Swearing, cussing, using expletives -- whatever you call it, I can honestly say I've never met a swearing professor that I didn't like. It's odd, I know, to focus on that one quirk when there's such a spectrum of professorial personality. There are professors who subscribe to the Socratic Method and those that subscribe to Nylon. There are professors who once starred in Hair and professors that really really need a haircut ... Still, you can sort them into two categories: "swearers" and "non-swearers."
A well-placed ______ is the 21st century equivalent of pounding on the podium. When professors have a Smartboard and clicker, who wants to accelerate their arthritis by smacking a fist on the electric console?
Certainly, there is a patina of glee that settles over a classroom after being told that Napoleon "really _____ up Waterloo." Even the kid that is fast asleep begins to grin from ear to ear. Two friends in the back row exchange glances with a twinkle in their eyes.
"Ha! She just said _____. This is going to be a good year, no not a good year a ____ great year. Oh man, _______ ...who knew."
The students realize they've misjudged the diminutive woman with cat-eye glasses and cane, or the Steve Jobs look alike with the stern voice.
Course transfer sheets are quickly put away. Any student would be crazy not to stay in a class with a swearing professor. Today it was ______ but tomorrow it could be ________. Perhaps they will hear about ______ that Marie Antoinette said while she was led to the guillotine, or write a _____ awesome paper -- so ______ awesome that the professor will read bits aloud.
"Holy ________! The semester is rife with possibilities."
Now, I do tend towards self-examination. Having felt and witnessed the elation caused by a profane modifier I wonder if my response is, alas, a sign of my own immaturity. After all, weren't those the same glances I exchanged in 3rd grade when Mrs. Stopandroll dropped a globe on her foot? At the time, the frankest among us piped up and said, "My mommy says ____ is a bad word."
And so it is. Yet, 10 years later, nobody in the room is in on a dirty secret. That tenured professor is not going anywhere even if you do decide to run home and tell mommy that you heard _______ at school today and boy was it ______hilarious. Heck, a few "potty mouth" comments on Rate My Professor.com never hurt any 70-year-old International Law specialist.
Passion is profane."________!" will awake the dozing masses 100% of the time. After all, we really do want to learn. We just need a _______push sometimes.