Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hell Test

OK, I have tried, I really have tried, to keep mum about this class I'm taking right now. Mostly because I know that if I open the floodgates, I'll say something I'll have to spend most of Lent repenting for. Too many people read this now - people who know people who are currently making my life miserable, and so it's hard to complain b/c of course you don't want to offend anyone and especially you don't want anything to get back to a prof who's currently grading you.

That said, I really have to just vent a tiny bit about the exam I took today. It was beyond the beyonds, as some would say. It took me for EVER. 2 hours was actual exam time, and then because of my carpal tunnel I got to take extra time to fill in the Hebrew terms in my typed essays (I was just transcribing - the actual work was done), which took another freaking hour because there was so much! And lemme tell you, my hand hurt like a mofo after that. The typing was useless - I handwrote more than I've had to in years. Ouch.

And you know, even with 2 hours, I had to skip a couple entire sections of the exam, because there was no way I could do it all. The prof even said that we wouldn't probably be able to finish it. What kind of pedagogical theory is that? Purposely set up students to fail? Gee, that feels good. And so I did like she suggested and I did the hard essay part first, but I was at a huge disadvantage. See, I had to take the exam in a whole other place and time, because of my "disability", and so I couldn't ask questions. So there were huge parts of the essays where I have no idea if I did the right thing. I might have done way more work than was called for. It was extremely confusing - the directions weren't clear and then when you got to the text itself, what we were exegeting, it was really hard to tell what parts of it we were supposed to be working on (they were just in a slightly larger font, but that's not exactly easy to tell - especially in Hebrew!).

So by the time I went back to the easier stuff (relatively) at the beginning, I was already running very short on time. And I had to skip huge swaths of the test. But at least I could easily choose what not to do - anything where I had no earthly idea what was being asked for, I skipped. Yeah, unfortunately that was more than one section. I mean, I've never taken a test with such vague and confusing directions. And this is an ongoing problem: so far, I've understood almost none of the comments written on my papers either. It's just not English, at least, it's English words but not in an order that makes sense. And the funny thing is that I think she's critiquing my writing! (which makes her the first prof I've ever had to do that)

Yes, it's just overall an incredibly frustrating class. The prof is pretty much unavailable (won't do email, so for even a quick question you have to make an appt for office hours - and the one time I did that, she didn't show up). The feedback is completely confusing. The workload is insane - it's supposed to be about 8 hours outside class per week and I spend at least 20 or more. And I'm not even trying to get a good grade, just pass! It's kind of sad that my last class would be probably the worst I've had, but such is life. Weirdly, I am still learning, because I can at least think about how I'd preach all this stuff, and I've always kind of learned more from my own work than from the class itself. But boy howdy am I frustrated. And I can't say that there's going to be pretty feedback at the end of this quarter.

OK, there I'm done. Please don't be mad at me if you like my prof. Altho most people who do like her would probably also admit that these problems exist. For some they can be overlooked. For me, usually, they can. But today, I'm just tired. And I can't have any booze. And that just sucks.

1 comment:

Marshall Scott said...

Well, since I'm entirely out of it, I'll just listen to the rant. After all, that's what chaplains do. I'll listen more, if that's what you need.