Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why College Classes Are Messed Up

Dear Blog,

I sincerely want to apologize for being absent for a whole week - not that I haven't done it before - but I've been wanting to write many times, I just have not had time! School and work and social activities are seriously piling up and it has been a stressful few days. Hopefully I will have time to relax over the three day weekend coming up. Actually I shouldn't even be writing now because I still have studying and homework I could be doing! But I couldn't stay away from you much longer :)

As one of my facebook statuses said this week, I'm really sick of putting so much effort into studying and practicing problems for my classes and never being able to get the grades I want. I KNOW the material, but college tests and quizzes are ALWAYS structured so questions come up that are impossible to answer correctly due to strange wording or unexpected topics. In fact, most of the professors I've had tell the class what the high score and the average was after every test, and I never remember hearing that anyone has ever gotten 100%, no matter what class. This is why college sucks! Add to that the typical incorrect answer I always have every time because I'm stupid and I inevitably misread one question - and I get rather cranky ending up with a B (or much drastically worse on some Stats quizzes) instead of a deserved A, since those scores make up the majority of our grade at the end of the class. Seriously, teachers should either curve all tests or give more weight to other regular things, like actual assignments, if the exams are always impossible to ace, by at least one person.

Since I'm on a rant about this right now, I might as well go on about the other things currently pissing me off related to school, although I must be very careful about the specificity of my words. Within the first few weeks of the semester, I declared one of my professors an idiot, in my head and probably on facebook too (unnamed, of course), and I still sometimes hold to that. For instance, today he told the class that the phrase "mind your P's and Q's" came from something that was completely false. Back in 6th grade, and a few times after that, I learned that the phrase meant "mind your pints and quarts," and was used in pubs to remind people to keep distinction between the two sizes. I just now looked this up for confirmation, and sources say it is one of the theories, yet there is no provable origin. However, the point is that what my professor said was completely unrelated and wrong, not cited as a theory on any of the websites I found. I thought he might've been joking at first, but I wasn't sure. I'm choosing to assume that he was being serious because it makes it easier for me to be mad at him. I felt bad for the rest of my class because they probably believed him and are now telling their significant others at home the interesting factoid they learned in _____ class today. Which is wrong.

Another thing the same teacher did was use the nonexistent word "heighth," and even proceed to write in on the board as if it were real. Again, if these people do no know better, I pity their minds for absorbing false knowledge brought on by professors who are bad examples. In the same category, we have online teachers whose syllabi and assignment rubrics are littered with grammatical and spelling errors. I can honestly say that I don't try to stick to the correct rules of grammar all the time on here, but at least I'm aware of it, and I'm not writing for something professional like a college course. It's pretty sad when students can find multiple corrections to make on a single page of text written by their "superior." Not to mention that the actual organization of the instructions for the assignments is so horrible that they don't even make sense half the time.

And have you ever encountered a professor who decides that his way is better than the book? This would typically be OK with me, if a) We weren't still assigned problems that tested us on those debatable methods, where our answers can never be in line with the book, and b) The "better" formulas we learned didn't carry through to every subsequent topic in the class, and possibly even mess us up in following courses. It also doesn't help when the prof says one thing and then confusingly changes it up slightly after you've already messed up on a quiz by following his first advice.

Phew. I think I got most of it out of my system now ... if any more annoyances spring up, I'll add them here and notify readers of the update.

**As far as past updates go, this might seem pretty random but I have to say I was a little harsh on my opinion of Three Days Grace back in the 10 Years post when I compared the two bands. After being reminded of their impressive success with hit singles, I have to correct myself and say that they DO have many memorable songs, and they don't all sound the same. However, I still stand by my statement that their song titles could be more unique for ease with remembrance. But not every song is a hit either, so I wasn't completely out of it when I wrote that post.

I feel much better now. Hope to see you again soon, Blog. I miss our good times.

  -  S

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