A million or so years ago when I sat in my first class as a college freshman, some old guy with a big crusty-yellowed beard, crazy hair, a flannel shirt tucked into his Wranglers, and thick glasses walked up to the podium and tapped it a few times. I thought, "What is this janitor doing?"
That janitor turned out to be the first of many professors during my higher education career. This guy was my biology professor, but at least he could speak English and didn't creepily hit on me like some of my other educators (weird math teacher dude).
Now I'm one of those professors. Not really; I'm charming, well-dressed, and incredibly handsome. But, I do some of the same stuff he does. Why? Well, because nobody trained me how to be a professor and I remember some of the stuff my old ones said. So I use a lot of the clichés I hated back then, but find useful now.
Here they are:
"Where there's a will, there's an A."
"Half of success is showing up."
"Homework is practice. You wouldn't compete in a baseball game, dance competition, or music concert without practicing, would you?"
"Your book and paper and pencils are your tools. If you called a handyman to your house and he didn't bring tools, you'd be angry."
"Talk and paper are cheap. Tuition is not."
"You can't listen and speak at the same time."
And here are some stupid clichés I invented:
"If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you. I can be the nicest teacher in this university. I can also be the meanest teacher in this country. Pick which one you want."
"I hate to give F's. Not only does it mean that you failed, it means I failed as a teacher."
"I'm not going to show up at your home, knock on your door and ask if you have any problems. But if you come and knock on my door I will help you as long as you need."
"Freshmen didn't look like this when I was in school. Of course, there weren't many Koreans in South Dakota, my first school."
"When you come to class, bring your book, pencils, pens, and notebooks. Your job is a student. These are your tools. If you called a plumber and he didn't bring his tools, he couldn't do his job. So do your job."
"I don't speak perfect Korean, so I apologize if I pronounce your name wrong. But, I do remember faces. If you're a dick, I can always look you up on the school's website or Facebook and give you a shitty participation grade."