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Old 07-24-2019, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What was the worst college professor you had?

Mine made me write completely untrue lines using a black quill that carved the words into the back of my hand!

I got back at her, though! I gave her a terrible review on RateMyProfessor!

I had a Chicano literature professor that ranted about modern politics in Spanglish. She also distributed .PDFs of reading assignments that had been photocopied far too many times. Additionally, she had terrible handwriting that mixed upper and lower case as if Bobcat Goldthwait were writing.

Did we ever discuss our assignments?

Not really.

Did I learn any Spanish?

Actually, yes!

I looked up words she used in English that I did not know in Spanish!

I had just bought my first laptop so I could take notes far faster and legibly, but since class was a waste of time, I started writing up our reading assignments. I had her .PDF on one side of my screen and Word on the other.

She stood behind me and watched me work for an entire class.

When I finished, I was going to send her a .PDF of everything so she had something more professional to distribute, but three months in, we had our first test.

I earned 25%.

I have bombed tests and I regularly mess up, but I doubt that I have ever scored that poorly on anything.

I usually earned Bs on my papers, but I think my best score in her class was a D. I kept thinking "I do not know what is wrong, but I will just work harder" and then I earned another D or E.

I calculated that if I earned 100% on everything for the rest of the semester, I would earn a C for the course, but I would undoubtedly work extremely hard for a terrible grade.

Of course, we were well past the drop-add deadline.

In retrospect I should have visited her during office hours to ask about the first assignment and maybe I could have earned a C in that class, but I needed to choose between withdrawing from all of my classes even though I was doing well in the rest or accepting the failure and retaking it my last semester.

It was not offered my last semester.

Compared to Profesora Resentimiento, my current professor is just annoying.
  1. The Course Outline shows three assignment due the first week and none the rest, but we had two assignments each due the second and third week.
  2. The professor said "I know this is summer and you want to take vacation, but you are still responsible for all deadlines." However, the fourth and fifth week, when I went to check our assignments, we did not have anything because she is on vacation.
  3. She graded the first three assignments one week later, but not the five assignments that I submitted up to 17 days ago.
  4. When I took this class at ASU we had 37.5 hours of lecture, dozens of assignments due, tests, a group project, and a final. Last semester I had about 30 hours of lecture for one class, weekly assignments, five tests, and a final. For this class we have zero lectures, eight assignments, three quizzes, and a final.

The course outline is incomplete. The professor probably should have planned her vacation between the summer and the fall, or at least said "This is summer and you still need to make all deadlines, but I will be out-of-town the week of X, so you may choose to make plans for that time." Except it seems she took more than two weeks off out of an eight-week term. I do not have any idea how I am doing in this class. There are so few assignments that if I did poorly on the next couple I would have dropped the class.

My final complaint is that I honestly do not feel that I am learning anything.

This is my field.

This is my future.

I paid good money for this class and all that I can hope is that I at least earn an A, but I do not have any idea how likely that is.

What horror stories do you guys have?

[By the way, "Resentimiento" means "Umbrage]

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Old 07-24-2019, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for asking.

College freshman year architectural design studio (a lab with 2-3 hour blocks during the week). Two profs (one the best ever, the other the subject of this post).

The design brief was an ice fishing hut. Two weeks to work it out. Two days before I was sitting in the lab reading Terry Southern's Candy and the prof walked up behind me and looked over my shoulder (It was the part about an orgy in a bucket of eels). I hadn't anything but a diamond-shaped floor plan, so I went to the Student Union and bought some corrugated cardboard and balsa wood.

The next day I had a trailerable hut at 1"=1". See attached


The others' solutions were "I didn't want a door so I made a black curved hallway" or "Mine is erected by bolting plywood panels together". The good prof said my model was directly productizable (I doubt the word existed then).

The next weekend was Parent's Weekend and I took my parental unit to the lab to show them the model. It had been smashed flat. None of the other students had any motive to perform that act. I have no direct proof, but his was that sort of personality.
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a philosophy professor at a community college class. He held a PhD in philosophy. The class culminated in the greatest of all philosophies; communism.

Really though, I regret my immaturity then as I could have gotten more out of the class. Sure, his philosophy has massive problems with it, but he has the knowledge of a PhD professor and I should have taken more advantage that.

That said, he did allow free discussion and comment, which I found stoked my ego because I would offer comment, he would ask another student what they thought, and they would just refer back to my comments. It would have been more useful to have someone seriously tear apart my thoughts.

All of my other professors were fine to excellent, with the next worse beginning the English class by saying he wouldn't be awarding any A's that term. I was fine with a B.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
All of my other professors were fine to excellent, with the next worse beginning the English class by saying he wouldn't be awarding any A's that term. I was fine with a B.
I have never heard of a professor saying that. Dad used to talk about his grad school professors that said something like:

99 - 100 = A
97 - 98 = B
94 - 96 = C
00 - 93 = D
91 - 90 = F

I had enough difficulty with Arizona State changing to a +/- system, making an A a 93%!

It is great for all of those 97%+ students, though.

Not it!

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Old 07-24-2019, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I used to be against grading on a curve because it has the potential to undermine individual achievement. If I scored 91% on a test, I wanted the assurance that I had an A...

Now I prefer the curve because achievement isn't some static thing; it's in relationship to your peers; a hierarchy of competency if you will. If everyone did "poorly" in a class, that's an indication of a problem with the instruction, not with the students. A curve will even that out, which may or may not be desirable. You don't want to penalize a student for having been given poor instruction, but at the same time they need to meet the same standards of competency among other classes that study the same material.

Grading on a curve requires sufficient participants to work correctly though. In a classroom of 5, it wouldn't work correctly.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you grade a test and almost everyone earns an A, I do not think you should grade on a curve, and have a distribution like Dad described, but I would tell the class that the next test will be much more challenging.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I mostly remember my good professors; I can name a bunch at the drop of a hat, and a high school English teacher who would trump them all. I could write far more about them than my bad ones, and I almost did.

The one bad one I had was a middling businessman who taught various business courses at a local junior college. His teaching was sort of a mess (I had him for finance). Some of what he taught made zero sense until I re-engaged with some parts in an accounting course, at which point it clicked. In a class meant to build upon what he was supposed to have taught. Not a bad guy, just a bit spastic, hard to follow his train of thought.

(Dis-?)Honorable mention to one professor who seemed to hate questions? She basically answered none of them, her line was (in her otherwise entirely charming Spanish accent), “ Ju shoulda know thees, Keedo!”. Go figure, I married a Latin woman
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I have never heard of a professor saying that. Dad used to talk about his grad school professors that said something like:

99 - 100 = A
97 - 98 = B
94 - 96 = C
91 - 93 = D
91 - 90 = F

I had enough difficulty with Arizona State changing to a +/- system, making an A a 93%!

It is great for all of those 97%+ students, though.

Not it!
My Pa had one at Cal State Hayward. Math professor, I think. He boasted on day one that he had never given an A in his whole teaching career. My Pa earned a B+ and my Pa bitterly blames him for having merely the 2nd best gpa of his graduating class.

I sense some embellishments mixed with a desire to not really push him on that. The same way I am afraid to probe him for some of his Vietnam experiences in MAC-V SOG.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Redirecting from "Small / economy car deathwatch: we've passed `peak econobox' again"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
I am finally studying for my final! I am also a week behind on my paperwork again, but I feel like that should be in one of my threads.

There are so many from which to choose!

Still, I do not understand people who want so many updates they get in the way of doing what they want me to. Let me take care of it and then we can talk--or not.

Not talking is always an option.

"We still don't talk sometimes."
Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
People that want updates probably understand your proclivity to procrastination (at least that's what I assume about myself).

Somewhere else you mentioned financial independence, as if that's something that happens to you. Truth is, it's a decision 99% of the time, and something that happens 1% of the time.
In my experience, women keep asking the same question when they do not like the answer, but they keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result?

Most of my examples involve my sister.

When I first earned my first Bachelor's everyone told me to find a place to live and then a job. I concluded it was more logical to find a job first. I was hired to be a substitute teacher as I moved all of my stuff into a locker. Then my sister called, still while I was moving into a locker. I told her that I was just offered a job and she actually lived two blocks from a school in that district, so she asked why I had not asked to stay with her.

At least part of that is that I do not like to drop something important and work on something else--I may never get back to it.

I also would have tried to find a room to rent first.

I stayed with her one whole week. My eldest nephew was a baby, had colic, and screamed constantly unless you held him, walked around, patted his back, and sang to him.

It was exhausting.

I helped a great deal with him and cleaned up after myself. I immediately found a room to rent, but we agreed that I would move in once I had my first paycheck.

School started, I went to work, came home, and walked around patting my nephew's back and singing to him.

My brother-in-law was trying to watch a movie, and apparently trying to drown out his son, which seemed to be a vicious cycle.

My sister came home, my nephew calmed down, and I tried to relax.

She asked me from the other room when I was moving out. I had been there for seven days and we had this conversation every day.

What answer did she want me to give her?

I ended up moving out that night and I was unable to see my nephew for a while because she said I was not fit to be an uncle.

Then there was my first Easter with Bacon five years ago. I was replacing my oil pan, and, as always, had one problem after another. We discussed dinner some days earlier and my sister asked if I would need a ride.

"I am going to try to fix my car and I will let you know if I need someone to pick me up."

We had that conversation dozens of times in the next few days, with her, with Mom, and with my mother-in-law, and the thing was, I was unable to fix my Civic in-time, so I figured out how to get there.

I arrived and the three women kept asking the same questions over and over--at the same time.

The wife of really the one friend I have told me a few years ago that I think that women are unintelligent and immature--based on her interpretation of her husband's version of stories I told him.

Some are, sure. If we ignore those willing to date me, I do not know what kind of a sample we have.

I think Mom just likes to complain. Mom thinks that my sister takes out her problems on me instead of dealing with her husband. I do not know about my supervisor, but it seems that the people with whom I interact regularly feel they know exactly how I should do everything, and feel upset when I make the decisions that are most logical to me.

Now, my Dad, he had an anger issue the entire time we were growing up. He bought his first recliner when I was a kid and when he wore one out, he bought another. He always bought a new car, he had hundreds of audio tapes and CDs, and he claimed 3/4ths of their walk-in closet. When he passed, Mom donated dozens of shirts that cost over a hundred dollars each.

For most of their marriage, they could not afford all of the money that he spent on himself, so Mom had less money to spend on herself and us.

He was great about saying nice things about Mom, but it seems that he never said anything nice to her. So, for whose benefit did he say those things?

He did not go into my grandmother's funeral or into their house when we visited afterward. According to Mom, he resented attention being given to someone else.

Dad had a great many flaws and I think Mom holds them against me, even though I have completely different flaws.

So, back to Easter, while the three women kept asking me the same questions at the same time and I decided to forget them and eat, Dad just sat back, enjoyed the show, and laughed.

Then my sister decided to lecture me. "You put yourself in situations that are avoidable!" I do not know what she was going to say next because her lecturing me was avoidable.

I left, but as I drove off, I saw Dad in the doorway.

He came after me to talk to me.

That is how I try to remember him.

I could have just asked someone to drive half an hour out of their way each way, but why plan on not fixing my car? Why did they obsess over making sure that I had a ride when I was absolutely capable of getting there myself?

They kept asking the same questions over and over again because they did not like my answers, but my answers were not going to change. I made it. I wanted to enjoy Easter with my family, and they wanted me to say what they wanted me to hear.

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