Socrates’ Teaching Evaluations

Wellesley College sociology prof Thomas Cushman muses on what Professor Socrates’ teaching evaluations would look like. Some samples:

Socrates is a real drag, I don’t know how in hell he ever got tenure. He makes students feel bad by criticizing them all the time. He pretends like he’s teaching them, but he’s really ramming his ideas down student’s throtes. He’s always taking over the conversation and hardly lets anyone get a word in.

He’s sooo arrogant. One time in class this guy comes in with some real good perspectives and Socrates just kept shooting him down. Anything the guy said Socrates just thought he was better than him.

He always keeps talking about these figures in a cave, like they really have anything to do with the real world. Give me a break! I spend serious money for my education and I need something I can use in the real world, not some b.s. about shadows and imaginary trolls who live in caves.

He also talks a lot about things we haven’t read for class and expects us to read all the readings on the syllabus even if we don’t discuss them in class and that really bugs me. Students’ only have so much time and I didn’t pay him to torture me with all that extra crap.


I was warned about this man by my adviser in women’s studies. I don’t see that anything other than white male patriarchy can explain his omnipresence in the agora and it certainly is evident that he contributes nothing to a multicultural learning environment. In fact, his whole search for the Truth is evidence of his denial of the virtual infinitude of epistemic realities (that term wasn’t from queer theory, but from French lit, but it was amazing to see how applicable it was to queer theory).

via Dan Drezner

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    IIRC Socrates got hemlock rather than tenure.

  2. bob in fl says:

    Yeah. The Hemlock was his final student evaluation.

  3. Anderson says:

    I did miss a parody of the typical “offended fundamentalist” evaluation, all about how Socrates called the sun just a stone … or maybe he was just quoting Anaxagoras on that, but either way, it was VERY OFFENSIVE.

  4. Wayne says:

    From what I have read on Socrates, I probably would have like him as a professor. I had professors that I like whom were more concern with expanding the mind then shoving an particular view down your throat or proving how smart they were. Unfortunately most of the professor I had didn’t fall under this category. They were more concern with indoctrination and ego trips than anything else.

  5. jpe says:

    Socrates does sound like a pompous ass. I side with the satirical students. That hemlock couldn’t have come quickly enough for the sensible people of Athens.

  6. carpeicthus says:

    You should see how he’d fare on

  7. Tano says:

    Most of those are pretty funny. The last one is really lame.