This week I lost another pound and change. It's a nice chunk of change, amounting to between a quarter and a half pound. That made me feel some better. In any case, that brings my total weight loss to 7 pounds for the year. I'm sticking with the whole numbers thing, so I have a pretty nice head start on next week's weight loss.
What do you think of a psych teacher who before starting a test, discovers she does not have enough papers for everyone. So she has to leave the room to go across the hall to the copier. She cannot stand cheating, so she makes a big deal out of the fact that the answers to the test are on her desk. (We would not have known if she had not said). She assigns one person to be in charge to make sure that we don't 'rush' her desk as soon as she is gone. She also cautions us that she is leaving her purse. She then makes a big deal about having us all close our eyes so that she can select someone to 'spy' and report back to her privately about our behavior while she's out of the room. Only then does she leave the room.
We sit there silently. I sit at a table with two other students. I don't want to compare us to anybody else, because I don't know the rest of them as well as I do Erin and Joe. I can tell you that Erin and Joe are workers. They take college very seriously. We looked at each other. Joe leaned forward and whispered 'Nucking Futs is what she is.' One of the young men behind us said, sarcastically, 'Oh. I wonder if anyone is going to rush to her desk...' and I leaned back in my chair and said, 'Probably not, but I'm going to tell her that you tried, and we all stopped you, just for grins and chuckles.' Wide-eyed he said, 'No, don't. She won't get that it is a joke.'
The teacher came back and questioned us. Satisfied, she began handing out the tests. She gave us a lecture on cheating. She told us all to 'hunker over our papers'. She told us to put our arms up to cover our papers. I'm sorry. At that point, she lost me. I made up my mind. I am not a child. I would not cheat. She is at the front of the small class (maybe 20 students) and she knows full well who is keeping their eyes on their own paper. I know Joe and I know Erin well enough. They would not cheat. I did not hunker over my paper. I finished it, very careful to keep my own eyes on my own paper. I turned the papers over, and sat quietly with my hands folded, studying the world map posted to my left, studying Australia. Pondering Brisbane, and Sydney, and Adelaide, and the vast expanses of Queensland where massive cattle stations are, daydreaming about the day when I will see the country with my own eyes. Several times, the teacher bellowed 'SOME of you are not hunkering over your papers!' A couple times, she looked at me, and I looked squarely back at her.
I do not like this teacher. In all my other classes, you know exactly what you have to do to get an A. Exactly. However, this teacher changes the rules constantly. She asked how neurotransmitters work. A group in front of us gave their answer, and she criticized it, saying it did not provide enough detail. She asked our group, and I began to answer. She stopped me, rolling her eyes. "That's the long version," she said. I replied, "You know, I'm can't tell where your fine line is." At another point, she criticized Joe's answer, because she had not given that information in class. It was in our reading assignment. He was right, mind you. I listened incredulously. We're being penalized for reading the assignment? When it came time for that test yesterday, I studied our notes primarily, since that was how she'd been running the class up to that point. She was the one telling us what was important, and what was not. The test yesterday was at least 25% based on what was in the book, things that we had not even discussed in class. I think that I did alright, but after we handed in our papers, Erin whispered, "I'm so screwed. I studied our notes." I whispered back, "At lot of it, you could infer, if you just puzzled it out. I'll bet you did better than you think. Don't worry yet."
At my next class, I ran into my advisor. She'd been invaluable to me in the beginning and helped me out a lot. She even accepted me into one of her classes even though it was, technically, full. She asked me how it was going, and I told her how much I loved school, that I hadn't expected to enjoy it. She was glad to hear it, and asked questions about my classes. I told her that, really, it is easy to be a good student. The syllabus tells you what you need to do, and once you 'learn' the teacher, you know what they expect, and you do the work accordingly. I said the only class that was a challenge was psych, that I had not been able to determine what the teacher expected, that those expectations seemed to change daily. I don't want to make the instructor mad by challenging her directly, so I wasn't sure how to handle the situation. She said, "It's ------ ---------, isn't it?" Surprised I said, "Yes." She did not gossip or tell any tales out of class. It was not like that, but simply based on the fact that she could immediately identify the teacher leads me to believe that there have been complaints before. She told me that I should challenge the teacher, that everyone should. And if the problems in class persist, we should make an appointment to speak with the head of the department. She gave me his name.
I don't know what I will do yet. Still it's nice to know how problems like this should be handled.