Archive for ‘The Audacity of Some People’

November 10, 2015

Just need to blow off a little steam…

by Janie Jones

My biochemistry lab is a total clusterf*%k.

In 12 weeks of class I have gotten out on time three times.  THREE TIMES.  And one of those three was technically 10 minutes late, but that’s not too bad.  Mostly I get out half hour to 40 minutes late.  My lab partner has a class right after so when things aren’t done, as they usually aren’t, I have to stay and finish by myself.  That doesn’t so much bother me as much as the general attitude of the teaching staff that it’s my duty to never have any other conflicts with staying late or coming back outside of scheduled class time.  They can’t be troubled to run the class in a do-able manner, but despite the fact they choose to run it in such an asinine way that no class ever is expected to be done on time, week after week, semester after semester, year after year, it’s apparently okay for me to be troubled to accept the impingement on my personal time.  It’s just run this way.  And the teaching staff doesn’t seem to give a damn.

My beef is that it’s not professional and down right disrespectful to expect us to drop everything else in our lives to make extra time for this work.  And, on top of it, we have a huge number of time sucking homework assignments for this class each week.  So not only do we have to make extra time for the classroom stuff that is impossible to finish, but we have to spend hours and hours and hours outside of class doing the bidding of the teaching staff.

I am especially ranty on this subject today because I had to stay an extra hour and 40 minutes today.  Plus I was given a take home test that needs to be done by 5pm tomorrow.  Like I had absolutely nothing else to fill  my time between now and then and now, on top of it, I have an hour and 40 minutes less than I expected to do the homework already on my to do list.  It’s like pouring salt into my wounded respect for you as a professional.  Would you, as a teacher, be willing to drop everything to spend an extra hour and 40 minutes plus God only knows how long this take home test will take, to do some thing someone told you to do at the last minute?  I seriously doubt it.

Here’s something to chew on jackass:

youre not the only teacher

Should I take the red pill and do the homework, or the blue pill and have a life.

93 days until graduation.

I’m applying to grad school why exactly?!?

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October 14, 2015

A lack of forethought on your part should not constitute and emergency on mine

by Janie Jones

I have five different instructors this semester.  They all seem like basically nice people.  Mostly I enjoy the subjects.  But three of the five just can’t seem to get their poop in a group and give consistent and/or advanced information on when and what things need to be done.  I am getting a lot of eleventh hour emails about this assignment or that meeting that need to be added or changed.

Last night, for example.  I got an email apparently at 7:46 pm saying my 10 am lab time needed to be moved to 9:50 am and might run longer than the original time even with moving it up ten minutes.

Unlike most night owls, I was already in bed at this time.  So this morning chances of getting a message to and from the instructor before I actually am now expected to show up are quite slim.  The problem being that as I can’t be at the lab at 9:50 because I have a class that doesn’t end until 9:50, I kinda would like to know if I should even bother to show up.  You know that whole lack of transporters crap kinda makes getting from one place on campus to another a little slower than instantaneous.  Heaven forbid, too, I might need to go to the bathroom or anything.  But if I can’t complete the task in the original time allotted, should we just reschedule?

Now this particular professor is pretty flexible.  I’m 99% sure she won’t make a big deal out of it one way of the other.  Either she’ll be go ahead when ever you get here will be fine, or she’ll be we can just reschedule, no problem.

However, another of the teachers is really good at having assignments scheduled to be due on Mondays, but not providing the assignment information until sometimes late in the afternoon on the Saturday before.  While it is true I spend most of my weekends doing homework, I think it’s pretty crappy that it’s implied that I’ll just be able to drop whatever is going on on Saturday and/or Sunday to make time for an assignment if I already have plans.  Mondays I usually have pretty much open for homework after lunch, but if you don’t know what the assignment entails, it could take a long time, and I don’t want to deliberately wait until Monday afternoon to find out that this thing is going to take 3 or 4 hours when I have other homework to do too.  Let’s be realistic.  If you knew when you handed out the syllabus at the beginning of the class that an assignment would be due on nearly every Monday of the semester, why can’t you get the assignment information out to us more that two days ahead?  Especially if those days are weekend days?

It is a HUGE pet peeve of mine that professors EXPECT you to have no weekend.

And then there’s the professor who is so unprepared that he usually doesn’t post the lab assignment until a few hours before class.  It’s really hard to come prepared for a lab where you will have to make calculations and do a multi-step technique if you only just got the procedure when you walk in the door.  Then it’s a mad rush to figure out what you’re doing and get done on time.  Or, he won’t tell you what he’s discussing in lecture ahead of time.  Normally not so big a deal, but it’s a very small class and he likes to ask the students lots of questions during lecture.  Sometimes there are mammoth pauses or literally guessing games to figure out what answer he is looking for because we had no idea what to prepare.  The second or third week of class I asked if he could possibly put up lecture notes or some outline of what would be discussed in class the night before and he said “No, I’m too busy.”

I have a lot on my plate.  I’m often too busy to do the homework they assign.  I’m often not available to jump through hoops, adjusting my life around their inability to be organized.  And, I am a very organized person.  In order to balance everything I have to do in a day, week, semester, my time has to be budgeted sometimes down to the last minute.  More often than not my time budget is woefully inadequate to do everything I have to do in a respectable manner.  So when other people’s screw ups mess up the delicate balancing act and my limited free time is impinged upon or I lose time at work or on homework assignments I get really mad because their problems have caused me to fail to some degree.  If things out of my control cause too much havoc in my life I end up in a really bad place emotionally.  We are doing everything in our power to keep Janie out of such places, but we can only do so much.

My moral to this story?  Nine-tenths of college is learning to insulate yourself from the incompetence of others, even those who are supposed to know more than you.  The better you can be at not being ruffled by the mistakes of others, the more successful you’ll be.  When you graduate, if you manage to do so and not go postal, you should get an honorary PhD in Bullshit Management.

September 2, 2015

And you make the big bucks?

by Janie Jones

We all know the professorial realm of academia is full of hacks.  We all know that students ultimately pay the price for their professor’s laziness/ineptness.  Every semester I have at least one textbook example (no impending pun intended).

So, my Virology class meets the first time today at 11 am.  Yesterday the professor sends us an email that says, essentially, you will need this virology textbook (included a link to Amazon).  And, by the way, you can’t get it at the campus bookstore even if you want to pay the outrageous prices they charge, so you will have to find a copy online, either at this link or elsewhere.

Now, riddle me this:  How is it that my biochem teacher could notify her students back in JUNE to say this is the textbook, it is expensive if you buy it from the campus bookstore, if you want to shop around and order it from a cheaper online bookstore do it early so it can be shipped to you before class starts, why can’t my virology teacher have his act together earlier than the day before class starts?

Not off to an inspiring start, if you ask me.

August 20, 2015

Well I am just so screwed

by Janie Jones

Some of my teachers for this fall have sent the course syllabus out already.  All of my classes are morning classes and my latest one runs from 11-2pm.  I specifically avoid late afternoon and night classes.  I had a 3 pm class last year.  I did not perform well.

Why?  I am most definitely a morning person.  My brain works better in the morning, and if I have to do afternoon/evening stuff, I have to sleep in and go fresh to what ever I have to do in the afternoon/evening.  It is just the way I work.  And, the older I get the more morning based I’m becoming.  I pretty sure that my radiation also has played a role in the loss of my mental flexibility.  During the school/work week I am pretty much useless after 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  So I get up early, at usually 4 am, and study.  It sticks better.  I tend to go to bed by 7:30 pm sometimes earlier.  And being up until 8 is a wild late night for me.

I have absolutely no idea how I used to function as a high school/college student 20-25 years ago getting up sometimes as early at 3:30 am and doing homework, going to class, going to work, doing more homework and maybe getting to bed at 10 pm.  I can only assume I had more stamina and mental flexibility then.

So needless to say, I was very, very pleased that the courses I must take for my degree were all early in the day.  I deliberately avoided some classes I was interested in as electives because they were later in the day.

I’ve told you all this so you will understand the significance of what I’m about to say.  To sum up, finally, my Genetics teacher, whose class is at 9 am has made three tests mandatory night exams running from 6 pm to 8 pm.  That means by the time I am expected to sit this exam, even if I take the day off from work, it will still be after a full day where I’ve been awake for 14 hours, sat through his class lecture, another class lecture and a 4 hour lab.  I was pretty much planning to be in my pj’s and ready for bed by the time he wants the test to start.

I have long been anticipating this course because I think genetics is way cool, and now I am completely distraught and dreading this class.  If I could possibly drop it and wait to take it from a different instructor and still graduate on time I so totally would.  This situation is setting me up for disaster and there is almost no possible way for me to do well on night tests at this stage in my life.  I think it pretty much sucks that a teacher is able to require such a thing.  My only hope is that I can work out some special arrangement.

God Dammit!  I am so sick of teachers thinking they can rule your life.

 

July 21, 2015

I didn’t studder

by Janie Jones

I am having a very bad week.  I am feeling quite frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, and as though everything I come in contact with gives me a paper cut and then a salt bath.  To make matters worse I developed a raging cold/flu.

On top of my general yuckitude then, my cold/flu has gifted me with it’s own brand of joy.  I ache, I burn, I am even more exhausted, I feel like I’m wearing sandpaper, swallowing Brillo pads, I can barely keep my eyes open but I can’t sleep, and am freaking hot.  But I got up and went to work.  Even though I wanted to go home, I met with my research adviser after work even though I told him I was feeling quite poorly and preferred not to meet, he wanted to anyway.  I hope he gets my cold.

Everyone I saw today says, “Oh, Janie, you don’t look good.”

To which I reply, “The universe hates me, I don’t feel good at all, I’m having a bad week and a wretched cold.”

And if one more person says in response, “Maybe it’s allergies.”  I swear to all the deities ever worshiped I will sneeze in their face and let the mucous freely flowing from my nose drip directly into their face as I scream “It’s not F*&king Allergies!”

And then I just want to lie like a beached whale in front of a fan in a spaghetti strap undershirt and my underwear but the lovely landlord picked this week to come and put a new roof on the house and brought his son and a family friend to stay in the basement while they work. Because its so hot, if I close the door I lose any hope of a cross breeze, so I stay mostly clothed and lie quietly with the lights out.

It absolutely amazes me how you can be lying half asleep in your room after telling people you are sick and don’t feel good and they still seem to think nothing of trying to engage you in conversation.

WHAT PART OF I DON’T FEEL GOOD, I AM TIRED AND WANT TO REST DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?!?  I AM SICK.  EITHER MAKE ME SOME DAMNED TEA OR LEAVE ME THE F*&K ALONE!

I would type some of the internal monologue of obscenities I would like to scream if my throat didn’t burn so bad, but the mucous is dripping on to the keyboard, and that’s too gross and I’m too tired to keep cleaning it up.

Good night. Maybe I’ll feel better and less cranky tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll call in sick.

July 14, 2015

When you just need to blow off some steam, blog it

by Janie Jones

You know. Grr.

Some people just have no consideration for the emotional preferences of others.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

At least right now.

May 11, 2015

You know it is true what they say about the squeaky wheel…

by Janie Jones

So, Stickittoyou U upgraded their software in April.  Of course this creates all kinds of little problems.  The main one is that my summer class starts next Monday and they *still* don’t have the financial aid awards calculated.  This means I’m supposed to start class in a week but I have no real confirmation that there will be any loan money to pay for it.

The website said it would be available May 2nd.  On May 4th I skedaddled on down to the office to politely ask when I could expect to be told how much financial aid I could have.  They said hopefully by the end of the week.

Well the end of the week came and went and still no notification of whether or not I’ll be getting enough loan money to pay for my summer classes.  So this morning, after freaking out about this for the last week, I, the bundle of barely contained hysteria that I am, skedaddle a second time down to the financial aid office and try, with every frayed fiber of my being, to politely say I still hadn’t received any notice of my financial aid for summer.

Well, basically I was told they *might* *maybe* have that info by the end of *this* week.

But, I tried to say, I start class on Monday.  I need to know before then whether or not I’ll have financial aid to pay for it.

To which I’m told that I should just go to class on Monday and if it turns out that my financial aid awards aren’t ready yet, no biggie I don’t have to pay for tuition until June 22nd.

But, I tried to say, if there ends up not being enough financial aid, how will I pay for the class?

To which I’m told I can always withdraw.

But, I tried to say, you can only withdraw for 100% refund within the first few days of summer classes, and what happens if the withdrawal day comes and goes before you get your act together and tell me how much loan money I can have.

To which I’m told then I can petition for late withdrawal due to the late posting of insufficient financial aid.

But, I try to say, even if you approve my petition on these grounds, I don’t *want* to drop the class.  I *need* this class this summer if I want to graduate next spring.  Being forced to withdrawal due to not having enough financial aid will delay my graduation a whole year.

To which I’m told I should get a private student loan.

Okay, I say.  I’ve never had to do that, can you tell me anything about how that works?

To which I’m told I need to find a bank who will give me a loan.  I need to apply and be approved.  I should expect the process to take a week or two.

But, that’s not much help, still won’t know before I have to start class!

To which I’m told, it’s not their fault.

But I say, it sort of is, you are behind on your financial aid calculations you said you were going to have available over a week ago.  If you had told me then to make other arrangements, I would have had more time to look into private loans.  Now it’s too late, and I shouldn’t have to worry about this while I’m supposed to be studying for finals.

To which I’m told they understand but they really have no control over what’s happened and there’s nothing they can do.

I highly doubt that.  But I ask then who I can complain to because this situation is unacceptable.

It seems the main campus down south is responsible for the timing being delayed due to the system upgrade.  They chose to do the upgrade when they did, but no matter when it was upgraded there would always be some department or some system that would be inconvenienced.  I’m told I just have to be patient.

To which I said, I have been patient.  I’ve been a saint.  There is no excuse for this.  Students should have a right to have their financial aid information available more than the Friday before classes start.  And you can’t even guarantee I’ll have it by the end of this week.

Oh, yes.  I’ve been more than patient.  But I’m quite done being patient now.  And you’ll have to excuse me.  I need to leave before I become a screaming, raging mess.

But, once I finished screaming and crying (safely back in the empty lab), I called the science college office and complained.  I called the the Stickittoyou U Chancellor and complained.  I typed a very nasty letter to the editor I considered submitting to both the campus newspaper and the Big City newspapers.  A little later I complained to my boss when he showed up.  I complained to my coworker when she showed up.  By this time I was a little less Incredible Hulk and a little more Bruce Banner, so I went down to the campus bank to inquire about loans.

On my way I complained to my academic adviser.

I then discovered the campus bank doesn’t give student loans.

When I finally arrived back at the lab my coworker asked how it went, and I complained that the bank on the campus didn’t give student loans.

By now this was becoming so ludicrous we both began to laugh.  Me because it masked the steady loss of what little sanity I can lay claim to, my coworker probably because she was afraid not to laugh along with me.

Somehow in all this drama 5 hours had elapsed.  I decided I might as well go home and try to go through the charade of studying for my microbiology final tomorrow.  And, just as I was packing up my stuff, my cell phone rings.

Apparently someone instructed the financial aid office, and my money is on the Chacellor’s office, to call me and give me a verbal notice of what my financial aid would be when they finally finalized the award letters and sent them out at this unknown future date.

Amazing how suddenly they can release this information.  And, they can be very specific too.

So, it turns out that not only will I have loan money available but there will be plenty to go around.  Thank goodness.  You know, I hate having to take out loans for school and living expenses, but it’s the only way.  And, then when you don’t even know if you will have that, it really can put you in a spin.  With that one phone call to give me my information a huge weight lifted.

Now I can move on to panicking about my final.