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Old 12-30-2013, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Student Vent Thread

Alright, we all know students get frustrated. Here's a safe place to do a bit of venting. If you be high school or university, let it rip here.

I'll start. I'm in second year through a tech school two year program that is transferable to a university program, I hope, if I maintain a 65% average. Last year I finished with an 82% average. This last year has been ridiculous.

First annoyance was not having all instructors hired before classes started. We got our Auditing instructor lined up in the second week of classes. He spoke a mile a minute in a foreign accent that no one understood, refused to provide written lecture notes, refused to give assignment outlines before they were due or advise where he was lecturing from in the text book and refused to acknowledge the female students in the class (which was 5 out of 7). I didn't complain because life isn't always fair. Took the midterm, got a 46%. While reviewing it with the answer key found several points that I believed should have been marked as correct. Thankfully the program head agreed with me upon regrading and awarded me a 56%. All the other marks in the class rose by 5-14% as well. Issues continued and the entire class complained to our coordinator about this instructor. Eventually the program head agreed to finish marking the semester or allowed us to withdraw with full refund and a Withdrawl mark instead of a Withdraw/Fail on our transcript up until the morning before the final. I chose to write the final. We will see if I pass the class. On the second last lecture day (after finding out he would not be marking any more) our instructor assigned a group, oral presentation due next class. Lovely, since we had already done the required one (poorly). The class refused to do it.

NOW, the school was "unable" to find instructors for 3 of our 6 classes for this semester. It's rather ridiculous since they made us pay for them in September. Our only option if we wanted to finish the year on time is to take the missing classes by correspondence. Only one of the classes is being offered by correspondence through the school, the other two I have to register for with Athabasca University which of course, cost twice as much as what I have paid for the original courses plus an application fee. Our student coordinator was kind enough to tell us which classes we needed to sign up for. I registered for both last week. This week I was able to access the course's online content. One looks like I will need to upgrade my Office Suite to get me Windows Access databases. The other looks a LOT like the Tax course I took last semester (and aced the final). Hmmmm, ok. Maybe she mistyped 301 instead of 401. Let's call her. Nope, out of the office until Jan 6th. Tried to call Athabasca U. Closed until Jan 2nd. Fine. Since I have to call my current school's registrar to get into the correspondence class that THEY are offering I'll do that. Guess who else is on holidays.. Not saying I didn't phone her last Friday and was told she would be in on Monday. Not saying I didn't call her on Monday and get told that she was out of the office. I missed calling her on Friday because, shocking, I also work and didn't get a break to do it in. What is up with schools closing and their people taking off right when students are supposed to be registering for classes!?

Today I got the package from AU which contained....the same text books that I used for semester 1 tax class. And only those text books. Whatever, now I have a set of Canadian Tax Text books, sealed with software that I can sell, except they are only good for this year. I'm waiting until AU's office opens again to see if I can return them for refund before listing them on kijiji.

I really wanted to use this week before face to face classes started again to get ahead on my correspondence classes, especially tax. Guess that won't be happening.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Reported the troll with nothing to brag about.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Reported the troll with nothing to brag about.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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angelas -sorry your thread went downhill so quickly, you have enough to be upset about. For you and many students, many institutions really kill the joy of learning when they don't come through for you.

I returned to school in my 40's, one part of it was doing nursing internships, and needed instructors at the hospitals. My 3rd semester was a total waste, one instructor couldn't finish his term with us, was not familiar with the hospital and could not teach us how to use any of the equipment, and of course staff was either too busy or didn't want to be around students to teach us. Our replacement instructor should have been in a nursing home herself, I know she meant well, but I did not learn a thing except how to do paperwork - lots and lots of paperwork, no practical skills.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not a student with a gripe/rant, but seeing how hard you are trying to put things in order and get/keep going makes me a jealous. Our daughter "had" that drive but were now having to push/kick/fight to keep her going. While these things are frustrating for sure, it will all get worked out.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Back in 1985/86 I spent a year at the Trumbull Campus. No major issues with the classes or the instructors. Some people didn't like that two of the instructors were from India and one in particular was difficult to understand.

I mean, when you are learning about permativity and permeability and the man is saying permittymitty for both of them it is a little confusing. I swear it took me two weeks to figure out that affichechency was actually efficiency. But I didn't complain.

Now the year 86/87, I went to the Ashtabula Campus. My Mechanical Drawing book and my Digital Systems book were not ordered. They cost 50 and 60 dollars and they arrived 8 weeks into the semester. 8 weeks later! Uhg! The MD book was ok. But the DS book was terrible. The instructor said it was terrible. I kept all my technical books except that one. I sold that back for $6. That year I had an instructor that never graded anything. He just handed out Bs, or he looked at you and decided you were a B student or a C student. I had 5 classes with this guy, and it did affect my GPA. He came into our Micros class at the end and said, "How about we just give everyone a B this semester?" Two of the people went and complained that it would mess up their GPA and he gave them As. Got to love college. That year I had a communist for Socialogy, and he got banned from the other campus.

That year I also had a class with my dad. The instructor was this little guy with a total monatone. The class was from 8PM to 10PM, and the guy had the whole class sleeping. Except Dad and me. Dad would be correcting the guy when he made mistakes on the board, and I would be awake because I was sitting next to my dad.

I graduated with Dad that year, and he took all the honors -- all As save 1 B.

The third year was my MERT degree. And the first semester was fine. I was taking all technical classes and the head of the department was this little Dutch guy that was in Holland and made to run a lathe for the Nazis when he was 14. He was awesome. I got Bs from him, but I deserved them.

The second semester he had a heart attack after the first week of classes. I was taking first year classes and second year classes because I was taking the whole degree in a year's time. Well they brought in three teachers to take his classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I had class at six to eight one day and lab six to eight the other for the first year class, and the same for the second year class from 8 to 10pm.

Well, they brought in two teachers for this, and it was better for the one to have the class at the other time. He asked if that would be a problem. I said YES. I was the only one. So I had to take both classes at the same time.

I started out going to both lectures. But I got so far behind in the machine shop, that I switched and went to both labs. That really sucked. Oh, and did I mention, the guy taking the second year course decided that we wouldn't need a book for it. He was writing a book, and we weren't going to follow any book. Try taking a class with no book when you can't be there half the time. Ah, memories! This dude was no manager either. It was a nightmare. I went to work for him after graduation. He used to forget it was pay day. Uhg! More memories!

The third class was given by a guy I graduated with the previous year. Now the school was supposed to get us computers. The class was Computer Aided Drafting. Back when it was CAD3.2. Only the computers weren't sent from main, and the department head told us we would not be able to stick to the syllabus because we didn't have the computers. There was one that was always broken, an hp that everyone was using, and an old analam with 9 inch floppy disks, that the computer aids would just dump everything off of when they felt like it.

Everyone was trying to do this on one computer. And this new guy, he decided that we WOULD follow the syllabus. Great. Got a C in that class, just awful. I ended up finishing my MERT with a 3.08. Ick!

5 years later I went to finish off the BS at Youngstown. We generally had books and instructors and computers. My biggest issue was that Computer Aided Electronics had boomed in that time, and I was seriously behind in PSpice. Nevertheless, Going into my final year, I had a 3.87 average, or something ridiculous like that. I had gotten the department scholarship, and was inducted into some honor society.

And then I met Dr. Misery. Ok, his name wasn't Misery. But it was close. I was working full time in Geneva at the time and going to school full time in Youngstown. So, I was leaving work at 3:30 and in class by 4:50 or 5PM four nights a week. I had two classes each night, so I got out at 9:30 or 10PM, and then drove an hour back home. I had to be at work by 7AM, and had to work OT on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

About halfway through the quarter, I asked Dr. M. to assign the homework for Monday and Wednesday on Wednesday, so that we could have the weekend to work on it. I thought it was a reasonable request. He was complaining that we wouldn't do the problems on the board. Well, he went ape on me in class, complaining about students who were working etc, etc.

When I left the class, some of the students said, "There goes your A."

They weren't wrong. I had gotten an A on the first test, and was running an A average. I got a D for the class. Do you know what a D does to your GPA? Let's just say, it isn't pretty. I could have retaken the class, but he was the only instructor. And if I aced it, I would have gotten the A and the D averaged. He was the only instructor. But I could graduate with that D sitting there, so I said screw it.

I did complain to the department head. Out of 30 students that started the class, 1 got a B, 5 got Ds, and the rest flunked or dropped out. The Department head acted all sympathetic, but I found out that he and Dr. M. were buddies from college, to graduate school, started teaching together, and were buddies for 20 years teaching together. No chance.

My last quarter I had to take another class with him. I thought I would be lucky to pull a C in it. I was so ready to graduate and get out of there. Anyhow, he gave me a B in that class. I heard he had gotten married and was a nicer guy.

Other than being forced to take 3 physical ed classes that had zero to do with anything, and having two murders on campus my last year there in the same week, I can't complain about much else.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I feel better now.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That sounds like quite an experience through school selzer.

Sometimes you just have to bulldog through it. That's about where I am now.

Once our class complained about our Auditing instructor and emphatically explained that we would not be taking any classes he was teaching the school decided not to invite him back. Hence why we don't have an instructor for 3 of our classes this semester.

Most of our instructors this year have to have an Accounting designation (either CGA, CA, CMA, CPA) to teach most of the classes so that doesn't help finding instructors. I'm not sure why since apparently I can take them by correspondence without any instructor at all .
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hopefully they pay adjuncts more in CA than they pay them in the States. If not, I suspect therein lies the problem. Around here adjuncts are paid anywhere between $1200 (community college) to $3500 (R1 university) per class. That breaks down to $6 to $17.50 an hour. You need an advanced degree and teaching experience to teach at the R1 university and you rarely get more than 1 class which means you don't get health insurance benefits and you make a total of $7000/year so you need to have either a full time job or many other part time jobs.

Just giving you some insight from the other side of the equation (and thankfully I am no longer an adjunct!). Very little of the money you are paying for tuition goes to pay your instructor's salaries.
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