Scott Hardie | May 10, 2002
My college career is finally over and I'm about to graduate, so why aren't I writing a jubilant entry about it? Because a situation in my sociology class rained on the parade.

This hasn't been an easy class. It's a 300-level class gen-ed. Nobody in it is a sociology major, no one does the reading ever (and the teacher seems/acts surprised every time), and we all just want to pass it and move on with our lives. I've participated every day in class discussions, studied for every test, and worked hard on the essay assignment, and still I'm in danger of failing. This is because my grades, given by the teacher's judgment, are low. I walked out of the room after the tests thinking that I'd earned As, and they'd come back Cs and Ds. I wrote a book review/critique that in English classes would get me an A, but she gave me a C-.

On that C-: I found out about it yesterday. She gave it to me after I turned in the final exam. I'd written a seven-page critique of The Autobiography of Malcolm X that was, imo, damn good. She gave me a C- for three reasons:

First, the paper was rampant with type-os. If you know me at all, you know I'm an almost perfect typist; I never ever proofread any entry here on TC and how many errors do I make? Some were what she saw as punctuation issues, since she apparently can't see the difference between a comma and a period, and some were issues relating to capitalization. For instance, Black should be capitalized and white shouldn't. Excuse me? I never took a Basic Writing Skills for Sociology Majors class. How the fuck am I supposed to know that Black should be capitalized?

Second, I referred to Malcolm X as a racist. She said that he wasn't because he had no power. (The definition of "racist," as we later learned in class, is a person with both a racial prejudice and power to act on it.) Well, pardon me, but Malcolm X referred to himself as a racist, and he did have power! He was one of the most powerful black men in America at the height of his career! Because he was "Black" he automatically did not have power? What a load of shit! I have always disliked sociologists' particular lexicon about the world, the way they redefine every fucking term they can, and now I outright hate it.

Third, she said that I didn't follow directions; that my paper was not a critique. What the fuck?! I followed directions precisely! She gave us a numbered list of bases we had to cover in the paper, about a dozen total, and I covered every one of them at some point in the paper! I also followed her additional guidelines! How could I not follow instructions?

So I was already upset about this when she asks me if I did the video review/critique, a similar (3-page) paper about any video we watched in class. I said no, it was the one assignment I missed in the class. It was only 5% and I was having a terrible night and it came when I thought I was earning As in the class. She said, "Do you want to do it?" I said, "It's too late, isn't it? It's the end of the semester." She looked me right in the eye and said in a very clear tone, "You don't want to take a zero on that assignment, do you?" This teacher does seem to like me a bit, so forgive me for inferring that she was trying to help me pass the class, that this video critique would settle the matter. She said that if I wanted to do it, I should turn it into her office by 9am today (Friday).

So, I went to my last final, then slept for a little while (I had no sleep the night before due to homework demands), and cranked out that fucking video critique and slid it under her door. At my mom's urging (what a fool I was to call her about this last night), I called the teacher this morning to A) confirm that she got the paper, and B) find out if I'm going to pass this fucking class. I called at 8:45 and again at 9:15, but there was no answer. How the fuck is she supposed to know if I got it in by 9am if she's not in her office? I'll try again later today, but I really don't want to talk to this woman at this point.

There. That felt good, to blow off steam. I don't mind classes where the professor gives Cs, Ds, and Fs because I slacked off and didn't do assignments and so on, but when I have worked hard, and I'm still on the borderline for an F, and it's a fucking gen-ed class that I don't think I even need to take to graduate anyway, you can imagine I get a little pissed off.

The good news: I'm done with college! No more homework, no more essays, no more group work, no more presentations, no more Scantron tests, no more teacher evaluations, no more hurrying across campus, no more lectures, no nothing. I have an optional graduation rehearsal today and then actual graduation tomorrow. I might run into any of the above in my future jobs, but at least I'll be getting paid for them. Shit-ass sociology class problems aside, it's damn good to be done.

Scott Hardie | May 10, 2002
UPDATE: I finally got through to the teacher after calling her four times. I was surprised to learn something: While I thought I had done well on the first two tests and had only gotten a C and a D, I thought I had done poorly on the last two tests but they'd both been Bs. Cut out the D because the lowest test is dropped, add the video critique to balance out the book review (B vs C), add the high grade I'm getting in participation, and I wind up with a B in the class. That's what she told me. Unh! Time to try on my cap and gown.

Anna Gregoline | May 10, 2002
Scott, if you find out your future job requires you to take a ScanTron test, quit. Quit and run like the wind.

K. R. | May 11, 2002
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | May 11, 2002
Jesse (my sweetie) just found out that a class he thought he failed, he actually passed. Now, not only does he get to finally fucking graduate, but he doesn't have to pay all that money and take stupid digital audio whatnot again in the summer! Hooray!

Anna Gregoline | May 11, 2002
Oh yeah. My point is, when you're a senior, especially one that should have finished a while ago, they don't want you anymore. Teachers just want you to leave. You'd have to be doing absolutely fucking nothing for them to fail you. Not that I'm taking away from you guy's hard work, I'm just saying. It helps.

Oh. And I'm drunk. Sorry about the multiple posts.

Scott Hardie | May 11, 2002
Thanks for the kind words. I can't wait till morning!


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