Inherently, going to a liberal arts college means you’re going to have at least one pretentious professor. They might be a science professor who thinks they’re so much smarter than everyone else, or they might be an arts professor that things they’re so much more cultured than anyone else. Bottom line is, they’re pretentious, and I submit that this pretension ruins learning. But because we’re all going to deal with it at one point, I thought I’d write a little how to post regarding them.
METHOD #1: For the love of God don’t raise your hand
One of the best ways to deal with a pretentious professor is to just keep your head down and ride out the semester. This is the path of least confrontation, which is arguably the most beneficial to your mental health. Don’t talk in class, turn in everything on time exactly as the professor requires it, and laugh at the prof’s jokes. Make sure you have someone to rant to, though, because otherwise you might spend all of that time in silence, plotting the professor’s murder, and that’s not beneficial for anyone in the long run.
METHOD #2: At the very least, make it impossible for the prof to grade you down
So say you have a professor that is so pretentious they’ll judge you for the type of toilet paper you use, and you don’t have the willpower to keep your mouth shut and your head down. All I can tell you is to do every assignment exactly how it needs to be. If the professor demands a particular font, spacing, or heading, DO IT. No matter how contrary you act, and no matter how sharp the slap of your opinions comes across on your papers, they have no choice but to grit their teeth and give you an A. They’re still educators, after all. Rarely will they be able to justify grading you down for disagreeing with them. This is the path of constant confrontation, and it will likely frustrate you even more than the first method, but it will make you happier in the long term because at least you stuck up for yourself.
Not gonna lie, I generally employ method #2. In fact, sometimes I go out of my way to disagree with a professor, and specifically do an assignment contrarily (but correctly) just to get under their skin. Granted, this has led to a lot of conversations with professors about their worry that I’m not going to grow up to be as wonderful and cultured as they are, but I don’t care. I am an arguer at heart, and if someone is being a jackass, I’m not going to just bow my head and wait out the storm. No, I’m going to go out into the storm with a bucket and try to stop it. Who cares if I actually change their pretension? They’re probably lost causes anyways. I just want them to know that someone educated doesn’t think they’re infallible and perfect. I just want them to have an example of an intelligent person who won’t put up with their crap.