Let's hear it for the long-awaited release of the Adventures of Indiana Jones on DVD.
If you ask any academic who first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at an impressionable age whether the adventures of dashing archeology professor Henry Jones, Jr., held any sway when it came to choosing the ivory tower, an honest soul-searcher probably would say yes. Who can forget, after all, the great scene in which Professor Jones, lecturing in full tweedy regalia before an enthralled classroom, notices the message "I love you" written on an otherwise demure co-ed's eyelids? Or when his swooning students bum-rush his office hours? Plus, look at what Jones gets to do during his leave year. No fusty revising that diss for publication for him--there are Nazis to fight! What a great gig.
Turns out, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports to the surprise of no one, that attractive professors like Indy consistently outscore their less comely colleagues by a significant margin on student evaluations of teaching. Get out! On a subjective measure administered to hormonal 19-year-olds? The same kids whose callous comments have the 'Fesser and his friends addicted to RateMyProfessors.com? Wow, the Chronicle doesn't care whose toes it steps on.
Aside from invoking painfully outdated slang ["Betty" and "Baldwin," if you must know] from Clueless, the article drops this science:
Rocky Kolb, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago [he must be excited about the solar ruckus], added: "It's a little known fact that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has a swimsuit competition for the Nobel Prize." [For working in that namecheck of the Nobel Prize, the bluster about winning so many being the only thing keeping the U of C warm during the cold Illinois winters, Dr. Kolb will no doubt receive a bonus.]
There is also perhaps the worst appositive I've seen in some time: "Dina Ibrahim, who is herself no stranger to objectification by students, says, 'Looks shouldn't count, but clearly they do. That means ugly professors have to really, really know what they're talking about if they want to get good evaluations, as horrible as that sounds. They have to work harder.' " Here's hoping the smug Ms. Ibrahim's next professional evaluation is given by a really jolie-laide boss with a Chronicle subscription.
Willie: Well I always thought that archaeologists were always funny looking men going around looking for their mommies.
Indiana Jones: Mummys.
And with that, the cinetrix cries uncle and promises to get back to writing about movies.