A member of the first graduating class of HarveyMuddCollege
(and apparently an East resident for two years), Gerald Van Hecke (or "VH" as he is sometimes known to chem majors, though never to his face) is one of the ScariestProfsAtMudd
. He's also pure hate incarnate. Just ask him about WhirLing
if you don't believe me.
- Well, at the time there were only two dorms, I believe... Millicent Mudd Hall and West Dorm
- Actually, this year during a FroshChem lab, ProfessorVanHecke told some of us FrOsh that he spent 2 years in EastDorm and 2 years in NorthDorm. He said that East was built first, but West and North were each built one year after each other
- . . . . . That's not supposed to make sense, right?
- That depends. How many illegal substances are you on right now? But if it needs rephrasing for those who have actually been able to sleep over break, it is supposed to read as: East was built first, followed in successive years by West and North. This means that van Hecke could and did live in North for 2 years
- You mean Mildred, you WebComics nerd you.
There are lots of great legends about VH that get better with each retelling. Perhaps some of them shall grace this page at a later date.
Has taught just about every course offered by the CheMistry department, and currently teaches PhysicalChemistry and its companion lab. Quaver in your boots.
Calls some machines "instruments" and other machines "machines," and gets particularly violent about this distinction. When in doubt, use the former, e.g. "Copy Instrument" and "Rage Against the Instrument."
- Also gets pretty violently upset about the evils of the symbol delta and where to put subscripts on a (delta)H. Hint: the subscript isn't on the H.
Fond of ProfessorKarukstis, and has co-authored two books with her, if you know what I mean.
Could use a BunGe.
Knows how to use a bullwhip. Has considered using it to ease the symptoms of SeniorItis? in the PhysicsOfStuff? students.
The anagram of Gerald Van Hecke is "Chalked Avenger".
A member of the SigmaXi? society, which makes him a card-carrying SigmaMale?.
Sadly, as of spring 2023, hell has frozen over and ProfessorVanHecke has retired, along with ProfessorKarukstis.
A campus legend has it that a student, walking barefoot through the chem department, found himself face to face with Professor Van Hecke. "You can't walk barefoot in here," warned Van Hecke. "Why not," challenged the student foolishly. "It's not like there's broken glass on the floor." To which Van Hecke reaches into his office with one hand and brings out a beaker, which he smashes on the floor. "There is now."
In P-Chem lab I actually heard the real story straight from Van Hecke's mouth. It was a long time ago, when his office was on the second floor. A student was walking along the hallway barefoot and Van Hecke told him he should't because glass gets tracked everywhere (which is honestly true). The student didn't believe him so VH told him to look down and there was a big piece of glass next to his foot.
Perhaps less entertaining, but certainly more credible I think.
- You don't go drilling a well in Saudi Arabia to get fresh water. You get something else. It's black, gooey, and sticky and you usually don't drink it well. - ProfessorVanHecke
- He was explaining why they use reverse osmosis to get fresh water in Saudi Arabia
- "No Claire, you blow and then you suck"
As of FroshChem Fall 2007, has managed to crack some sort of a joke every lecture.
- Whether he is actually cracking jokes, or using some sort of secret script, has yet to be determined.
- "At no point did the fingers leave the hand. There is nothing under my sleeve."
- "Real molecules have volume. Real women have volume."
- (Van Hecke drinks from a vial in 9AM class.) "That proves to you that it's not poison. That doesn't prove to you that it's not vodka. (a while later) Actually, I prefer gin."
- He said this in 8AM class too.
- Ah! Does this mean he scripts his jokes?
- "This is atomic oxygen, O. It's a completely different beast from diatomic oxygen O2."
- "That is a hole in the wall. Someone got angry during an exam or something."
- "These are the kind of problems in the world today. And you guys are going to have to solve them. Because I'm going to be on a beach, with a margarita."
- Was this 8AM? I think in 9AM he said with his wife.
- He's married?
- Mayhaps I was sleepy...
- I asked him (2017) if he had ever been married, and he gave a resounding nope. There are rumours of a salacious affair with Prof Karukstis
- "I didn't pull this out of the air. I set it at 50 degrees C and then pulled it out of the air."
- "So what does this pressure term do? *punches blackboard and wakes entire class up* FORCE OVER AREA!"
- Upon being asked what his favorite type of milk is: "Gave up milk for scotch decades ago."
- "Well... I want you to forget everything that you just tried to explain to me. Because it's all wrong, and I want you to get it out of your system."