Fake science professor teaches class, aces it

A University of Rochester chemistry class thinks it's listening to its new professor. It's actually a prankster. And he gets them to turn off their laptops and cell phones.

Dr. Haf-n-Haf. Chamber Boys/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I've never understood education.

You go to a place to listen to someone say things they've either already written in a book or read in one, and there are hundreds of people in the same room.

So they all get the same information, with the same slant.

I was moved, therefore, by a video (first referenced on Reddit) of a complete non-professor turning up to teach chemistry at the University of Rochester and fooling everyone.

He claimed to be the real Dr. Hafensteiner, a man who knows something about chemistry.

Instead, what he proved is that he knows a lot about human chemistry.

Dr. Haf-and-Haf is actually a member of the Chamber Boys, who exist to amuse Rochester. Because what else are you going to do with Rochester?

This particular Chamber Boy, tasked with teaching Chemistry 131 to a class of mostly freshmen, knows exactly how to get their attention.

"This class is extremely hard. Last year, 55 percent of this class failed," he announces.

From then on, he's in control. He gets them to turn off their laptops and cell phones.

"Laptops and cell phones. I don't like them in class. I think they're distracting to the learning process," he says.

He then threatens them with "repercussions" on their grade if he catches them with the gadgets during the semester.

It's quite beautiful to see laptops being closed and students wondering how they can possibly learn without them.

Sadly, then the real Dr. Hafensteiner walks in. This man was named this year as Professor of the Year in Natural Sciences.

As the video shows, Dr. Haf-n-Haf looks more like a professor than the real Dr. H. The latter is a touch slick, with terribly natty garb. He looks like a lawyer.

Still, hadn't these kids Googled Dr. H? Hadn't they seen his picture? Didn't they know that Microsoft wants them to use a Windows device at all times during class?

Education. It's got such a long way to go.