Monday, October 17, 2005

upon a highschool day

Bad Attitude

I mouthed off one of my professors today. He didn't like me already, and I didn't like him already because I knew he didn't like me. In fact, I believe he just doesn't like standing in front of a classroom full of what he believes to be challenged individuals, teaching a subject he believes a highschool student should be able to catch onto in 5 minutes or less.

I seem to be falling into my highschool habits. I had a few teachers who thought I had a chip on my shoulder (and I never really quite got that idiom). But that's not a bad thing; I never failed a highschool subject. Maybe I was angry back then. Maybe I'm getting angry now. It really seems to work for some people whom I know to be angry and quite intelligent.

This one professor said to the class, "Judging by the blank stares on your faces I may as well be speaking French to you" (this guy is from France and has the horrible guy-french accent). I responded with, "You're just speaking Math to me," which didn't really seem to be a problem.

Later he comes hovering over my shoulder as I'm supposed to be working out the proof for some algorithm complexity. He waits, I keep my pencil still. He waits longer, I pretend to be thinking hard. I'm thinking this guy is wasting valuable class time that I'm not going to be able to make up. I'm thinking he should be going over the example on the board and doing it slowly so the class can grasp the concept. Instead, over the course of a 80 minute lecture, he covers three examples by leaving it for the student to work out (by himself so as not to plageurize) and then he quickly goes over the proof on the board. Anyway the professor hovers over my shoulder and waits. Waits longer. Sees I'm not doing anything. He turns to walk away, I relax. He sees that I moved and begins hovering over my shoulder again, apperantly thinking I've discovered the solution.

Now when he waits and sees that I've still not solved anything he says to me, "You really have no idea where to start, do you?"

I could have taken that to mean, "Let me give you a hint" but the past has proven he's not here to help. And the pompousness carried over in his accent. So I simply told him, "I really don't understand why we're doing this," because I was taught to always ask questions. Always ask why. And I don't find too many opportunities when I get to ask the question why.

Why can go on a long time, and I don't believe one can really understand the whole picture until that why comes down to the fundamentals.

"I really don't undertstand why we're doing this. How is this going to help me in my profession?"

He replies, "You want to be able to find out the complexity of your algorithms, don't you?"... Uh, no! I don't. If I was interested in that sort of thing, I sure would. But why do I need to express interest in complexities? So I tell him, "If I wanted to know the complexity of an algorithm I'd look it up on Google."

I didn't mean to offend. I don't think he was offended. But apperantly other students thought it was a big deal.

-Bring back the highschool habits