Faculty members who rigidly enforce policies on grading and deadlines are sometimes accused of being heartless. Christof Koch is one professor who can prove that isn’t true.
Just go to his Web page at the California Institute of Technology, where Mr. Koch is a professor of biology and engineering. Click on the link that says, “my heart,” and there you’ll see it: a sped-up magnetic resonance image of his torso, complete with his beating heart, lungs, and liver. Turn up your speakers, Mr. Koch suggests to visitors, and listen to U2′s “Slow Down My Beating Heart” while you watch his muscle do its job.
If internal organs aren’t your thing, click on over to the Web page of Jillian McDonald, a Pace University associate professor of fine art who has a thing for zombies and the actor Billy Bob Thornton. Such is Ms. McDonald’s fascination with Mr. Thornton that she has posted a video of clips from the 2001 film Bandits, in which his character shares a confused relationship with a runaway housewife played by Cate Blanchett.
In Ms. McDonald’s video, however, Ms. Blanchett’s character has been scrubbed from the film and replaced by the professor herself, who shares passionate kisses with Mr. Thornton’s thuggish character through video wizardry. When Mr. Thornton failed to be moved by Ms. McDonald’s “crush” on him, she tried to make him jealous by locking cinematic lips with several other actors: Daniel Day Lewis, Vincent Gallo, Johnny Depp, and even Mr. Thornton’s ex, Angelina Jolie.
Too much? Need something calmer, perhaps a bit of self-help reinforcement? Mark V. Sapir, a professor of mathematics at Vanderbilt University, has just the thing: a “feel good about yourself” page designed for his students.
The page features a sound file of Mr. Sapir’s soothingly voice, intoning encouragement:
Do you like the word great better?
Well, great job.
I like your solutions to homework problems.
I like your solutions to test problems
I LOVE your final tests.
These were the best (oddest) faculty pages we could find. There must be others. Please do us a favor and post the links in the comments. Maybe we’ll even reply with some encouraging comments of our own. —Don Troop