Tag Archives: learning

Let’s talk professors

[I’m just going to refer to all of these professors in the male pronoun to avoid the tedium of using he/she, him/her, etc.]

I was just reading for a class i hate, and it occurred to me why i hate this class and the professor that teaches it so much.  Then i started thinking back to all the different types of professors i’ve had over the past four years:

1.  The unintelligent professor

This professor just holds you back and there is absolutely no point in taking a class with him, unless you’re the kind of student who’s into taking advantage of this type’s lack of intelligence and getting an easy A out of the course.  Sometimes you sympathize with him when all the students talk shit about him behind his back or corner him or even belittle him in class discussions.  But in the end, you wonder why you’re paying to learn nothing, and if you’re smart, you drop the course while you can.

2.  The smart professor who can’t teach

A smart guy, just not an effective professor.  Most of us have had him.  In many cases, he’s the kind of person who’d make a great conversationalist or a friend, but just can’t teach.  You sympathize with him and wish your classmates would give him more credit.  Or maybe you’re mean and just criticize him to no end, dismissing the class as a waste of your time.

3.  The smart professor who can teach

The perfect professor, you might say.  But there’s more to being a great professor than being smart and knowing how to teach, as we shall see later on.

4.  The smart professor who seemingly can teach but doesn’t know what teaching is really about

He’s clearly smart and he succeeds at getting ideas across, while maybe even engaging his students, but he’s not what a good professor should be:  someone who uses his smarts for good.  So yes, i think this type uses his smarts for evil.  He uses his class to show how smart he is instead of discovering how smart his students also are and learning from them, too, which is an essential part of teaching.  If this type also happens to be arrogant (which they often tend to be), he thinks his students are all dumb, but if he isn’t arrogant, he just doesn’t know what it means to be a teacher.  You might forgive him if he’s a Ph.D. student or a professor early in his career, but if you’re an idealistic student, it can be very hard.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under college

Education, learning, training

These are my initial thoughts on the differences between education, learning, and training.  I’m looking to see how these thoughts evolve as i continue with my participation in all three.

My Media Criticism professor said that the purpose of his course was to teach us the vocabulary necessary to discuss visual culture.  I think he was on to something.

How many times have you read something for class and gone, “I knew that!  That’s what i always knew or vaguely knew but never had the words to express.”  That certainly sums up how i usually feel when reading academic texts.  And so, we could argue that education is the acquisition of vocabulary, a means of expressing what you know.

Learning, on the other hand, is about perceiving things and thinking about the information gathered.  Learning is the development and exercise of thought.

Training, which is geared towards a craft or profession, is the acquisition of skills.

Now the question is, how well do learning establishments, and even individuals, integrate the three?

Leave a comment

Filed under academics, college

How different each September is

You’ve seen and heard students get excited/anxious/nervous/irritable at the start of the school year.

“Oh my god, i’m so excited, i can’t wait to go back, i’ve been bored since July”;

“I can’t wait to party with my all friends!”;

“Ughhhh”;

“I’m not ready for summer to end”;

“I’m nervous for all these hard classes i signed up for”;

“I won’t procrastinate this year.”  (Yeah, right.)

I know, it annoys me too.  All that fuss over a new school year.  But, it’s really not that simple.  Septembers aren’t special just because they mark the beginning of a new school year.  It’s not just a matter of getting books, supplies, and new clothes.  It’s not just a matter of hoping to meet a cute guy or girl in recitation.  It’s not just a matter of finding easy professors, fulfilling degree requirements, and getting good grades and internships to eventually get a good job and make good money.  Those are the things that don’t matter.  The things that do matter are the memories that resurface as you walk the familiar paths on campus and how you carry them with you, as part of you—a changed and changing you—into the new school year.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under college, love, personal