By Eric Koeppel —
Since its creation in 1999, “Rate My Professors” has become the go-to source for students to find out which professor to take a class with. The website ranks professors around the globe based on things like helpfulness, clarity, easiness and, of course, hotness.
Over the years, Dr. Steve Swanson, a professor of various literature courses at University of Wisconsin–Stout, has achieved a 5.0, the highest possible rating, in all “Rate My Professors” categories, but there is still one thing missing: the chili pepper, the website’s coveted signifier of total hotness.
“This is my last year teaching before I retire and I’m going to get that damn chili pepper before I go,” said Swanson.
The 66-year-old professor has already begun his quest for the chili pepper with full force.
“The other day during class we were looking at a PowerPoint presentation on Shakespeare,” said student Jim Tortoise. “Here were all these fascinating slides illustrating the life of one of the greatest playwrights of all time, but then these random pictures of Dr. Swanson sunbathing on a beach that he just kept casually skipping over.”
“Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” Swanson told me before making a desperate attempt at a provocative wink.
Students have already reported an array of similarly strange behavior from Swanson this semester including doing spontaneous one-handed push-ups, showing up in skinny jeans, letting class out early for a “modeling appointment” and applying spray-tan to himself during lectures.
“We had this pop quiz on “A Farewell to Arms” the other day and one of the questions literally asked us to rate how cute he is on a scale of ‘one to Matt Damon,’” explained Shelly Campbell, another one of Swanson’s students. “I gave him a two and failed the quiz.”
Swanson was also seen scribbling love notes about himself in copies of “The Grapes of Wrath” before handing them out to the class.
“I remember him saying, ‘Some of these books are old, so there may be passionate and totally not made up love notes written in them by past students,’ before he passed them out,” Tortoise recalled. “I opened mine up to the prologue and there was this rather intricate doodle of a muscular Dr. Swanson with not six but twelve very detailed abs.”
“Look, I’m going for the gold here,” said Swanson. “And if I know anything about looking good, it’s that the more abs you have the better.”
“It’s kind of sad how desperate for attention this guy is,” remarked Jane Baldwin, another of Swanson’s students. “But, I mean, he is actually kind of cute, don’t you think? At least for a 66-year-old man he is. Plus, did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald based the character of Nick Carraway on him?”
“I can’t believe she actually bought it! That’s hilarious,” chuckled Swanson.
According to “Rate My Professors” statistics, the literature professor is actually getting pretty close to obtaining that much-desired chili pepper; however, his ratings for every other category have dropped significantly.