Professor Wisdom, Gloom, and Harry Potter Fandom

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We thought you might appreciate this auto-correction, Professor Kahn. Photo credit: Matt Hayto

Dear Professors,

We hear you. Sometimes we under-hear you (read: 9 a.m. class), but when we’re very lucky, we overhear you! And not just while you’re weighing in on important international issues; we also hear those cavalier comments you improvise in lecture. And since we like what we’ve heard lately so much, we thought we’d share:

  • Shamus Khan, while talking about how sports and games allow for the expression of rivalries in society without violence and fighting: “You’re not about to go do a physical, hostile takeover of Harvard. Although if you do, I will lead you.”
  • Alan Brinkley, in response to question about the interstate highway act: “Destroying communities is something I know a lot about, being Provost for seven years.”
  • Ruben Gonzalez, giving a metaphor for chemical equilibrium: “Has anybody been to that new Joe Coffee shop? It’s sort of like an equilibrium situation—there’re always 100 people in line, but it is a dynamic, changing 100 people.”
  • Lucius Riccio, prefacing an Operations Research lecture: “Today we are going to talk about forecasting.  It is the fine use of divination, like Professor Trelawney’s class, in order to predict the future.”
  • John Collins, in a metaphysics class: “In classical epistemology, it is assumed that every actor has unlimited access to his own internal thoughts, but in Jewish epistemology, your mother has access to your own internal thoughts.”

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  1. Shamus Khan  

    is a god. Can't wait to take a class with him.

  2. matthew  

    hayto, columbia engineering 2011... so hot right now

  3. Anonymous  

    bwog. I love this. opening/closing remarks are always some of my favorite posts, please keep it up during the semester!

  4. Anonymous  

    brinkley is such a dark horse of hilarity.

  5. art hum  

    Megan McCarthy, in response to a student's comment that Joseph seems to be preventing other suitors from reaching Mary: "There is a colloquial term for that, but I won't repeat it in class." [hint: it rhymes with clock]

  6. Anonymous  

    i love how the professor named lucius made the HP reference.

  7. Late Modernism

    Prof. Matthew Hart, discussing a sameness between different generations in contemporary culture (as opposed to generational difference in Woolf's "Between the Acts"): "Like 50-year-olds wearing Juicy Couture. You should not be able to have writing on your butt past a certain age. That age is 12."

  8. Trust me  

    Brinkley was dead serious. The man had a heart of ice as provost.

  9. One more for you  

    Prof. Juan Pablo Jiménez-Caicedo, in a Spanish class: "In English, you have food, but in Spanish, we eat it."

  10. lawlz  

    Richard Pious in Environmental Politics on a paper due tonight: "If you're going to buy a paper, buy it from me; I run this thing called Faculty Research Assistance for Undergraduate Delivery. Also known as FRAUD."

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