Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm a...

I keep mentioning my "class" that I have to take, but I haven't gone into any detail, so it's time to get that off my chest. Sure I'm on "vacation" down here with Vinnie and Mike, but they're still sleeping and I feel like blogging. I shouldn't be allowed to take my laptop on vacation EVER. Note to selves, I need a wireless card.

Anyway, as a prerequisite to my graduate studies, I have to take an introductory statistics course. I took an intro stats course as an undergrad, but it was six years ago, and the cutoff was five. So I dutifully signed up, figuring the review would be good for me, I'd get to meet some of the people in my incoming class, etc. and so on.

Now, I am by no means a stupid person (except when it comes to emotions, but we're talking academics and intellect here). I'm tooting my own horn, and I don't care, but I'm pretty fucking intelligent, and have the proof. That being said, this class is the most ridiculously pathetic I've ever taken.

There is no real math in this course. It's basically an introduction to statistical results you might see in a scholarly publication. In fact, one of the stated goals is to make people "more comfortable with reading journal articles." My instructor even asked "Have you ever seen an article, and then saw the diagrams in it, and put it aside because they were kind of scary?" and people nodded their heads. At this point, bitchy as it makes me, I nearly raised my hand and asked if I could bring in a few journal articles with my name in them and be exempt from the course.

We've had three class sessions so far. Coming in to the third, we were almost a week behind. We spent over an hour of our second class session going over the items in our first class session. Over. An hour. And then she gave us a quiz. And then, and then, one of the students, who is so frightfully ignorant that everyone hates him, was asked by the teacher to leave the class because he was asking too many questions during the quiz and apparently hadn't done the readings. He apparently did not understand that there were readings assigned, because he didn't hear her mention them the eight thousand times the week before, and hadn't seen them on the syllabus emailed out to everyone a month ago.

I actually like some of the people in the class though; they're not stupid, they're just not from the same background, so yes, this material is new and strange to them. And that's okay. They get it, once you explain it to them. And I've been doing a lot of explaining. I figure I'd rather go through five minutes of explaining now, than five hours of explaining once we all get to research methods. It's an ego boost to hear them say that I do a better job of teaching this stuff than our instructor. But this other guy, holy crap, I would never want to calculate the density of his head, because there is nothing in this world large enough to hold that number. It's pretty bad when you have social workers ragging on you.

I forsee a lot of hand-holding in my graduate studies though, which kind of irritates me. I'm fiercely independent (shocking, I know), and got used to doing things my way as an undergrad. I don't know how well I'm going to handle all this touchy-feely-ness I see coming up. Bah.

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