Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Quick Breakdown on My Edumacation

Three of my four classes are History (my major). The fourth is Economics.

One professor actually refers to it as "edumacation". This same professor, six weeks in, has yet to have us open a textbook. We didn't get a syllabus until three weeks in. That in itself isn't so bad, but the time in class has been spent listening to his stories on everything from healthcare reform to Seinfeld episodes, and the question of "how far away is the sun?" seems to be a recurring theme. It's a History class! Once when discussion of history did come up he referred to Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses as the Twenty-Five Theses. I guess he read the abridged edition. The upside of this professor is that he is a sweet old guy and entertaining.

My second history class unfailingly comes back to talk of religion. And no, not 'how the Catholic Church dominated the 16th and 17th centuries', or something like that. I mean 'Raise your hand if you are a Baptist... Any Presbyterians?' Seriously. I felt it was inappropriate and irrelevant to the course. But then, I am right in the buckle of the Bible belt so not shocking. (Okay, maybe a little.) I opted to not share my religious views as people often confuse 'atheism' with 'Satan-worshipping', which leads to awkward moments I'd just rather avoid.

The Economics class isn't too bad, though the professor skims through the book and will read the name of a section and tell us to read it at home. He'll pause to quickly read a definition. Sheesh, email the chapters and save us the drive!

I just had my first test in that class, which he assured us all would be "so easy that no one could possibly fail it". Well, luckily he graded on a curve. The highest grade in the class before the curve was applied was mine: an 83. My 'B' was the best grade. Insane. The next best grade would have been a 'C' before the curve. Yes, several people still managed to fail even after he adjusted the grades by adding 17 points! Other students were angry with me for overachieving and making a 'B'! The good news there is mine was an 'A' 100 thanks to the curve. (I actually frown upon that; it's sort of cheating don't you think? I would've been happy with the B I earned. Oh well.)

And then the fourth class is on the developing world. It is the one class that actually makes me feel like I'm actually in college and not warped into Bizarro World High School. I take about fifteen pages of notes in this class every time. The subject is really interesting and he actually sticks to the subject matter. And even though this is my toughest class it is also the one I am doing best in. (Hopefully that statement holds true following midterms!) He is a tough grader (as they should be- tough but fair) and I still managed to get a 97 'A' on my first paper. Not too shabby considering I have been out of school for thirteen years!

So there is the rundown on my edumacation.

Oh! Also school-related: I am no longer the favorite parent! Violet's Daddy has discovered the amazing parenting method of Give Her Whatever She Wants while he watches her on Mondays. So when they pick me up she starts telling me about how she spent half the time at the park, got to eat fries, got a new baby doll... Yeah. I can't compete with that. I'm Mean Mommy now that she has discovered that I've been holding out on her.


Laoch of Chicago said...

The curve system is actually good I think. It automatically corrects the problems of teachers who draft tests that are not reflective of their students abilities or the teacher's lack of teaching prowess.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

Yeah, Mean mommies suck.
Ask your professor if the world is really going to end on December 21, 2012. Tell him Beaux really wants to know. If this is like Y2K I'm going to be pissed!

Oh yeah, good job!

*mary* said...

Beaux- Funny, funny thing that you mention that! We spent a whole class listening to this. His answer to the 2012 thing is that "Only God knows when the world ends." Not much help, right? I know!

Laoch- You are correct, as usual. The very thing you mentioned- lack of teaching prowess- is exactly WHY this curve should be used. Especially in this case. I just have some weird puritanical beliefs I need to work on. The grading curve is one of these. ;)

Lo said...

Wow. You need a tuition refund. Or they need to monitor the classes occasionally. I had a lit teacher a million years ago who was a frustrated beatnick, I think. I aced it by writing sappy. morose poetry to fit his mood. And I had no respect for him or the process.
I'll wish you a great prof for the next set of classes. Makes all the difference in the world.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Keep up the good work! I can't imagine going back after all these years (I got my BA in 1991).

Buzzardbilly said...

I often wonder what has happened to higher education, then I remember what it was like in my first go-round in the early 80s and it wasn't much better. Then they tried to shove as many of you into an auditorium as they could, all questions came from the text (so attendance was not mandatory), and all tests were multiple choice.

Professors who spend a lot of time on bullshit then write a test as if they'd actually tried to teach something that they didn't piss me off. If they eat up the class talking about what their spouse watches on TV, they'd bettered find a way to make the grading work for the students. Better still, they should teach the students and make the students do the work.

Your daughter is still young enough to forget all about this Daddy spoiled me first stuff.

lucythevaliant said...

It sounds like you are doing great! And I have a feeling that Mean Mommy is an inevitable phenomenon.

My favorite class was also the hardest one I ever took... something about knowing it was going to be a challenge, and the fact that it was really interesting to boot, inspired me to work my behind off!

controlled chaos said...

I wish my dad was a dad like that.

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