Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Blackboard Jungle

More than anything, I'm starting to realize a marked difference between my undergraduate and graduate studies. I knew that I was going to figure that out eventually, but the farther I get even into this term, the more obvious it is.

For example, there's my stats professor. The man is clearly bugfuck crazy, and in turn is making the entire class a little crazy as well. The way he teaches is maddening: he lectures from Flash slides that are available on the website, when he veers from those, it's to scribble on the board in completely illegible handwriting, and he frequently takes breaks from the material to mumble about some utterly unrelated topic like, oh, his ex-wife.

I wish I was kidding. The last straw? He discovered some shareware last week that turns Word documents into MP3s. He then proceeded to name the voice that lives inside his computer. Full name--first and last. And refers to it as if it were a real person. Frankly, I wish the faintly-sounds-like-Stephen-Hawking-on-Family-Guy voice were teaching the class because I'd probably be getting more out of it.

I think there is a definite advantage to paying for your own education; namely, that you are vastly more invested in the outcome. I think if I'd been paying for my undergrad, I would have slept through vastly fewer classes, really paid attention in a number of others, and taken more advantage of the opportunities I was presented with and just either didn't know about or knew about and didn't care. I'm not saying that I wasted my undergrad; I didn't. But I definitely didn't take full advantage of it either.

That said, I clearly need to take full advantage of this try at school, if for no other reason than not having to feel this way about my grad experience as well.

And you better believe that I will have plenty to write about my stats professor on my evaluation. Argh.

Quote of the Day: "Dear Mr. Potter, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Soon, you and your schoolmates will join us here, and your education in the magical arts will begin." Dumbledore (Richard Harris), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Now that's an acceptance letter I'd have loved to have gotten!!

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