I assume I’ve complained on the site before about how much I dislike the focus on “class participation” in the English courses that I am taking. I do feel that I should clarify that I dislike this not only because I don’t want to participate, but also because I don’t want my fellow students to participate either.
My professors can not, apparently, string together more than a paragraph of class content without asking the class to answer some minor question, or checking if the kids have any questions of comments. The most unfortunate consequence of this is that the kids in these classes seem to be getting it into their head that they actually have things worth saying. They don’t. Oh, how they don’t. Must every class include twenty minutes of teenagers tripping over words, struggling to think of some interesting fact marginally related to the topic at hand? I’ve seen these foolish children sit their with their hands high, eagerly awaiting their turn to speak, only to fall to “Um”s and “Ah”s as soon as their moment arrives. These students are tedious bores and they don’t realize it. And here we are, not only giving them a chance to derail the momentum of a lecture, but actually requiring them to do it to get their full “participation” marks. Professors, listen, you can not underestimate how much more content you could fit into a class if you didn’t wait five minutes at the end of every sentence just to see if the kids might want to finish it for you. (I’m not even going to address the problem with the kids who try to be entertaining when they speak, because I can’t think about them and retain the ability to type sentences.)
Here’s what I want from a class: to go and learn things from the person who is teaching the class. Instead, I find myself in class after class in which even the professor sees the idea of lecturing as a worst case scenario. During the first day of any class a professor is likely to say something along the lines of “Don’t worry, this won’t be a class where I just stand here and lecture” and I am left thinking “Balls.”
It’s the day before school starts back up and I’m seeing kids everywhere. I can take some small comfort in the knowledge that a bunch of them will drop out and go away. That’ll be nice.
While I’m here, I might as well go on to mention that I am currently roommateless. The last one left in the midst of August, as was the plan, and I put an ad on the Internet, but since I was on my own again for some time, I remembered how nice it is to have to apartment to myself. I answered a few people who responded to the ad, but it was a lot of kids, really, and I eventually just stopped replying. It looks like I’m going to try to go at least a month on my own. It will be pleasant and expensive.
Okay, remember how I mentioned that I wanted to get a bunch of work for school done last week? I did not get as much done as I would like, but I did some. That is something. I did an mathematical assignment for my Astronomy class, which I was happy to get through. I only have to do about four math questions a month for my Astronomy class, but it always takes me hours to get through.
I also managed to read two short stories I needed to get done, so that’s nice. I really realize what a painfully slow reader I am. Johnny Five I ain’t.
For essay-writing, I did nothing. I did plenty of researching, but I haven’t written one essay, and now I’m back in class, break’s over.
walked into thirty-two bars
to help out some jokes.
Also, remember the time I sat in some other class that was before one of my classes? Well yesterday I noticed that that class was not in the room before my class. Perhaps the had been moved somewhere else or the class had been cancelled, it doesn’t matter, what mattered was that I took the advantage of their absence to sit in class and do some work. While I was in there, a steady parade of students from the class usually held in that room would walk in, see that their class wasn’t there, and leave. This parade continued at least until the halfway point of the phantom class, meaning that they would have been a half-hour late if the class had been going. Even when the class isn’t happening, those kids still manage to make me think they’re idiots.
I had some time between classes and didn’t feel like going home. The auditorium where my class would be held was empty, so I thought “Sit there and read” and did that. Then students started showing up and I thought “Hey, I’m not the only one here early.” But then I looked at the time and realized, these were not early students for my class, these were on-time students for the class being held in that room before mine. Whoops!
So I stuck around to see what that class was like.
That class was full of horrible, terrible students. I now have a very keen understanding of how lucky I am to be in the classes I am, because if I were in that class I would likely not still be there. In my classes I am annoyed by the small handful people who whisper long conversations or spend the whole class on Facebook or Twitter or whatever. In this class, a full-year Engineering class apparently, something close to two thirds of the class just speak in regular conversational tone, paying no attention to the lecture. And not even just the people sitting next to each other. They’d call out to other rows. Groups three or four large would gather around laptops and cellphones watching videos. If there ever was a quiet moment, some “clever” wag would find something to shout out seeking a laugh. At one point some guy stood up and just faced the back of the class for what seemed to be a full minute. So anyway, if you’re in ENGI1101 at Dal, I basically hate you.
On another topic entirely, I only just today noticed that I forgot to put of a SecGov page last Thursday. I had the page done and everything. Just forgot. Oh well.
Well, I think I’m getting a cold. I knew it! I knew I shouldn’t be among these diseased children. Curse them all! Anyway, I guess I’m lucky in that I have time to sleep tonight. Hopefully that will help.
In other news, it appears that the program we used to put my Twitter posts onto the site went and changed. Doesn’t seem to work anymore. It was a nice idea while it lasted.
So now I’m gonna lay down. Rest my eyes. That sort of thing.