Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Community College Fail

Dr. Evil being charming

The end of the semester looms. The Chemistry teacher won out her battle of brains and wills. I withdrew from her class. Probably the best idea as my sister called me in tears after a test not long ago. My sister who is probably smarter than the professor herself – which is my personal opinion of what is going on in that classroom. This Chemistry teacher – we’ll call her Dr. Evil – has a superiority complex over her poor Basic Chemistry students. Her tests aren’t designed to make you feel like you might actually know what you covered that chapter. No. They’re designed to make you think, “What the heck? When did we cover that?”

She worked in the Chemistry field for years and has an undeniable passion for her subject. However, that doesn’t reflect into her teaching. Her teaching methods leave her students wanting. She nitpicks on small details and stresses topics better suited for higher up Chemistry classes (such as organic topics). She demands you memorize formulas and definitions that you wouldn’t usually touch until a 200+ class.

And flaunts the fact she knows everyone is struggling with pride. “Oh I’ll help you,” she’ll say as her students scratch their heads over her latest lecture. “I’m available after class.” But what student wants help from the person who is confusing them and then admits it? Will she really help after hours? Or will she just reiterate what she spewed from her podium for 2 hours with poorly made power point slides and weak lecture notes?

So while I was severely disappointed with having to withdraw to the point of depression, I felt a little reassured that maybe I had done the right thing. If my sister – whom has the makings of a genius if she wanted – struggled under Dr. Evil’s tutelage, what chance did I have?

And biology, a subject I dearly love, has been disappointing of late. I’ve learned nothing knew, short of the Kreb’s and Calvin cycle to a level of detail I thought would be saved for microbiology (again not a basic biology topic in my mind) and had Darwinism shoved down my throat and then slapped with that paddle until I relented. The labs have been useless recaps of the Introductory Biology course I was forced to take and then even more pointless when they did a few that weren’t from that course.

On top of that, my dear Community College felt the need to force me to “experience the world.” By our professors explanation, the school felt that students didn’t go outside enough or visit enough museums.

I’m sorry, my parents took me camping nearly every summer of my youth and I saw plenty of museums. With my family. Whose job it is to expose me to things like that as a *requirement* NOT my school that I’m paying to teach me a subject. So once again, my sister and I are forced to go a musty old museum that puts the Chicago Art Museum to shame in the name of “experiencing the world” and I must put together a ‘field journal’ to show that I go outside.

What does that have to do with anything we discussed this semester? Nothing. I guess you could sort of tie photosynthesis with the outdoors and the evolution crap with the creepy museum full of stuffed dead creatures, but really – I’d rather pass.

But the end of the semester, as I said before, is merely weeks away. I wonder what I’m ultimately taking away from this half year that I will apply to my later career. My sister and I have both been accepted to the near-by University. We agreed that despite the cheaper price of the community college, the education we were receiving was just not worth it. So its off to EMU we go, financial aid is filed and loans are looking to be in my future.

I will retake that chemistry course over the summer. I’m praying its done by a real Chemistry teacher – not a joke like we had this semester.

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