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[personal profile] alandrea
On Thursday, I did my Linguistics and Writing exams.

I’m glad Writing is over, and I hope I did well. It has persuaded me to avoid online courses at all costs if given the chance.

Linguistics I’ll miss a little. The exam was pretty good; I think I did well. One question however was completely out of the blue, and I did not prepare for it at all. That question? Give three Latin phrases used in the Harry Potter books, and explain what they mean in English.

I am pretty glad that I am such a geek, because it was one of those “Only fandom can save you now!” moments. I called upon the fangirl within, and she was more than willing to supply the answers that I know are correct. Yeah, all that time spent searching for the deeper meanings of the spells that Rowling wrote so that I could better understand the world and feel more competent writing fanfiction paid off.

In short, spending countless hours obsessing over a fantasy world has helped me succeed in University. Fuck yes!

Then, yesterday, I did biology. I am not best pleased.

The exam was 100 multiple choice questions. That is reasonable; it’s a course for people who are not into biology, and there were over 900 of us in it (Though there had been something like 1800 at the midterm exam).

Now, this biology course, well, I think I’ve expressed my feelings about it before. Suffice it to say that it wouldn't convince anyone who took it that they actually like biology and should take further science courses. I don’t think the professor really wanted to teach us, and I don’t think the students really wanted to be there (I’ll be frank, I came almost every day, and sometimes there were only about 30 of us at lecture). I don’t think the effort was really there on anyone’s side.

Still, I expect a University poofessor (that spelling mistake is staying in because it made me giggle like a small child) to put forth a bit more effort than:

78. What does HPV stand for?
a) one
b) human papillomavirus
c) three
d) four
e) five

For a final exam, that seems a bit off. Now, I wouldn’t complain, because damn, that’s an easy mark, and ya need all the marks ya can get, but that was… only one of many problems with the exam.

We were, for example, given 500 review questions, 100 of which we were led to believe would be on the exam. About 20 of them were.

Now, maybe I’m spoiled, but I think that if you’re going to be nice enough to give people a few hours worth of questions, and tell them that the exam will consist of those questions, you should make sure that the questions do appear on the exam. You also should not tell your students that the material will only be from this semester if you’re going to ask questions about the material from last semester. That’s kind of a dick move.

I have reason to believe that the exam was, in fact, the exam from last semester with some (only some!) questions changed. The easy questions had one answer that was in any way reasonable, and four other answers that were vaguely familiar and would have made sense for questions that I can almost remember from the last exam. Some of the questions were, I am almost certain, verbatim, and in the same place that they were in the last exam. A very few were from the review, and a very, very few were extremely what the fuck you never mentioned this let alone taught it and it has nothing to do with the subjects we covered in this course and is this even a real question or did you just throw a bunch of scientific words that someone without a biology degree could have no hope of understanding together and call it a day?

So yeah, my personal theory is that he got smashed, and wrote the exam in a matter of minutes, taking last semester’s exam and copy-pasting a few new questions and answers onto it.

I think I passed? I mean, I remembered the questions from the last exam, and I’m sure I got the ones that were on the review right, but I don’t know if I answered last semester’s questions correctly, or if I guessed the right answers for the others.

I actually handed my test to the professor as I was walking out. He said to have a nice summer, and instead of the verbal violence I wanted to commit, I smiled, tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, and said “you too.”

Logically, I’m proud of myself, I’m the student here, and student entitlement is such a problem, and I must be in the wrong, but there’s this primal creature raging inside and screaming that leaping at someone while calling them a douchewaffle is sometimes for the best. I don’t know, I just don’t know.

I mean, it cost a hell of a lot of money to take this course, some effort from the teacher is to be expected.

I think it was a shitty course, with a shitty professor, and an extremely shitty exam, and I like biology.

Hopefully, as the years progress, the courses I take will get more specialised, and teachers will care about the content more, and I will never again have to deal with a professor who just doesn't give a damn.

Hopefully, hope is eternal.
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alandrea

October 2011

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