[VIDEO] Prof to students: ‘Your parents should have slapped you around’
A professor of music at a public school in New York City responded to online criticism with a humorous video in which he told students their parents should have “slapped them around” when they were children.
“What do you mean I’m not cultivating?” asked Baruch College music Professor Andrew Tomasello in response to criticism on the popular professor review site RateMyProfessor.com. “Your parents should have slapped you around when you were younger.”
Tomasello said he agreed to make the video for the popular “Professors Strike Back” section of the site, after he was approached by MTV in 2007.
“I was performing a role,” said Tomasello, who has been teaching at Baruch College for 31 years. “That performance was a series of jokes by a character I was playing. I guess I was pretty believable as that character.”
“Notice that I'm in the Department of PERFORMING Arts,” he added. “Do I hear ‘Oscar nomination?’”
Tomasello's feedback on Rate My Professor is overall positive based on 246 reviews. On a 5 scale, he is a 3.3 overall, 3.2 in helpfulness, and a 3.4 in clarity.
Plenty of reviews mention that he is either “awesome” or “a great guy,” but some are more critical.
For example, one student wrote he “represents the worst side of a person.”
“Not cultivating at all,” wrote another.
In the video Tomasello also argues that his students should be grateful he comes to class at all.
“I don’t have to come to class,” he added. “I don’t have to teach.
“Do you know what happens every other Thursday?” he asked. “Every other Thursday I get a direct deposit check from the state of New York into my bank account. I do not have to come to class and that check appears. I decide to come to class, I decide to teach you.”
Many students at Baruch College pay upwards of $30k annually for tuition and room and board.
Tomasello receives a salary of $96,370 annually, according to data transparency group Find The Data.
In his email to Campus Reform, Tomasello said that comment too was part of his routine and that he goes to great lengths to ensure his classes are taught.
“I have never left a class unattended or unmet at Baruch,” he wrote. “When I had the flu in 1998, I had full-time colleagues cover for me or I paid an adjunct to teach my class. After Superstorm Sandy, I had to make up several classes, which I did. “
Tomasello is a professor of fine arts, and is the deputy chair for Music at Baruch College (City University of New York).
Joking or not, Tomasello does seem to acknowledge the sometimes fraught relationship between professor and student.
Each of his emails from Baruch College include the signature: “Making students miserable since 1982”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Schredder11