Wednesday, December 12, 2012

tell us how you really feel

Hi professor!
I just finished taking the final for calculus 125 and am not sure how I was expected to do well on that exam. I'm saying that to be rude, just honest. I have been doing well in the class so far this semester and got an 89% and 90% on the midterms - which compared to what I have heared seems to be pretty top notch, I'm happy with it - and was confident in how I would do in the class this semester, until I took this exam that is.
I know you're awesome at math so, maybe for you (or whoever wrote this exam) it's wildly simple to calculate 4(12)^4 or add, subtract and multiply extremely long equations with weird numbers in your head without even breaking a sweat, however it's definitely not for me. I sincerely wish I had this skill, I'm rather disappointed that I don't especially when I compare myself to those who clearly do!
You see, I studied a great deal in preparation for this exam and felt awesomely confident that I would nail it at least as well as i did on the others, and then I got to experience the great pleasure which is certain failure while sitting in the Javits building earlier today. However, I don't believe that I was alone, which is comforting. You see, when I walked out of the exam, after an hour and a half of trying to figure out how I could go from so confident to wanting to curl up Into fetal position and have a nice long cry, I noticed that not only were a great deal of my classmates taking an excruciatingly long time to complete 5 problems, they seemed to want to have a nice cry as well. like I said, it's comforting to know that I wasn't just stupid and therefore alone in this situation.
I have spent a great deal of my life considering being a teacher myself but I have come to realize, after this exam of course, that it just isn't the career for me, I say this, not because I apparently am awful at calculus but because I have always truly believed that teachers want their students to succeed but as that clearly isn't the case; I guess my optimistic heart and I will just have to do something more suiting and realistic like professional hockey or sleep studies perhaps.
If I may be frank, professor, I just don't think that that exam was fair. It didn't test what I had studied on the practice exam, sure technically they were the same types of problems but the skills were incomprehensibly different than the ones I used while I was studying. I would have surely done just as well had I never shown up to class or studied as I did with all the work I have done leading up to this point in the semester. I only wish I would have known that in advance because I would have really enjoyed sleeping in or getting a job to fill that time that I spent in and doing work for this class.
Since leaving the exam, I have heard people call it a "weed-out" course. I am disappointed in that fact because I didn't have to take this class but chose to because I wanted to learn more math, isn't that why I pay thousands of dollars a semester, to learn more, not to be set up to fail? or so I thought. I guess for now I'll just count my blessings that although what is bound to be an awful grade will show up on my transcript for all graduate admissions offices and future employers to see, it will not affect my GPA at my lovely home university that I will return to after my interesting exchange here.
Despite your apparent heartlessness I have enjoyed working with you this semester and hope you enjoy the holidays!

Anyone else agree?

<3 tutus on the subway

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