Not a year has gone past when
Stephen Hawking’s achievements, both in terms of science and popular culture, have not made global headlines. His work has revolutionized
theoretical physicis and cosmology, made him the Commander of the Order of the British Empire and earned the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, all while his body suffers from
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Here are some of his great thoughts and moments:
“Some people would claim that things like love, joy and beauty belong to a different category from science and can’t be described in scientific terms, but I think they can now be explained by the theory of evolution.”
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
“We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”
“It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
My boyfriend signed up for an Economics class last semester that had a professor who was described by other students on Rate My Professors as “a little offensive but still funny” and “you will still learn if you do the work and attend his workshops.” On the first day of class, he pointed to an Asian girl next to him.
“Are you Chinese?” he asked.
She looked bewildered and said, “Yes…?”
“How do you feel about the One Child Policy?”
The entire class went silent.
She glared at him, “I’m American.”
He shrugged it off, “Yeah, but you’re Chinese. So how do you feel about being the only child in your family?”
When I peruse through class lists, one of the very first things I want to know is whether or not I will be in a safe environment with a professor who cares about their students. Rate My Professors is the most commonly used tool for students to decide whether or not a professor is right for their learning style. It’s a tool for students created by students. But when such tools actively work against students who want to give proper warning about professors, what does that tell you? Does RMP care about student safety? Or is it doing everything in its power to protect corrupt educators? Should students compile a list of corrupt professors to combat RMP’s new policy if they don’t reverse this rule?
The Chinese woman and the rest of the students had to endure a semester filled with violent racist, sexist, and classist rhetoric (he later humiliated a student for 15 minutes for having an old Ford—what he described as a “loser car”) with a professor who only taught outside of class hours instead of during class hours. There are many more stories like this one because students pay for a class they weren’t expecting.
Because students can’t say “racist and sexist”, people have opted for “problematic” with examples as well as synonyms. You can contact them here to ask them to change their policy.