Matt brought up a good point in the comment he posted to my blog yesterday. When I got home from class last night, I did what I inevitably so every semester: complain.
I’ve taken 7 classes at Harvard and have complained about every single one. Actually, the complaints have become more vocal since I started working on a graduate program. I guess that’s because I was taking the undergraduate classes for fun so I picked courses that interested me (History, French, etc…). Now that I’m in an actual program where there are required courses, I’m not always as interested in the individual topics themselves. My complaints in the past were frequently about the commute (we were living in Salem so I wouldn’t get home at night until 9PM) or about the professor’s teaching style.
Last night was the first class of the semester (a computer class). And, predictably, I got home and complained to Matt. But listen to my whine and tell me if you’d complain, too.
This is a computer class to teach managers how to most efficiently use the computer. It focuses on teaching the students to use the software as designed – so that the programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Explorer) are all integrated. That’s all good. But professors somehow get so cocky. He was saying that by taking this course we’ll save 5-10 hours per week spent on the computer because of the stuff he’ll teach us (does that mean I can take every Friday off now?).
Anyway, at one point he said that there’s no right or wrong way to do things because the programs are set up with so many options. But minutes later he explained that it is wrong to create a space between paragraphs by hitting enter twice (so much for no right or wrong). He said you should go to Format-Paragraph-Indent/Spacing-Spacing Before to add the space. I understand that’s the proper way to do it…but in a one page business letter it’s not worth the effort to do that. I could see if we were novelists writing 800 page books. But this is a business class for business people – it’s not for authors.
And I hate when they get all cocky trying to show off their knowledge. He kept playing little games to trick people (is there a difference between the internet and the web? Who created the internet? Who created the web?). My questions in return should have been: Are we going to be tested on this? No? Then why tell us?
The strangest (and possibly most offensive) part came when he was comparing fonts. He asked if we knew the difference between sarif and sans-sarif. He proceeded to ask rhetorically ”Sarif means it has little curly-cues on the individual letters. And do you know where that comes from?” At this point he pointed to a middle-eastern student and said “It comes from the Arabs.”
That poor student! Why did he need to point him out spefically?
Oh, and did I mention that about 10-15 minutes into the class a woman burst into the classroom and exclaimed, “I can’t find my class room. I don’t know where my professor is.” Then the professor introduced this woman to the class as his wife. He asked her if she’d like to stay in his class instead…but she left to find her class.
Welcome to Harvard.
Anyway, that’s why I was complaining to Matt.
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