I’ve only had one week of classes, but two professors already stand out as exceptional teachers. These are the guys who could teach me how to properly skin and dress skunks, and I’d like it, darn it!
One is my Strategy prof, “Arvind Bhambri”:http://www.marshall.usc.edu/web/MOR.cfm?doc_id=3022. Yes, the guy to whom I just turned in an exceptionally mediocre two-page paper on Airborne Express and the dynamics of the overnight delivery industry. Complete with unattractive diagrams.
So, Bhambri. Many people are scared of him. There’s a rumor that two PM students already quit because he scared them too much. It’s true that he demands a lot, and that he runs his classroom with an iron fist. Maybe it’s just that I’m not easily intimidated (or that I lack a healthy sense of self-preservation — last weekend I went up to my tattooed, muscled, ex-gangster neighbor and told him that I expected to never see his car blocking the alley again), but Bhambri doesn’t scare me. Sure, he won’t let you raise your hand while anybody else is talking, but that’s just to make you pay attention to what they’re saying rather than think about what it is that you’re about to say. Sure he cold calls (probably about 35 people today), but he spreads it around fairly. And when you do cold call — or even when you successfully raise your hand and get called on — he doesn’t hold you out to dry, he’ll help you work towards the right answer. You’re sure never to fall asleep in his class!
“Mark DeFond”:http://www.marshall.usc.edu/web/Leventhal.cfm?doc_id=2172 is the opposite. Fun, active, he teaches Accounting. I think he may have a secret mean streak — if you don’t know the answer to a question when you’re cold-called, you’d better not ‘fess up, else he’ll ask you to pick someone else to answer for you. But he’s fun and high-energy, and he makes everything simple and even comes at the same problem from different directions if you didn’t get it the first time. While every textbook, and most professors, talk about widget manufacturers and their need for new frobulation equipment, DeFond tells a fun story about his dream chicken feet restaurant. Mmmm, chicken feet.
Oh, and his hair is way better than in the picture.