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Random Thought For The Day: American Colleges

Just came across this: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.318597-...

I think it summarizes everything if I just say that I had to go back and make sure this person said he was in college, because that all sounds like something from an elementary school.

American colleges in general seem pretty alien to me. They all seem to treat the students with less respect and faith than my second high-school did - though to be fair, my second high-school was so good because it treated the students with respect.

Nonetheless, one of the big things I always say about "college" here is that the freedom, responsibility and respect you're given by your "teachers" makes it a drastic change from school; it's a different experience, one that's generally pleasant. Like I said, my second high-school did it too and it was far, far superior to the first.
You WANT to be there.

I don't get that vibe from what I've heard of American colleges.

Sound like pretentious, restrictive high-schools where some poor bastards have to live on campus. Not saying anything about the quality of the education (I'm well aware American universities provide high quality education), but... wow.

This isn't the first time I've seen someone describing American college life and I've thought they were in junior high/middle-school. The fuck?

For reference, if a lecturer insisted I turn my phone off, or demand that I don't look at it during the lecture, I would be well within my rights to tell them to fuck right off. If it was ringing and disturbing the class, that's one thing, but I am an adult, to be treated as an adult. I will not turn my phone off unless it's my decision, and I may very well need to keep it on in case of emergency.

The people in the forum there saying that "everyone should have their phone off" are still in the high-school mentality. No. The phones should be on silent or vibrate, and it's not the fucking lecturer's business if I decide to play Angry Birds during her presentation on political destabilization in south-east Asia. She's paid to present (regardless of what I do), I pay to be in there, and as long as I don't disrupt the class it's not her business whether that phone is on or off.

This is delaying adulthood. By 18, you're not a "college kid." You're a fucking adult. Act like one, demand to be treated like one. It cuts both ways - don't be a cunt and leave your phone on the loud profile during the lecture, and tell the teacher to fuck off when they demand you hand your phone over to them like you're a fidgeting child in third grade.

Whether the phone "should" be off or not to you doesn't matter. What matters is it's not the lecturer's job to treat his or her students like children to walk all over and dictate to them whether their phones are to be on, off or crammed up their nostrils.

And as for "taking your phone off of you and giving it back next week" absolutely no. I didn't even let my teachers in high-school do that. You're not getting my property. Touch it or insist and I will bring a million tons of legal fuckuppery to your doorstep, or just sock you one in defense of my property. This is not acceptable. College students are not children, and I wouldn't stand for someone taking my child's phone away from them for a week anyway.

Like I said, act like an adult and be treated like one. I'm all in favor of asking a disruptive student to leave a class, I'm not saying I'm not. That is not what this is. Don't pretend otherwise. This is treating adults like kids in a remedial school. It's an attitude problem. :S

Note: Someone in that thread claims that if you use a laptop to take notes, then you're "unprepared." Shouldn't use them.
Well, again, it's not the lecturer's business as long as I don't disrupt the class, and I do use laptops to take notes. Many people do. It's far more efficient than writing (though I do have several notepads, etc) and makes organizing your schoolwork/study notes far easier - and more importantly, easier to carry (even young children today carry backpacks that are far too heavy for them).

I cannot believe I just read someone say that you shouldn't use a laptop to take notes in a college class. Wrong. There are middle-schools through to high-schools that encourage the use of laptops and computers during class here. We're supposed to be modernizing schools, and the idea of a college of all places being against using a netbook/laptop for lecture notes is astounding - the main argument against it, that they provide distractions for children in class, especially does not apply to adults who are paying money to be in the class!

That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Geez.
Viewed: 36 times
Added: 7 years, 5 months ago
7 years, 5 months ago
That attitude of treating college students as if they were still in elementary school really does sound terrible.
One of my favourite teachers in my high school was an incredibly polite college professor who treated us respectfully. If anyone's phone went off or he heard it vibrate, he would ask if we needed to take the call and go outside - polite and as sincere as could be. That attitude wasn't incredibly unusual at the school, but he really was a brilliant teacher, and part of it was the respect he showed to us; it's why he was one of my favourite teachers.
7 years, 5 months ago
I did have one professor who made a valid point (this was when WiFi and cell phones with games were just starting to appear). She said "if you screw yourself up, I don't care. But if the person behind you is distracted by you playing minesweeper or solitaire or pinball, then we've got a problem. So don't be doing anything on that computer besides typing notes."
7 years, 5 months ago
There's no difference between you distracting yourself with Minesweeper and the person behind you allowing themselves to be distracted by you playing Minesweeper. That's equivalent to them playing the game themselves, i.e. not your problem, but theirs. Why are they watching your monitor and not their own?

What Kichi said about a mobile phone disrupting the entire class by emitting waves of undodgable sound - that is a valid problem that the lecturer is entitled to act upon. You playing Minesweeper is not. The person behind you is an adult, let them be responsible for their own actions. (Then again a 10-year-old succumbing to distraction is just as much at fault for their actions, so whatever.)

(And I played Megaman a lot when I was at college the first time, in 2006. It was after I got my work done - my friend next to me was either doing the same or watching the Dragonball Z I gave him... after finishing his own work. Megaman kicks ass, by the way.)
7 years, 5 months ago
I had a computer science teacher in college (Electrical Engineering major; I took his software classes for prerequisites or other mandatory requirements) who had great disdain for me because I wore fake fox ears and belt-on tails to class. He said it was proof I wasn't taking the class seriously, that I obviously only attended to clown around and distract other students. About halfway through the quarter in the second class I took with him, I started taking my ears off when I sat down, out of respect for his wishes, because I realized one important thing.

I wasn't distracting other students. I wasn't clowning around. In fact, in the first class I took with him, where he predicted I'd get a failing grade because I always sat in the far back of the lecture hall, chatting with a friend of mine, not paying any attention to the lecture... I got 3.9 out of 4.0 for the course total, and my friend got 4.0. Because the professor apparently didn't realize that maybe, just maybe, we weren't paying attention to the lecture of this mandatory required programming 101 course because we were both old hands at programming, and I had actually taken the equivalent course already at another university, and had simply not gotten transfer credit for that one...

The important thing I realized in the later class was that, regardless of whether or not he was right about me distracting other students, continuing to wear my ears was a distraction to HIM. And as long as I'm paying for the courses, I'd rather have an instructor who is able to concentrate on his lecture rather than continually thinking to himself "That no-good upstart is wearing those animal ears again. Bah, kids these days, don't they know you have to dress respectably for anyone to take you seriously?"

Of note: None of the other students, nor any of my other professors, complained about the ears or tails. Just the one.
7 years, 5 months ago
Haha, my initial reaction was something along the lines of "It's his problem if he lets that distract him, not yours."

But then I realized that wasn't the point. It doesn't matter if he's justified in being distracted or deceiving himself with misconceptions or not. The point is he was, and you didn't want that - no matter the reason.
7 years, 5 months ago
Exactly! It took me half the quarter to realize that--that regardless of how irrational his reaction was, it was still impacting the quality of my education, and I had the power to do something about that. I just had to think of it not as "giving in," but as a positive choice.
7 years, 5 months ago

(That was totally not an excuse to respond with an MLP catchphrase, despite not really saying anything >_>)
7 years, 5 months ago
Eeh... Thing about any university is that it's all based on the teacher and not the university itself. It's all kind of subjective since everyone can throw their first amendment right around, including the teacher him/herself.

There's more reason to actually look into a teacher's background before taking them here. Crazy and wild teachers are sometimes pretty fun, and the anal ones... eh... you'll get a lot from them, but if you don't fit their tastes you'll be on their bad side the entire semester.
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