In continuation of my previous post on teaching evaluations, I feel like it would be fun to post some of my most favourite/hilarious comments I have received from students over the last few years. It is true that my hands literally shake as I open up the envelopes that contain the evaluations I have received from students in each class I have taught. FYI students, all of your comments are carefully typed up and collected together for us to read. And we do read every comment. The comments for each of us are also sent to our department head to read through. What I don’t know is if any of these are sterilized (like removing curse words) before being sent to us….not that I hope to precipitate that type of commentary. I have definitely been on the receiving end of scathing comments, the type that make anyone with a soul cry. I thankfully get more comments that are constructive and make me tear up in a good way to hear that students feel well educated after leaving my class. But I also get some cutesy fun comments that make me smile.
Here are some highlights of the fun and memorable comments of recent years.
1. Clothing/Fashion Comments – At first I was surprised that this came up at all, but I guess if I was staring at someone for 45 minutes a day that I would note their clothing selections…it is also the reason I have a clothing matrix to ensure that I don’t repeat combos of wardrobe ever!
– “Do you like green? You wear a lot of green. But it looks nice on you, so I guess that is okay” (now the reason I always ask myself when I go shopping…is this too much green? maybe I should buy this in blue)
– “I like that you don’t wear the same thing every class” (I’m glad too, that would be strange! Although I did have a few professors in undergrad that literally wore the exact same thing for every lecture….hoping it was maybe they owned 10 of the same purple button down shirts…)
– “Your clothes are super cute! It makes it easier to pay attention to you in class” (I’m glad my style is defined as cute instead of other choice adjectives…I think…but the fact that it helps with attention is interesting)
2. You are short BUT… This is a category that is frequent in my teaching comments…I guess my defining feature is my lack of height (I’m 5 foot 3 and a half, which does qualify me for the title) but the strange part of these comments is that my height is linked to some other unrelated characteristic.
– “You are short BUT nice” (are short people usually mean?)
– “You are short BUT really smart” (I guess short people are also unintelligent…and possibility my intelligence is suspect to begin with?)
– “You are short BUT cute” (Again with the cute thing, ….are short people hideous?)
3. Pregnancy related comments– I’ve taught while very pregnant with both of my boys. Besides the breathlessness, nausea, and clothes that are hard to clip mic packs to, I didn’t find it too hard to teach right up until my due date (although everyone seemed to stare at me in worry like I was about to burst at any moment)
– “Please keep having babies, I love baby bumps” (Pregnancy seems to be more en vogue..likely with the help of the current hollywood baby boom….almost like it has become the accessory of the moment. Sorry kids, babies are a lot of work and I am glad to have my family complete and don’t plan on any more pregnancies)
– “Please have my babies” (?? Sorry. Not going to happen. This is really an inappropriate comment but I am going to assume it was meant to be an innocent form of flattery…)
– “I like learning physiology from a pregnant professor, it helps me understand the content better. There should always be someone teaching us that is pregnant” (Maybe the section on reproduction?? I’ll have to ask my colleagues if they want to take one for the team to be pregnant for the next academic year)
4. Miscellaneous – No real category here, just plain fun comments
– “Dr. Woods is da Bomb dot com” (awe thanks!)
– “I need a bath (Anita bath)” (thanks for the clarification, I have heard it all with my easy to tease first name although if this student really did think I needed a bath I must look unkept or smell from 20 feet away…)
– “You help me absorb physiology like the proximal tubule (re)absorbs glucose” (okay, major kudos for this one, glad my lectures on renal physiology stuck)
– “Please tone down the awesomeness so that the other profs look better” (I’ll try…haha, very sweet but I promise not to say anything to my colleagues)