“Eminem Never Graduated From College” and 9 Other Things Never to Say to a Professor

Every professor will tell you that there are two types of students he remembers: the students who are sharp, attentive, or thoughtful but also the ones who are unpredictable, rude, and apathetic. So that you will be remembered for the right reasons, the following are the top 10 things never to say to a professor.

10. Eminem never graduated from college and he did OK.

(Professor Hears: I don’t need to know anything from your class in real life.)

Eminem also stands out because there are so few people with that type of success story. Don’t imply that a class is not important or that you have been made to take the course.

9. Is this going to be on the exam?

(Professor Hears: I only care about making a good grade in your class.)

Professors want you to be engaged beyond the calculation of your GPA.

8. This isn’t English class. Why do you take off points for grammar?

(Professor Hears: I’m lazy and don’t apply what I learn outside the classroom.)

If you speak English, you should be able to write English. But that is a more difficult task for some students than others. Don’t be hesitant to use a good editing service for your work.

7. I know the essay is due tomorrow, but I want to change my topic.

(Professor Hears: I am the biggest procrastinator in the history of the world!)

I did this once … once. I ended up going with what I worked on anyway, so the only thing I accomplished was letting the professor know how much I procrastinated.

6. Oh, that’s in the syllabus?

(Professor Hears: I have not looked at the syllabus since the first day of class.)

Before you ask about an assignment, please check what the syllabus says about it!

5. That’s not true!

(Professor Hears: I am going to attack so you better defend yourself.)

There is a good way to challenge something you think the professor said incorrectly and a wrong way. Try the Jeopardy approach: state your concern in the form of a question.

4. May I turn this in late?

(Professor Hears: I deserve special treatment.)

Instead send a note to the professor telling why you are going to be late and apologize for doing so. Most professors have late policies clearly defined in their syllabus anyway.

3. Wah wah wah, wah wah wah, wah wah (think Charlie Brown “adult speak” but said to a friend during your lecture).

(Professor Hears: I am showing disrespect to you.)

There’s always time after class to chat. Your professor deserves your attention.

2. Sorry, I need to take this phone call.

(Professor Hears: I planned someone to call me so I could take a break from your class.)

Really? It is better to sit near the door and leave discreetly as possible than say anything during class. Texting during class? Read number 3!

1. Zzzzz! (Think sleep sounds!)

(Professor Hears: You are boring me out of my mind.)

This is a huge no-no. You may have a really good reason to be tired but opt for a Mountain Dew rather than a bad impression.

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