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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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In Which Dr. Bayazit's Course Evaluation Slips From "Poor" To "Putrid"
sixteen tons
kistaro
So a current push in the Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science is to improve students' "cultural awareness", whatever that catchphrase-of-the-day means this time. What it's supposed to mean, as far as I can tell from this new "Engineering Ethics" seminar course being offered, is that we're supposed to learn how what we're learning needs to be used, we need to learn how much damage we can do by doing things wrong and why not to- just minor suppliments.

Even as extra credit, I don't think it's supposed to mean Dr. Bayazit assigns us to go to the St. Louis Art Museum, especially not for a full 1/3 of the full value of the assignment.

Even as I plan how badly I'm going to have to nail him on the final course evaluation, I've got sympathy for him and understand what he's saying. We really do need to get out from behind our computers and do something cultural for a change. There's more to life than computer architecture. But the weekend before Thanksgiving is bad for homework- why did he think that it would be a good time to send students off campus for something wildly off the subject?

In a sense, it's not any worse than anything an art student would have to do- I suspect they find themselves assigned to field trips to the Art Museum with great regularity. But CS students here seem to be under more pressure than most students not in the Engineering school with regard to having assignments keeping us busy- rather than "only" having to study out of the text, we've got a lot of explicit assignments that need solutions by very fixed deadlines. We honestly don't have the time to go to the Art Museum, or whatever else is being thrown at us. Or maybe I'm overgeneralizing and my time management is worse than I think- with classmates talking about going to other cities for three-day weekends, it's quite possible. I know I sure don't have the time.

As frustrated as I am with him right now, I have sympathy for Dr. Bayazit. I'm going to barbeque him on the course evaluation, because I don't have any other choice- it's a poorly-taught course with assignments that reflect a total disrespect for students' time. His heart's in the right place- he just needs more training on how to teach a college course and/or speak English.

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This is tangential, but: CS students here seem to be under more pressure than most students not in the Engineering school with regard to having assignments keeping us busy. It certainly appears to me that students doing arts subjects have, well, less work. I have four Natural Sciences courses running concurrently through the year, while my friend doing History has one course per term.

I hence have 12 hours of lectures a week, 10-12 hours of labs and 4 hours of supervisions per week, plus three or four assignments. He has 6-8 hours of lectures a week, and 1 hour of supervision; the rest of the week all he has to do is write one essay, which is about twice the length of one of mine.

I don't know. When I lived with a certain CS major, it didn't seem that she had *incredibly* more work than I did (in Religious Studies). True, Engineers and those in "hard sciences" seem to have more regular work, and your work is checked/supervised far more, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily a *ton* more, though not having it supervised *does* mean that arts students can *get away* with doing less... [I started to list all the work I did, but it just seemed like I was trying to compete with you over who did more work, which wasn't my point. I felt just as busy and stressed with ReSt as when I was a Biology major. Though I will point out that fine art students can have 12 hours of work for every 3-credit-hour class.]

Anyway, I appreciate that Engineers may need more context for what they're doing, but Kistaro, you're right, putting it right at Thanksgiving isn't cool; not only are people travelling, but all kinds of other classes have projects due right before and right after, usually. I've only had to go to the art museum twice. Once for...big surprise, art history, and another for Intro to Christianity (when they had that Book of Hours exhibit). Those, I feel, were justified. Yours, I'm not so sure.

It's unfortunate when you have brilliant-minded professors and you realize that you would do just as well or better if you had an average scientist who could actually get the information across... Evaluations are for the class and the content, not about the personality of the professor. Shred it to pieces.

Heh. Maybe your teacher doesn't have any Thanksgiving plans himself and therefor, belives others don't either? n.n;

The Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibit *is* pretty interesting. (I enjoyed going, at least.)

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