In particular, the notion the Zone System leads to perfect negatives that require no burning, dodging etc. is preposterous. The "perfect" negative is one that contains all the information you need to make the print you envisioned or "visualized" when making the photograph. Straight prints are very uncommon, even with great negatives. Adams put a lot of effort into his prints, and used whatever grade of paper he needed. Many of his more famous images were printed on grades other than 2.

The Zone System is not an easy way out. It is simply a tool to help you get more predictable results.

Never crop? Why not? The "never crop" thing is just an attitude or personal mantra. It means nothing.

The instructor seems like a stubborn, opinionated person with not much actual technique to teach. Unfortunately in an academic setting you've got to do what the guy says for now so you get a good grade.