CHAPEL HILL, NC–Convinced that he had applied too much pressure and handled things entirely too quickly, freshman Liam Katz was afraid, after an office hours meeting with John Pickles, who teaches his first-year geography seminar, that he had rubbed his professor the wrong way.
“Professor Pickles is all about hands-on learning and I wanted to show him that I get that,” Katz said. “I’ve had trouble feeling him out in class so far, but I hoped that if I showed him I have a firm grasp on the material he might recommend me for a SURF grant this summer or maybe even give me some advice about graduate school.
“I definitely came on too strong,” he admitted. “It’s like I was, I don’t know, I was pressing him with my own stuff the whole time. I could tell he was tense as soon as I started, and by the time I left his office he seemed downright sore. His tone was so strange. Things definitely got hairy back there.
“I should have been more responsive,” Katz said. “He’s the career scholar with this amazing body of work. And he has such a good touch in class–he never seems heavy-handed. Why can’t I just relax and let him rub off on me?”
Professor Pickles said that he did experience a strange feeling in the meeting.
“Not every student rubs you the right way,” he said.