Moebius Stripper, who teaches discrete math and pre-calculus at a university in British Columbia, gets a good evaluation from her faculty supervisor, but a student says she’s ABSOLUTELY HORRABLE.

Doesnt teach. Gives us test questions that she NEVER TOLD US HOW TO DO. Does not tell us what will be on the tests, expects us to study everything.

In my opinion she is acedemicly unqualafied.

Read the comments.

About Joanne


  1. I am a big fan of Moebius’ site, (tall dark & mysterious) It’s always an informative (and entertaining) read about the World of College Math.

    As for this anonymous (and negative) evalution, let’s feel a little sympathy for the hapless (heh.) student that was expected to study the material.

    His or her self-esteem must be irreparably damaged.

  2. Hey, the student could’ve said “whorable.” But that might have been funnier… I’ve read literally 50,000+ student evaluations in all subjects/disciplines, having edited for a few years a publication of student evals at a major university. The 98% of evaluations that are of no value at all? No reason to focus on them save for humor and analysis of students’ attitudes toward education. The 2% remaining can be quite fruitful and complement departmental/peer evaluations rather well. Good job, MStripper, and kudos to Joanne as well. 7.25am and I’m already smiling.

  3. Steve LaBonne says:

    Well guess what, Matthew- at many liberal arts colleges like the one I used to teach at, these stupid things are taken so seriously that even ONE review like that can create real problems for anyone who doesn’t have tenure yet. And people wonder why grade inflation is so hard to tame…

  4. Steve nails it – even at my school, where I have lots of support from my collegues, the renewal of my contract for this semester depended entirely on my course evaluations. (Though, fortunately, my supervisor recognized that no one is going to get stellar evaluations from students doing math 1-8 years below grade level, which describes the bulk of my precalculus students.) Fortunately, most of my students actually do like me, so my evals were not a problem. (Of course, those students aren’t the ones who vengefully frequent that dreadful professor rating site the day after they write the tests that they failed.) However, I don’t think I was quite as popular as a certain coworker of mine, another adjunct, who DIDN’T expect his students to study everything: rather, the day before the test, he just gave them “pretests”, which were word-for-word identical to the actual tests, with only a few numbers changed.

    However, I submit that the proof is in the pudding: this term, I’m teaching many of the students who, despite having found Nice Teacher’s pretests to be “really helpful”, failed his class. You’d never know from having these students in your class that they’d actually seen all of the material I teach already, a single term before. They act like it’s not just that they didn’t learn it properly last time, but rather as though it’s entirely new to them.

  5. Yes, Steve, I understand. I didn’t process them blindly. I was trying to put a more positive spin on yet another problem that illicits the usual whining/moaning/etc [justified or not]. Combatting department heads and the tenure committees who take these too seriously is one thing… the officials who consider the crap on sites like http://www.ratemyprofessor.com? That’s hopeless.

  6. Steve LaBonne says:

    I didn’t mean to criticize you, Matthew- just thought many people might not realize that many small colleges misuse these evaluations in a way that rarely happens at universities.

  7. Moebius Stripper, What grade levels do you teach?

  8. Please excuse the above, I understand now that you are a college teacher. I just couldn’t fathom that you were encountering students in college who were eight years behind in their math development. BC must have an interesting entry regime.

  9. I used to play baseball with a math teacher who taught difficult students. One of his students asked in class, “Mr. ____, why do you try to teach us things we don’t know?” He said, “You mean things you think you don’t need to know?” She said, “No, things we just don’t know.” Silence.

  10. Kenneth, it’s partly the fact that BC does a crappy job teaching math – as far as I can tell, high school math consists mostly of getting students to get their $150 calculators to graph functions. (I have students who own these beasts, but who do not know what fractions are numbers. They can’t give me a numerical value of (2/3)^6, because they don’t know where the fraction button on their calculator is.)

    The other problem is that a lot of my students have been out of school for 5,10 years, or more.