The Tomato

New program will enable know-it-alls to further control class discussion

Illustration by Tina Wallace

The University of Ottawa recently unveiled a new program at a press conference, which aims to alleviate the workload of professors.

The new program, named Smartass, allows hand-picked students to teach classes instead of professors. Emma Blackthorn, chair of the new program, explained that Smartass is the university’s attempt to provide an environment where students can make the most of their many talents.

“Currently, there’s no outlet for students who are already masters of the material assigned to them, except to argue with closed-minded and clearly ignorant professors,” said Blackthorn.

“Professors’ grasp of the concepts they’ve been teaching for years is clearly insignificant when compared with a student who totally read Plato’s Republic in high school,” she said. “These students interrupt professors and talk too much during class now, so why not put their skills to use.”

The program has already undergone test runs in select classes this semester and has been met with a unanimous positive reception.

“When I heard that the guy who spent the first week of class arguing that his own copy of Beowulf had a better translation than everybody else would be taking over the class, I was a bit upset,” said Kurt Frost, a first-year English major, referring to new student teacher James Runt.

“But then I realized that I was learning way more from James’ arrogant rambling and his inability to just shut up,” said Frost. “I’ve learned so much from the endless stream of egotistical bullshit that spews from his mouth.”

Runt, a third-year general arts major, told the Tomato he’s been humbled by the chance to teach his classmates.

“I’m just really excited to be at an institution of learning that understands that I’m different from everyone else,” said Runt. “It’s been hard to deal with professors who dismiss my breadth of knowledge just because I only have a basic understanding of everything I claim I’ve read.”

As of now, Smartass is only available to arts, engineering and social sciences departments.  However, Blackthorn said the program will go university-wide as soon as its minor glitches are fixed.

Many student teachers have spent their time in front of the class either yelling at fellow students or have experienced anxiety attacks due to the responsibility of effectively expressing important material in 80 minutes or less. Blackthorn insists these problems are nothing to worry about and that Smartass should be in every classroom by the start of the second semester.