James Franco’s Next Role: College Professor

Imagine walking into your first day of classes next semester at New York University‘s Tisch School of the Arts and seeing one of the most attractive actors alive today, James Franco, standing at your class podium. Well, for 12 lucky third-year graduate students at NYU, this dream will be a reality.

It was recently announced that Franco, who is also studying for his MFA in film production from NYU, will be teaching a class on adapting poetry into short films.

“He’s here to teach because he really knows something about directing that the can share with our students,” said John Tintori, chair of the graduate film program. “He’s incredibly prolific, and that comes from a real work ethic – and that’s another thing to impart to our students.”

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Best and Worst College Professors

Have you ever had a professor who was absolutely fantastic? Maybe it was your American history professor, who made the stories come to life by acting them out or using movies to really explain the past. Or maybe it was your chemistry teacher who sang songs about the different elements. Or maybe it was your communications teacher who helped you get over your fear of public speaking.

It doesn’t matter who it was or how they did it, but I’m sure you have had at least one professor who rocked your socks off. Wouldn’t it be awesome if every professor you had was like that? Well, if you attend the right school, this could be the case.

CBS Money Watch recently reported the colleges with the best and worst professors. The schools were ranked based on evaluations from and from reports by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

Many of the schools with the best professors are small, private institutions. Most are liberal arts colleges that have student bodies under 4,000 students. This results in fewer students per classroom and more student to teacher interaction.

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Some Professors Say New Technology Doesn’t Help Students

technology-fadAt the University of West Florida, visiting professor Mark James asks his students to close their laptops and put away their cell phones. Although James is not against technology, he has decided to make his English literature classes gadget-free. “The students seemed more involved in the discussion than when I allowed them to go online,” he told The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Let’s face it, most students who bring their laptops to class to “take notes” really spend most of their time on Facebook. Aside from the distraction, some professors feel that the use of too much technology in classrooms takes away some of the professor-student interaction that is key to learning. Students may feel like they participate more in lectures if the professor is writing the notes as they talk, rather than reading from a PowerPoint slide. Of course, class size, subject and course level all have special considerations when it comes to the technology debate. Some find that new technologies just don’t work in the kinds of classes they teach. Read the rest of this entry »

College Professor Uses the Bible to Insult Homosexuals

bibleSometimes it’s best to just keep your opinions to yourself. Especially if you are a college professor at a publicly funded school and if your views are likely to offend many of your students.

Dr. Bradley Lopez taught a health sciences class at Fresno City College. Students recently complained that Lopez was using the Bible as a textbook, citing it to explain global warming and to rebuff homosexuality. Lopez claimed homosexuality is a mental disease and that homosexuals should have to undergo psychotherapy.

Lopez assigned readings from the Bible as homework, read the Bible out-loud, and used “the Bible as an authority in the assigned subject matter,” according a report issued by the Vice President of Student Services, Christopher Villa.

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The Pros and Cons of Attending Community College before University

photo by Andrew Flavin

photo by Andrew Flavin

As a junior in my high school days, I knew I wanted a less traditional path into the intimidating world of college. Unlike many of my friends, I opted out of the cold Northeast and applied only to schools located in the warm California sunshine. But upon receipt of my first semester out-of-state tuition bill from University of California Santa Barbara, I chose to begin my college journey at Santa Barbara City College instead, making life a bit easier on my family’s pocketbook, and then to transfer to a four-year school. Choosing whether to attend community college or a university right out of high school is an option worth considering.

Here are some pros and cons: Read the rest of this entry »


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