Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good-bye sophomore year

Today was the official last day of classes. I turned my papers in and life was good.

The most interesting thing about today occurred during my last class (of the day and the semester). It's technical name is History 202, and it's something like civilizations from 1400 to present. I absolutely loved the class and I am so glad I took it; I was worried at first since it is the first history class I've taken since senior year of high school and didn't know what to expect in college. It's been a great experience. At least for me.

In class there was a little time to discuss this reading we'd had from the day before. I talked about it w/ this woman next to me. She was probably in her late 30s, maybe early 40s. So you know, a returning student kind of deal. After we'd finished discussing I asked her what she'd thought of the class. She straight up said she didn't like it. At all.

I was dumbfounded. The professor was amazing, we hardly had any work besides reading, and if we ever did have quizzes they were so easy. The midterm was a piece of cake. Did I mention how AWESOME the professor is?

Apparently, she didn't like the way the readings never corresponded with things that the professor lectured on. Some of that had to do w/ getting behind in lecture but I think most of it is due to the fact that the readings weren't supposed to be the same as the lecture. You read on your own and learn material. You come to class and the professor talks about some of the same things except then he goes more in depth, really getting into it, as well as bringing up things not in the reading. This woman described him as "bringing up some interesting points" but overall she didn't like the format. She said his lectures were good and she liked his teaching style but she felt taking notes had no point. Before the first midterm she took "copious notes" but when the time came around for the midterm she used only the textbooks for information for the essays and she "did really well." After that, she just didn't bother taking notes at all. She said it felt like a waste.

Maybe I found this weird because my strategy in every class is this: write down anything and everything the professor says and to study for the exam read those notes over and over again until you feel like you really understand and can put what he said into context with everything else you know. I honestly don't know how she got through the midterm without using info from the notes. Maybe she knows something I don't but having earned a 97% on that very exam, I can't imagine her system working that much better than mine.

It was so weird to hear her almost deride this professor. He's honestly one of the most informed professors I have ever had. He knows what he's talking about and keeps class interesting. Even though it's a pretty big lecture hall, he treats it like a small class. All the things she didn't like about the class were things I loved. Things that made it absolutely a pleasure to come each Monday and Wednesday from 4-5:15.

I always find it interesting when people don't like the classes taught by the most awesome professors. To me, if you like the teaching style you like the class. According to this woman, she did like his teaching style, it was good. But that wasn't enough for her. I can't imagine learning much more in this type of class than I did this semester.

I guess my hope is that people will realize how lucky they are to have fantastic professors who are truly interested in what they are teaching and what the students are learning.

Last YouTube video I watched: 31 Nerd Jokes

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