Maybe things got out of hand, what with that one girl nearly bursting into tears and the professor's head pretty much popping right off her shoulders. I mean, there it was rolling around on the table snapping at people. Her head, I mean. This girl said something pretty harsh about George Orwell's essay, Shooting an Elephant, but she was nervous and so did not say it particularly well, and then the wheels, or the professor's head, came off, and there was all this tense "discussion" and even some interrogation and several painful moments. Maybe it elicits such strong feelings because it's just a brilliant essay.
So, all that is to say that today, instead of reading my blog, you should read Shooting and Elephant here. It's not too long, so go read it, and don't come back until you do.
Also, even better but not available online is Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin. Pretty much the perfect example of what an essay, or any literature, can be. It's fantastic and I almost can't describe it without swearing. So go read it. Immediately.