Thursday, August 18, 2016

Coinage: unprofly

Image from thumbs.dreamtime

My daughter, a linguist, just finished a course in cognitive psychology. After the final, she began telling me about her instructor. Having signed up for his section based on what prior students said on Rate My Professor, she wasn't disappointed. This prof's unorthodox methods worked well.

He created an atmosphere of closeness in the class, and exposed his own vulnerability in surprising ways. Telling the students about his episode of depression, he said working with them had helped him overcome his gloom. Yasemin enjoyed his teaching and learned a lot.

"He was very unprofly," she said. This was an instant coinage, but I knew exactly what she meant. Which left me with the feeling that, either consciously or unconsciously, profs follow a set of unwritten rules about how to behave in class.

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