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Pay No Attention to the Shrew Behind the Classroom Door

Yeah, it was me.

In what will not go down as my finest hour, I laid into a 70 year old chemistry teacher.  To hear outsiders tell it, I was quite a bitch.   I disagree.

I NEED to get a good grade in this class.  While I have already been accepted into a nursing program, I wish to not give them cause to change their minds by turning in a crappy grade.  I need a professor who is willing to put some time and effort into actually teaching the class.

So, here’s his background.  Italian guy from South Philly – I should love him already, no?  Terrified of science as a kid.  Be still my beating heart.  Father forced him to take Chemistry, and he LOVED it.  Yeah, okay, there’s something wrong with this picture.  He worked a long, illustrious career in the field of chemistry (who does that???), retired two years ago, and has been told by his wife to get his ass out of her house.

Remember that old saying, “Those that can’t do, teach.”?  Yeah, well, this guy DOES, so it should be painfully obvious that teaching is not his thing.

Let’s start with his immediate dismissal of the thought of a syllabus.  You know – the thing that becomes a college student’s Bible over the course of the semester?  The thing that reminds us of what is expected of us and on what day has now been described as “too complicated” and “not necessary”.

In the first two hours, we lost five students.  Yep – they just got up and left.  Never came back.  Unless something mysterious is going on in the ladies room, I would venture to guess they were dropping this class.  Those aren’t very good statistics, even for someone who didn’t shine in her statistics class.

So this is how this particular professor chose to teach the class.  “Class, turn to page one.”  And he read the book to us.  Word for word, never leaving his chair.  I kid you not.  He even read figures that were so enormous, I wasn’t even sure how many zeros I needed!  And he gave no examples on the board.  And he didn’t explain anything.

And he’s a little hard of hearing.  Which is why I may have sounded louder than I should have sounded.

When I confronted him.

Yeah, I did.  I thought I was being polite when I asked him if he intended to teach the entire class that way – no notes, no examples, no nothing.  I may have called one young kid in the front Doogie.  He deserved it.

I merely explained to this professor that I am certainly capable of reading the book on my own, but I was hoping for a class where what I read was explained in depth.  By someone who spoke “chemistry”.  I myself am not fluent in the language.

And if it wasn’t embarrassing enough that a few of the kids – yes, I said kids – attacked me for being so rude to this kindly elderly gentleman, a bimbo behind me, wearing a cut off sweatshirt that said PINK in huge letters across her boobs and low rise sweatpants that said SWEET across her arse yelled out, “I think you’re doing a fantastic job!”  Honey, you do know he’s blind as a bat and can’t even see your boobs, right?  Look how close he has his nose to the book to be able to read it to us.  No way those boobs are getting you an A in that class.

So immediately after class, with my tail between my legs, I took my shrew self to registration and dropped the Italian Stallion’s  old grey mare’s class and registered for a Saturday class.

I hate Saturday classes 🙁


The Foot Bone’s Connected to The – Oh, You Don’t Need to Know THAT!

What kind of person gets an A in a class, then makes an appointment with the chair of the department, complains about the class and the teacher, and walks away disgruntled.  With an A.  I mean, who DOES that?

Oh, yeah, that would be me.

I’m back and forth with whether or not to mention the name of the professor who taught – or didn’t teach – my Anatomy and Physiology I class.  I’ve mentioned the names of other professors on my blog, but those are people who gained my respect for their dedication to the art of education.

But do you mention the name of the man who has nearly set my educational goals back by four months?

In the words of my favorite comedian, John Pinette, I say, “Nay nay.”

It serves no real purpose to mention the professor’s name here.  I’ve already posted my review among the other intellectually inspired reviews at www.ratemyprofessor.com – and I didn’t use the word “Dude”, “Dope”, nor the popular phrase “DA BOMB”.  My review should stand out from the crowd that way.

After spending a semester with this professor, learning how much his wife hates him, his son disappoints him, and his knee needed surgery long before summer session 1, I’m still amazed at how much I didn’t learn.  Power Point presentations were displayed in a manner that even those students who HAD completed the Evelyn Woods speed reading class would have had a hard time keeping up, and more than half of the Power Point slides were deemed to be things we didn’t need to know.

If one day in the future, you’re sick, and the only nurse around is me, you may want to limit your aches and pains ONLY to the Power Point slides I actually got to see.  And if you’re ever browsing Rate My Professor to check out an instructor before taking a class, don’t put too much weight on the “red hot chili pepper” status.  I think some professors give that to themselves…..

Biology – The Experiment

I gave up on completing my college education many years ago when they told me there were two things I would have to do in order for them to proclaim me smart enough for the real world.  Those two things?  Math and Science.  Seriously?  I always fancied myself more of a “words” person, and the thought of having to complete coursework in Math and Science convinced me that my real destiny in life was to be some kids’ mom.  While there is a small bit of biology involved there, no one asked me to spew out the process of photosynthesis or prepare slides to look at under a microscope.

So after passing my Algebra course last semester with an A, I figured the next logical step was to tackle science.  The whole change of career, becoming a nurse, blazing my own path thing was really going to require that at some point, I face my fear of all things scientific, so I decided to take Biology I at Camden County College.  In my own scientific experiment, I thought if Bio I was too tough, I could always become an English teacher.

My introduction to Dr. Dan Flisser, the man who would be my Biology I teacher for the spring semester, was terrifying.  He went over class rules, and the first one that stuck out was the bathroom policy.  Basically, it was Don’t.  For every minute that you are out at the bathroom, it will count against your absence allotment in his class.  Ummm, I’m a nearly 50 year old women who has had three c-sections.  Is he serious?  Sit through a three hour class without going to the bathroom?  Note to self – there will be no drinking of any kind allowed between January and May.  Dehydration is your friend.

But I quickly realized that not only did he have an awesome sense of humor, but a real handle on the problem with a lot of young people.  College isn’t serious to them.  Who tells a professor that they are going to the bathroom, then comes back with doughnuts and coffee?  Are they doing something different in the Mens room these days?

Dr. Flisser was an amazing professor.  I learned enough in Bio I to get me an A in Oceanography, in the 98th percentile on my TEAS exam (the basic skills test required for nursing school admission), and I picked up more about chemistry in his class than in my prep for chemistry class.  I have renewed courage to take on Anatomy and Physiology this summer (don’t get carried away – courage for me simply means that I have managed to control the volume of my knee knocking so it’s not a distraction in class).  And I am so proud of myself for getting through, surviving, and succeeding.

In the words of some of my academic brethren who are reviewing their professors at www.ratemyprofessor.com – Dr. Flisser, you learned me good.  If my keyboard could type a backwards N…..well, you know.  You’d still be one of the best professors I’ve encountered in my many years of “going back” to college.  I appreciate the values, the lessons, and the benefit of your knowledge and passion for the subject.

And I appreciate the A more than I could possibly tell you.