Warning: There are mentions of sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, and sexism in this post.
1. "My worst was a chemistry professor. I was the typical English major taking a graduation requirement. I'm not great at math, but I was doing OK in the class. When we had a written assignment of a 10-page paper, the only feedback I got was 'You're not smart enough to have written this.'"
2. "I had a professor who wouldn't let me retake a test after needing to miss it for my mother's funeral. I eventually had to get the dean involved because the professor kept avoiding my calls and emails."
"It was university policy to give me a makeup test, but apparently, he thought he could just ignore it, and it would go away."
3. "My advanced organic chemistry professor would tell us we would end up as 'mediocre' chemists because we couldn't pass her quizzes. They were online quizzes where we had to do the quiz on a piece of paper, scan it, and upload it to Dropbox. They were five short answer questions with a three-minute time limit. Not even enough time to write, scan, and upload. I went to her office hours to explain that there wasn't enough time, and she said, 'It sounds like you have test anxiety. There's nothing I can do to help that.'"
4. "I was in a small screenwriting class, and we worked all year on our own pilot script and outline for a TV show. At the end of the class, the professor announced to us that now that the class was over, we were no longer her students but officially her competition."
"And we could no longer come to her for any help or advice. She was dead serious, and everyone in the class was floored."
5. "One of my grad school professors knocked me down a whole letter grade and gave me a lecture for turning in a paper on the due date instead of turning it in early."
6. "I caught COVID-19 toward the end of the fall semester. The anatomy department moved up the final quiz by two weeks. I was still very sick and couldn't move without terrible pain. I was told to email the professor instead of the lab. I begged to push it, even for a day, and he never responded."
"My grade in lab dropped, of course. It turns out I wasn’t the only student he did this to. I had a similar issue with him this spring too. He also tries to 'subtly' throw shade toward students during lectures. Students reported him to the department for other things, and they never do anything, so he continues his behavior."
7. "I stupidly decided to join the rugby team my junior year of nursing. Of course, I ended up getting a concussion. I was out of school for a week, and when I started back, I was dealing with many memory issues. I explained this to my clinical instructor on my first day back. But about 30 minutes later, when I couldn't remember what a specific lab test was for, she yelled at me in front of the rest of the group."
"Then she emailed the dean that I needed help and wasn’t fit to be a nurse. I currently work in a neonatal ICU, so fuck her."
8. "I had to take my baby brother to the ER because he was running a 104-degree fever. Thankfully, we attended the same university, and I was able to stay with him, but I had an 8 a.m. exam the next day. I was in the ER all night worried about my brother, who was hooked to an IV getting fluids and had tonsillitis while still studying my notes for this exam. I still did poorly. When I talked to my professor about what I could do because it wasn't a good representation of my work as my mind was scattered in different directions, she told me I needed to 'prioritize school' over my brother in the emergency room."
9. "I signed up for a sex and gender class a few years ago and was really excited for it. I'm not straight, and I was looking forward to taking it with some friends from my college's pride club. The professor seemed chill at first, but things went downhill quickly. She used extremely outdated LGBTA+ terminology, especially regarding trans people. There were two in the class, and she barely listened when they corrected her and instead presented incorrect facts in her lessons. One week while talking about how the court system favors mothers, she went on a long tangent about an abused child she worked with, and while she didn't give names, she provided way more details than necessary. I had a panic attack as soon as I set foot outside the classroom."
"The last class I attended, she told me my sexuality was the result of a hormone imbalance.
We tried reporting her, but as far as I know, nothing ever came of it."
10. "My poetry professor was a pompous jerk and racist. She would make weird, snide comments about the people of color in our class. I had to miss a test on Yom Kippur, one of the holiest Jewish holidays, and she wouldn't let me make it up because she didn't believe I was Jewish."
"I ended up having to go to the chair of the department along with the dean, and they forced her to let me make up the test. I ended up dropping her class because she kept making comments about me being Jewish. She was awful."
11. "During my first semester of college, I had a very old professor. She’d ask us intense questions to hear our thoughts each class, but she was known to be beyond disrespectful and rude. One day, I started explaining my view on the question that was asked. When I was done, she scoffed and said, 'You're so intelligent on paper with the essays you turn in, but when you open your mouth, that disappears.'"
12. "I had an engineering professor who was notorious for being sexist. He was adamant that women did not belong in engineering and would purposely fail every female in any of his classes. He would blatantly ignore female students in class and during office hours when they would try and ask questions. The class I was in was over 60% female, and every single one of us was given a failing grade."
"At the end of the semester, the entire class went to the department head to file complaints against the professor. While they didn’t fire him, they offered all of the students to retake the class and give them all passing grades the second time around with a different professor. It’s surprising how many more professors like this are still teaching, and how many department heads are willing to protect them rather than their students, who are paying thousands to learn from them."
13. "I had a professor who lectured us about how we shouldn't be late to class but also was regularly late herself. This same professor, when questioned about material on her PowerPoint slides, would ask us if we knew the answers to our classmate’s questions, and when we didn't, they would chastise us for not reading the book."
"She also made me make up an hour of class that I missed when I got a call from my dad telling me that my grandmother wasn't going to live through the afternoon."
14. "I suffer from two autoimmune diseases with fairly debilitating flare-ups from time to time. I am studying social care in college and receiving support from the disability office, which my lecturers have been informed of. At the start of the semester, I explained very politely. I provided and provided supporting documentation from medical professionals to one of my lecturers that I may miss a few days and need some extensions on work due to my illness. All of my lecturers were completely fine with this, and some very kindly put extra measures in place to support my learning. However, this lecturer told me that if I missed more than two of his classes, he would fail me, in front of the whole class."
15. "A professor told us that if you don't meet your future spouse in college, you probably won't get married."
"Always having that in mind definitely contributed to me staying with my cheating long-time boyfriend longer than I should have."
16. "I'm a paralegal student, and my first professor in the program was a woman defense attorney. She told us that if we wanted to work in law, we just had to get used to being sexually harassed by attorneys and judges."
"And that she 'likes it when men tell her she looks good,' so it’s not a big deal. It was so off-putting, and after that, I didn’t trust anything she said."
17. "I had a male statistics professor ask me why I was taking his class and what I was majoring in. I told him neuroscience, and he then said, 'Why take something so hard? You're pretty and could do other things.'"
18. "A creative writing professor asked us all to write the names of our favorite authors and why then read them all aloud to the whole class and proceeded to tell us why we were wrong for choosing the authors we chose. She told multiple students that liking a certain author made us seem childish and that we hadn't grown our taste in literature further than middle school."
"She insulted everyone from Stephen King to Jane Austen. And yes, we were required to buy two different books of short stories that contained her writing in them for the class. There's a reason she hated popular authors."
19. "I got a text 10 minutes before class finished from my sister who had an emergency. I told my professor I had to go early because my sister needed me. He said he was going to mark me absent because I hadn't asked to leave early before class started."
"I tried to explain that I obviously hadn’t known I needed to leave early and it was an emergency, but he didn’t care. All the students hated him."
20. "During finals week of my last semester, I came down with the flu. It was a particularly bad strain that year, and I was very, very sick. I had a constant 102- to 103-degree fever. I couldn't even keep water down, and my entire body hurt. The doctors had to give me anti-nausea pills so that I could hydrate. It was bad. All of my professors were very understanding, except for my art history professor. He told me that if I wasn't in the hospital, I wasn't that sick."
21. "I had a physics professor who would just ramble the problem then tell us the answer, but for assignments and such, we had to actually do the math. I was so completely baffled how I would do the math the way I was supposed to but get the wrong answer every time. So I asked in class if he could do the entire problem showing the math. He said that this was beneath him and would take too much time."
"I was humiliated but said, 'Well, if you actually taught me how to do it once would be much more valuable than you rambling up there.' Silence. He sighs and starts to do the problem, very exaggerated for the idiots out there like me...and gets the wrong answer. He rages. Class over. He never did the math again. Thank goodness for the curve."
22. "I had a professor who only assigned books written by dead white guys, but nothing from female authors. About halfway through the semester, a girl in class asked him why no female authors were ever assigned. I will never forget what he said, word for word, 'Women can't write and will never be featured in this class. If you wanted feminist mumbo-jumbo, you should take a women's lit course and drop this class.'"
23. And finally, "I had a poli sci professor who had a two-attendance policy, then your grade starts to drop. My dad's kidney cancer turned terminal while I was taking that class. I knew I was spending my last possible moments with him when I visited home. I kept my professors in the know, and all but this one professor sticks to two absences, no excuses. Of course, it's during finals week that the doctors tell us this is it, and he could go anytime."
"One of my professors told me I could take an incomplete, turn in the paper over the summer, and he'd revise it to my letter grade once he got it and to take my time. Two others just outright canceled my final and gave me A's because I'd aced everything else.
This guy? I still had to sit the final even though I could miss my dad's last moments. He said, 'Life's full of tough choices.' I believe in tenure because of academic freedom, but this guy made me question it for a moment."