan, I suppose he has to be potableReport

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Well, I’m often potted.

        More seriously, a student once saw me having a very small drink of bourbon in my office with a colleague, and later wrote on the evaluation that she went to my office once and I “was boozing it up!”

        I do find the very religious students a challenge at times.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Thats like the time, Saul and I were on vacation as kids with our parents in Lancaster County. Our first night, we had dinner at this buffet place. My dad asked what beer they had. The waitress’ eyes grew wild and sharply told them they were a family restaurant and did not serve beer.Report

  8. Avatar scott the mediocre says:

    I wonder what that person thinks you are passing as? White? Straight? Nonlibertarian? 🙂Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      As a professor. Professor Smith in English Literature comes off more like a loan officer at a bank than an expert on Romantic Poetry.Report

  9. Avatar JG New says:

    My favorite teaching evaluation, of all those that I received, said: “I think Dr. New is an excellent professor. I never fell asleep once in his class.”

    At least I entertained them.Report