Written by: Samantha Chang
- The Chill One
When surviving in the wilderness (Latin: universitas), pray that you are lucky enough to chance upon this endangered species of Lecturer. Being the last few of their kind who still respects the work-life balance, sightings of The Chill One are rare indeed, but you may be able to identify them based on a few characteristics.
The first indicator is that they are not afraid to make NSFW jokes in class; they may even go as far as to swear a few times here and there. You will know for sure that you’ve found one if they don’t mind you addressing them by their first name, sans titles (though, try to tamp down your Asian reflex to scream at that suggestion, as you may startle them). Once you’ve ascertained you’ve met a member of this species, you may safely proceed to study for finals with lecture slides. This species is one that has good faith in students to be academically honest, so go ahead and reference that paper, the one which you only read the abstract of – they won’t notice.
Although this species gets a bad rep for their lackadaisical nature, documentations of their behaviour suggest that they have a large capacity for altruism and empathy. Unlike other species, they understand that students simply cannot retain 500 textbook pages’ worth of knowledge for five subjects, over the course of six months.
- The Sergeant
Upon first glance, this lecturer can be identified by their distinctive laser sharp glare, which some say is akin to a leopard’s hunting gaze. Evolutionary theorists suggest that their visual mechanisms have evolved to scrutinise sentences and students for any signs of weakness. One should be careful not to set off a Sergeant’s triggers, which are unpolished, bumbling kids, whose only thoughts in lectures are where to eat for lunch, or whether they should go clubbing on a Thursday night. The Sergeant’s remarkable vision also allows them to take a 2-second sweep of a lecture hall to immediately know who is using their phones under the desk.
Although the Sergeant puts the grr in rigour, the Sergeant is not as hostile as initially believed. Deep down, Sergeants are idealists at heart – they have full conviction in the importance of what they teach. Because they are so committed to upholding their high standards, they are driven to weed out mediocrities – which, unfortunately sometimes happen to be living people. If you make it out of their habitat alive, you’ll come out on the other side with a deep respect and appreciation for the field (and perhaps even, the lecturer).
- The Tuition Teacher
If you have spent a few years in the wilderness, you may already be accustomed to self-sustenance by now. You understand that you are accountable for your own survival, that no one will scold or shame you into compliance to do something you don’t wish to do, for better or for worse. Enter: the Tuition Teacher. This species of lecturer will give you instant flashbacks of an earlier time of your life; their behaviour closely mimics another species you may have encountered before: your Additional Mathematics tuition teacher in form 5.
If you’ve dared to entertain the notion that you are an adult now, this lecturer will quickly destroy that notion. This species has the uncanny ability to modulate their voice box to mimic the call of a nagging high school teacher’s. Pray you don’t make a careless mistake in a Tuition Teacher’s vicinity – you will receive a full blast of their piercing sonar screech.
Despite this, a Tuition Teacher will monitor your progress closely and offer you close guidance; they will also respond to your emails quickly in fear that your youthful ignorance will lead you into danger. Although it may have been jarring at first to meet this lecturer, with time you may grow to feel comfortable with how familiar their behaviours are – it may even make you nostalgic for a more primitive era.
- The Part-Timer
This species of lecturer is a half-breed. Due to their mixed blood, Part-Timers vary widely in their exhibited behaviours. The younger part-timers usually have student blood in them, which perhaps explains why they tend to break the first rule of giving presentations, i.e. not reading off slides. The older ones have usually migrated from different habitats and will simply do what it takes to survive in this one; if that means that they have to be a bit more . . . liberal with exam hints, so be it.
A certain subspecies of Part-Timers, known as the Droners, are interesting in that they seem to be impervious to social evaluation. In front of a crowd, Droners’ eyes glaze over and their voices take on a robotic quality; they do not seem to realise that they have long lost the attention of their audience. However, Droners tend to mysteriously disappear from the habitat after a semester. No one knows what happens to them, but some speculate that they are hunted and mauled down by a creature known as the Subject and Teaching Evaluation Survey.
These are the four most common species of Lecturers, although there are many not yet known to us. With this, we hope that this short guide will aid your journey over the treacherous plains of University.
Disclaimer: heavily inspired by David Attenborough and Time Out’s species series. Wilderness has taught me well – no plagiarism from me here.