Posted by: illinigirl | July 17, 2008

Professor H.

I was doing my daily obituary search for back home and noticed that one of my professors from undergrad passed away.

I had his class ~7 years ago.  (scary)  It was a class you took your senior year that combined concepts and skills from all the business disciplines.  It was a fairly difficult course.  The content wasn’t all that difficult. . . but boy, was the professor difficult!. . .

The class had group projects due each week, and they were pretty challenging.  We had one person from each discipline (Business Admin, Accounting, Finance, Econ). . . so we would divide and conquer on our own and take parts of the analysis. . . then we would come together and spend hours pouring over everything and focusing on our areas of expertise.  We had a huge presentation for his class. . . and we stayed up working on it until 2 a.m. two nights in a row (and MANY more hours earlier in the week).

My group kicked butt.  It was actually the best group I ever had my entire time in school in terms of people being *extremely* intelligent and hard-working. . .

The thing is. . . this Professor was TOUGH.  Yep, he grilled everyone pretty hard, and he made someone cry during the first presentation of the year.  This set a precedent of us all being scared sh**less.

We stayed up until 2:00 a.m. working on our presentation. . . and the next day, we had an appointment with the professor to see what he thought about our work (the day before the presentation).  He ripped us to shreds so we stayed up until 2:00 a.m. for a second night. . . BUT he really loved our presentation in the end.

I tried to fade into the background in class so he wouldn’t grill me or ask a lot of questions. . . the problem is, he shared an office with a professor I’d had the year before that liked me. . . Once he figured out who I was, he started calling on me all the time and saying, “Okay, let’s see if you’re as smart as Professor F. thinks you are. . . ”  UGH!  I felt like I was going to VOMIT each and every time he called on me. . . and would desperately avoid making eye contact!!!  Also, I always showed up to class early (mistake #2). . . and he started chit-chatting with me about personal things.  He would always call me by the name of my hometown.

As tough and scary as he was, he was also a super nice guy (and he looked like and had the same mannerisms as Bill Cosby, so it felt like Mr. Huxtable was lecturing you).  We worked really, really hard for him. . . so his high expectations did really translate into us pushing it to the next level.

Rest in peace, Professor H. . . you’re one of the rare professors that got some rare hard work out of me my senior year!  😀



  1. I had a prof from Iraq who once threw open a 3rd floor window in the classroom and screamed at the kid at the chalkboard, “You might as well jump to your death – you can’t even do this simple problem!!!” The rest of us were trying to hide under our desks because we didn’t know either! Great teacher but scary as heck in class…..

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