AHAHAHA. What a relief!
So, my Physics of Music class has been a nightmare since day one, and not just because it’s an 8 o’ clock class. One the first day, the Professor (who we’ll just call Prof. T) handed out the syllabus and every homework assignment up front. She said that we were expected to turn in at least one homework assignment every week (the maximum being 3), and though she didn’t expect anyone to turn in every assignment, you need to finish at least 14 by the end of the quarter to get an A. Initially, I thought this was pretty great, since I figured I’d be able to work at my own pace.
And then I read the homework assignments.
Prof. T must have written the damn assignments on a typewriter, because she made several errors that could have been fixed if she had been using a word processor. At one point, the word, “satroge” came up, and it took me five minutes to figure out she meant “storage” (not even context clues could help me with this one; I had to guess). The wording is confusing, there are numerous sentence fragments that don’t make any sense, and she frequently says things like, “probably draw a picture.” DO YOU WANT ME TO DRAW SOMETHING OR NOT? The most pressing issue, however, is that the assignments frequently ask for information that was never explained during lectures or in the textbook. Whenever I do the homework, I spend more time searching for the data she asks for than I do actually writing. I think there’s something wrong with your teaching method if you’re assigning material neither you nor your text book ever cover.
Out of the seven assignments I’ve done so far, I’ve only managed to get full credit on one of them, even though I’ve written down everything the prompt asked for, including the items preceded by “probably.” It’s never explained why, either. Someone asked what it took to get full credit last week, and she said, “Obviously, you need to include everything the prompt asks for. It can’t be that hard.” FUCKING AAAAUGFRFDGBTH, NO. YOU CLEARLY WANT SOMETHING ELSE IF I’M STILL NOT GETTING FULL CREDIT AFTER ADDRESSING EVERYTHING IN THE PROMPT.
We also take a quiz every Tuesday, and I never score very high on those either, regardless of my answers being correct. I don’t know what this woman wants! Length, maybe? She never specifies what it takes to get full credit!
Her lectures are also…strange. She speaks for the whole hour and twenty minutes, but I never learn anything! There’s nothing to write in my notes when she’s done talking! But then I thought, “how could someone ramble on for over an hour without mentioning anything important?” Surely, I had to be missing something.
So, since it was so difficult for me to get full points or take adequate notes, I began to wonder if I was just a shitty student (which I am, but I mean shittier than usual).
AND THEN PROF. T SENT OUT AN EMAIL TODAY CONCERNING A LETTER SHE’D GOTTEN FROM HER DEPARTMENT.
Three students registered a formal complaint that basically said,
“After seven weeks of instruction, we’ve observed that Prof. T’s instruction is disorganized and incoherent. She has also not been approachable in answering questions or concerns. We noticed that the quality of the two substitutes’ lectures vastly surpassed those of Prof. T and demonstrate UCI’s standard of academics. We want the administration to know Prof. T’s instruction is disappointing, insufficient, and does not match the high quality of other UCI professors. We ask the administration to address this issue and to give us advice, as we have never experienced this situation before.”
It’s not just me; the professor is not cut out for teaching. In retaliation to this letter, she claimed she was totally approachable and blamed the students for not being able to “organize textbook and lecture material into answers.” She doesn’t understand that with the material she’s given us, we simply can’t answer the homework! We always need to do outside research!
Plus, when I managed to stop her for a moment to ask her about the homework after class today, she admitted to me that she absolutely hates teaching. Nobody can blame her for that, however, she needs to acknowledge that she may hate it so much because she’s no good at it.
I’m just crossing my fingers the administration will step in before too long. I’ll also be submitting a letter to the physics department explaining the situation. It’s a huge relief students share my sentiments, and hopefully, we can work together to fix this problem.