January 14, 2003

And so the next semester begins...

Well the new semester has started and I'm already not sure what to think. I have a couple attendance nazi's who drop 5000 points per abscence, and a couple who don't care and give you what you deserve. The really funny thing is after one instructor got done telling how abscences will not be excused unless we have written proof of hospitalization or a family death. She went through a huge list of things like doctors visits, sick kids, broken cars, etc that wouldn't be an excuse. Minutes later she mentioned we needed to give her our email addresses in case she couldn't show because of upcoming jury duty. Seemed a bit hypocritical to me, but not unexpected from an SIU instructor. I wonder if the teachers union decides to strike if she would do that?

Attendance is an important factor to me. Sometimes I work late or stay at work to keep doing something, feel like sleeping, or just plain don't want to go to a boring lecture. As a student I feel like this is my right. As long as I'm paying for the class, I should be able to come when I feel like it with no penalty and the instructor should be the one watching their abscences. This is like someone hiring you to do a job and them telling you how often you have to be there. I am paying them to do a job, they should do it and fairly assign me a grade based on my performance. If someone doesn't perform well because of their attendance then they will get what they deserve and learn their lesson over time. If anything I feel like this is a way of working around teaching people to be responsible for their actions. It also really pisses me off if I did the work to earn an A and my grade is dropped to a B for no good reason.

Another sore point is instructors requesting a ton of books for their classes. Multiple classes are requiring 3 books. My favorite is the class where the instructor said we'll be using visio and powerpoint some so we should buy the books covering the basics. After class I asked him if they would be required or just suggested since I already feel pretty confident in both applications and with the online help I didn't think I'd necessarily need them. He said they are required books since the school has a software agreement with Microsoft and we'll need them to use their software. It already infuriates me to see how the school teaches all their networking and software classes around Microsoft classes, not even taking a day to cover any of the alternative/open source options (at least in any of the classes I've had so far) but to me this sounds like the school gets a cheap rate on software but maybe that depends on how many books are used, etc. Its a little conspiracy theory sounding but I don't believe its that far off to believe that a school gets its software agreement cheaper based on the number of classes using them offerend and by association the number of textbooks sold. Pretty good marketing if nothing else.

Anyway I think I'm going to need a new backpack since I believe mine will explode with this load of books. Going with all used books I'm at a total of $348.60 worth of books, with $25.27 worth of tax, making the grand total roughly $373.87 worth of books. Thats alot, but knowing I can get about $40 back at the end of the semester makes it ok. What a business.

Posted by johnm at January 14, 2003 09:33 PM

When I went to SIU I think I managed to make it to a sum total of about 30 actual hours of class (over 4 years). I had classes that I never ONCE attended, except to take exams (I would have the syllabus sent to the English Dept. via campus mail).

Now, 11 years later, I have dreams that it's finals week and I suddenly remember that not only have I never attended one class or another but I don't have a syllabus and I don't know what section I'm registered for and don't know where or when my exam is. Or a variation thereof...

Posted by: Chrsity on January 24, 2003 11:10 AM
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