Friday, January 11, 2013

Let me talk about school

Ok. So I think it's a possibility that I look a little younger than I am. Certainly in a college setting, I wouldn't be surprised if people thought that I was there for the first time (wouldn't be insulted if they realized I wasn't though - I'm not that old!). But I FELT older than ever when I went to my once-a-week lab class yesterday.

It was the first class of the semester for a Thursday only lab. Next week, according to our syllabus, we had a quiz. Therefore, I reasoned I should buy the book and start studying before I got to class, because it was clear the instructor wanted us to start learning right off the bat.

Here's the part where I sound like a cranky old person - I couldn't believe the other student's attitudes! One guy was grumpy because we didn't just show up and go over the syllabus and leave. Others seemed stunned when the teacher started going over the notes very quickly, as though he expected us to have read up in the textbook. (The ever popular question, "will these notes be on the website?" was, of course, asked within two minutes. I'm glad to see that taking notes still hasn't come into fashion yet.)

But my amusement high point of the evening was when we broke into small groups to study a cell model. Thankfully, I have taken biology before and even dissected a fetal pig. Granted, this was all the way back in my dark ages of high school, but it's still fairly review and remember material for me. One of the girls in my group was very talkative and started alternating between trying to point out items on the cell model and talking about how much she did not want to be here.

I don't know if I can do justice to our conversation. You might have had to be there. But I'll do my best.

In essence, between pointing out the ribosomes and wondering where the smooth endoplasmic reticulum was, she explained to us that she actually shouldn't have to take this class, because she had done this material in high school. And that it was ridiculous that we were here, doing this.

She wondered aloud whether or not we needed to know just where the cell parts were, or if we needed to know their function as well. The teacher had provided us with a detailed "need to know" type sheet. It clearly stated we needed to know cell parts and functions. I read that out to the group and her response was, "I don't have time for this."

I'm not sure exactly what that means. Typically, I had always approached classes assuming they were my priorities and that I would have to make time to learn the information presented. Again, apparently I am a dinosaur.

She continued to explain that she had taken this stuff in high school, but failed the class.


Yes, she said. She failed the class but not because she didn't know the material. She failed the class because she got suspended for not showing up to school enough. But it wasn't her fault. Her teacher was the devil.

I kind of made a face, alternating between a "you don't say" sort of nonchalance and a "I think you're a little crazy" when I couldn't control myself.

It just seems insane to me that someone would be here with such a flippant attitude. I'm not saying I believe that every student comes to college to learn; oh, I understand that this is not true. But I don't understand it. I have no way to relate to the words that were coming out of her mouth. She spoke about how last semester was her first semester at college and so she was kind of in a "yay I'm at college" mode and how this semester she was going to do better.

If "I don't have time for this" is her doing better, I can't imagine what last semester was like.

Anyhow, that's my first week back for me. I'm going to go make some flash cards.


  1. I think that's (unfortunatelly) a common attitude for people who don't have to pay for college.

    Additionally, I had a similar attitude myself and I think I would do much better now that I manage the money that would go into my schooling.

  2. You are doing your children a disservice by paying for their college tuition, it works for some but not many...