Tag Archives: Professors

Dear Professor

I find your class extremely interesting and I feel I’m learning a great deal. I love the readings, and though I dread coming to your lectures because I am currently overworked, I still enjoy participating and getting to learn from you.

Which is why I was so disappointed when I failed my midterm. You specifically said that we could not go over 4 sentences on our short answers, but then I didn’t get enough points because I didn’t say enough in 4 sentences. Though, arrogantly, you declared that EVERYONE in the class needs to start doing the readings and paying attention to class because we, overall, didn’t do well in the midterm, I would have hoped you could see the stark contrast of my grade in the multiple choice part of the exam. If I didn’t read or pay attention, I would not have been able to perform so well in multiple choice questions- unless you truly believe that I can get lucky 21 times in a row, guessing the right answer.

I’m not a professor, but it seems clear to me that your test was testing my ability to compress information into a restricted amount of space, rather than testing my knowledge of the material. I know that this is the summer and all, but I don’t see why I (and other students) should suffer because you don’t want to spend more time reading everyone’s actual answer, regardless of length. It saddens me, that even though you provide the right tools to learn, you fail at providing the right tools to test the knowledge learned. These two things go together- one cannot work well without the other. It is unfortunate that you are giving us the knowledge, yet you don’t let us proof such knowledge on paper.

Sincerely,

-MTO


That’s All I’m Saying

I’ve spent most of today doing laundry, washing dishes, resting and taking it easy. If you wonder why this is such a big deal for me to even start my writing with it, then you haven’t had the weeks I’ve had. Due to course load and work, we have both paid little attention to the apartment. Sure, you’d think we’d find the time to clean at least once a week, but in the past several weeks (months, really), if we’re not at school or work, all we want to do is rest.

At first I was able to cope fine. Then I spent 3/4 of Winter 2011 sick, so we realized it was stress-related. Physical pain, anxiety, headaches, stomachache; you name it- I probably went through it. So I decided to drop a class. Mind you, this wasn’t just any class- this was the class that was killing me (literally).

I did terrible in the midterm. Well, that’s really subjective. The professor chopped off a whole letter grade because I used a different word to the one she was looking for, and because according to her I didn’t mention something even though I did mention it. I had a presentation and this lady grilled me. Making sure to announce to the whole class that I was wrong. But when my classmate was wrong, she’d simply say, “well kinda but it was different.”

Did she hate me? I’m not sure. I’d rather think this wasn’t personal… I just feel like a different person knowing that I will not be dealing with that anymore. I can breath now. I can gather myself again. My wife said I’m smiling again.

For the time being I will try to pay more attention to my current classes and make sure I finish this quarter alright. Then on Monday, when I get to register for Spring, I need to be a little bit more selective as to what classes I take. Maybe use tools like Bruinwalk.com or RateMyProfessor.com. Oh by the way, when I looked up this professor’s rating on those websites (silly me, for not doing it before), EVERYONE said she was the worst professor they’ve ever had.

All I have to say is that professors should be out there to teach and help the student. That’s all I’m saying.


More Talking = More Doing

I’ve never been one to strike up a conversation with a stranger– at least not very easily. It’s not that I’m shy, I just don’t really like talking all that much. I feel awkward and uncomfortable, and this goes double for me and professors.

Last quarter, I took a history seminar that was required for my major. As a transfer, I was told that if you want to do research, it’s especially important to find a professor who can advise you on your thesis as soon as possible or yesterday, whichever comes first. Since I want to be a professor myself, I thought it couldn’t be that hard. If/When I’m a professor I hope that students would also want to be a professor. I think that I’m one of those people who would want to help and guide them and possibly even mold the type of teacher they’ll become (how fun!). On the other hand, I could be one of those people who is really hard on their students, especially the ones who have aspirations of being a professor. Needless to say, my seminar professor last quarter was one of the latter.

It wasn’t that he was mean, but he wasn’t very approachable. Plus he is a medieval historian, which isn’t my cup of tea (BORING!). Long story short, I got a B- in that class. Yes, I am bitter about it. Not to be discouraged, I sought out a professor teaching another seminar in a subject that I am hoping to do research on (since I needed the adviser starting in the Spring, and I didn’t utilize my first quarter very well). Into my life walks Prof. G and the Russian Revolution.

I’ve been trying to impress Prof. G since starting the quarter, talking as much as I can about the readings (even keeping up with them!). But, like I said before, I’m not one to go out of my way to go to office hours, at least not unless I absolutely HAVE to. In this case, I did.

By next Tuesday, we’re supposed to have our topics picked out for the research project that will be due at the end of the quarter for Prof. G’s class. I went to talk to him yesterday, and slyly brought up the fact that I’m looking for someone to advise me on my honors thesis and wondered if he had any suggested reading (hint… hint…). To my surprise, he asked me to tell him more, and even offered to by my adviser! No questions asked!

My wife always tells me to go to office hours and ask questions, even if I already know the answer. I might just start taking her advice from now on… As I found out yesterday more talking = more doing.

-Mrs. That One


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