Tuesday, June 22, 2010

don't you hate it when your best isn't good enough?

Call me crazy, but I like to see the fruits of my labors, especially when I've worked as hard as I have on this [insert frustrated tone] biology class. I consider myself a good student. I study hard. I had a 3.94 GPA in my undergrad. I get the studying thing. I know how to be diligent in my efforts. I have spent countless hours at the public library over the past few months, working on this class. Literally every day of the week (except for Sunday) for the majority of the day. Away from my baby. So why is it that I failed the midterm and probably failed the final? My teacher is pretty much the worst teacher ever. Okay, I have no authority to make that statement, but she's pretty rotten. She doesn't give any sort of direction on what to study - anything in the book can be on the test. That means I have to memorize pretty much everything. She did tell me that there won't be any diagrams, charts or tables on the test that were not in the homework assignments. However, there was one diagram and one chart on the final that were not in any of my homework assignments. Many of the questions from the homework were nowhere to be found in the text, so I had to look them up online, and then got them marked wrong (but she didn't put what the right answer was). It's like if it isn't the answer she had in mind, it's wrong, end of story. Nowhere in the syllabus does it say that spelling counts on exams, and yet when I took the midterm and final, it was written at the top of the tests. She takes days to answer my questions (this is an online class!) and then is often unclear in her responses (and sometimes she hasn't ever responded at all). When I expressed my frustration to her about not knowing what to focus my studying on, she told me, "Just look over the homework assignments, get a good nights sleep and eat some protein a couple of hours before you take the test." Um, false. Just looking over the assignments and expecting to remember that information might work for someone with a photographic memory. I could go on and on. I checked her out on www.ratemyprofessors.com and I at least feel validated after reading comments such as these:

"The workload alone is equivalent to two on-site classes. As an independent study class, it is extremely time consuming and required me to research some of the information online as the assignment asked questions in a way that didn't clearly correlate with the book. Thorough assistance was rare, even when asked."

"She is a horrible teacher. Doesn't explain why things are wrong. Ask questions on homework and tests that could have multiple answers but doesn't know it. Some questions don't even make sense. Uses unreadable pictures that you have to diagram."

"Kathy frustrates students and drives them away from appreciation of the subject. I've taken her online course, which is HIGHLY recommended NOT to do. No study guide given for tests. Basically know the book. From e-mail encounters she appears to have an ego and much pride. There is no rebuttal or points given back on her mistakes for assignments."

"FYI, midterm went into questions not yet covered."

Okay, I'm sure you are all bored and don't really care about my biology woes. It is just so dang frustrating to me because I worked incredibly hard (I studied for about 80 hours for the final...seriously?!? This is a 101 class.) I deserve to pass, and I likely won't.

I took the final last Thursday and had the testing center mail it back to my teacher in an overnight envelope that I provided them with. My teacher consented to email my adviser at UW to let her know if I passed or not by Monday (yesterday), which was the deadline (the deadline for me being able to continue in my program or not due to this class). Of course she didn't do it, and though I have emailed her twice since Thursday inquiring about it, I still haven't heard from her and neither has my adviser. Class started tonight and I didn't know if I should go or not given the circumstances...I went but will have to drop if I failed the test.

Wendel just mentioned to me that it sounds like I am typing furiously. I suppose I am. I think I just need to vent about it. Again. (I already vented to him numerous times.)

In conclusion, I hate stupid policies and jumping through hoops. But I am determined to not let something as lame as a general requirement deter me from getting my MSW. So I will press forward through the minutia. I guess you could call me stubborn. I really feel like I'm following the Spirit and doing what we feel good about. I'm sure that there is some huge learning experience to be had here. Maybe when I'm not so frustrated I will figure out what it is and appreciate the experience. Maybe.


Denise said...

Ashley, that all sounds so lame. I don't even know what to say but I am sorry. I love that you are sticking with it and envy you in many ways. Keep it up.

jack!e said...

I'm so sorry Ashley...I'm getting worked up just reading about this class and the teacher! I know how hard you have been working and you deserve to pass. Either way, if you did your best that is all the Lord asks of you, and I'm sure He will help you know what to do and the Spirit will give you peace about it. =]

Michaelynn said...

Chance has suffered through this kind of academic crap for the last few years. I SWEAR he is never going to finish because of weird delays and strange policies at the schools he has attended. I cannot tell you how many times we've wasted time and money because he had to drop a class for some obscure reason and take it later/again. All I can say is I FEEL YOU! Hang in there! And I just read your other post so I'm glad that all is well!

Krystell said...

lol, Ashley, hats off to you!! Absolutely crazy.... a 101 class making you do so much work....Way to press through it though! I am reading things backwards, but just wanted to say what a stressful situation and hallelujah it is OVER!! Kudos and enjoy =0)