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Quote of the Day: Mephistopheles on Professors

Many visitors to German universities puzzle at the tendency of many professors to 'lecture' by reading from their most recent textbook in a flat monotone, and ask themselves: 'Whoever thought this was the way to teach?'

The answer: Mephistopheles -- who else? Jaroslav Pelikan's prose translation of a passage (g) in Faust in which the demon explains the facts of life to a prospective student:

For ... five hours a day, the student should be prepared to listen to the professor, in accordance with the pedagogical method of the universities, "in such a way that afterwards you will be able to recognize better that he is not saying anything except what is already in the book. But you must be writing it down, as thought the Holy Spirit himself were dictating it to you!"

Norton Critical Edition of Faust, p. 590.

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