Grrrr.

by Janie Jones

I don’t feel much like I’ve complained a whole lot this semester about my classes so I feel I’ve earned some rant time.  I hope you’ll bear with me.

In general, I am enjoying school very much right now.  However (there is always a ‘but,’ isn’t there?) right about now I’m wishing I was a spliceosome and could excise the entire intron which is my biology professor.

Yes, there’s some stupid and lame biology terminology references in there.  I have to feel clever and not just peevish right now.

I just sat his third biology exam of the semester.  His exams are always horrible.  You go to class every day and think, sure that makes sense, and you review your notes and review the exam study guide.  I even took the study exams for each chapter on the textbook website.  You seem to feel you have a handle on things then, poof test comes and you apparently don’t know what you think you know and can’t tell anymore what he thinks that should be.

And, while I kinda think I did better on this test than previous tests, I am still pissed because I would have bet my last dollar he said we didn’t need to know the chemical structure of the nucleotides, just the basic fact of which were pyrimidines and which were purines and their general structure of being either a 2 carbon ring or 1, guess what?  A schematic appeared that directed us to indicate which of the nucleotides was guanine and which was thymine.  AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGG!  I didn’t really study that!  I thought he said it wouldn’t be on the test so I studied other things, like the things we were told we’d need to know like how Okazaki Fragments are processed and the intricacies of the steps of meiosis and how to articulate the differences between meiosis and mitosis, things which, by the way, were then hardly covered in the exam at all.

Grr.

Okay.  I will still do well on the test, because I think I got lucky in guessing on my nucleotides, and because in general the test questions seemed easier than the study materials would have suggested.  And, in light of the fact that most students are averaging 50-60% in his class he has tried to make things a bit better.  This test he said will allow up to 30 points of extra credit, so I shouldn’t feel dissatisfied really.  But I’m still irritated.

It’s really difficult to understand what this guy wants from us.  I do think I should give him some credit even though he pisses me off.   He seems to really know his stuff, and has published work on genetics, so I mean, this is a good experience.   But being brilliant doesn’t make you a good teacher.  One probably wouldn’t need to offer 30 points of extra credit if the expectations were clearer.

Oh, and one more thing while I’m on my soap box.  My “paper” I was told, was too long.  I was reviewing an 8 page research study and managed to cram all my report in to just 3 pages.  But apparently that was still too long.  How does one really do an effective job explaining a study that long, it’s pertinent results on society as well as my understanding of biology and what I’ve learned in this class in less than 3 pages, double spaced, with a 12 point font and a bibliography?  Seriously, then, what’s really the point of such an exercise if all your going to say is “I read a complex study, it was neat.  I’ve learned a lot.”  He says he’s not going to “seriously” dock my grade for going on too long, but we’ll talk before my next paper so he can help me cut down my thoughts.

So nice of him, isn’t it?

Okay.  I shut up now.

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