October 30, 2007

And since I’m on the subject of bitching…

Posted in The musings of Erin at 1:47 pm by Erin

More student annoyances!  Today has been one of those days where everything is going fine personally (the ILs are gone, J and I went to lunch and had Middle Eastern food–yum, P woke up in a good mood and was perfectly happy to be at school, we’re carving our pumpkin tonight) but in my professional life, it sucks.  My first reaction to "stupid" questions/complaints is to want to be sarcastic; thankfully, I’ve learned to think before I speak in most cases.

First situation: my class this morning had a test.  The class is difficult and it’s a lot of material for them to cover.  A couple of students complained that they’re afraid that I’m making things too difficult on them because the national board exam last year only had 16 questions on this subject in it; they don’t understand why they need to learn all of this now when they could just pick up a reference book and figure it out when they need it.

This is what I said: first, the patients will have a whole lot more confidence in them if they at least look like they have an idea of what they’re talking about.  Second, when their practice has them seeing a million patients a day, they don’t have time to look up the info for every single patient.  Third, they can’t pick up a reference book on the national board exam.

This is what I wanted to say: you’re right, it is too hard.  You don’t really need to know this much even though the people who write the exam whose guidelines I use to develop the class seem to think you do.  When you come back after failing the exam, I’d love to be able to say "Gee, sorry you failed it but at least you got an A in my class because it was so easy!"

Second situation: I just had a couple of students show up from my anatomy class.  They’re learning the skeletal muscles right now and, quite frankly, it’s the most boring part of the entire semester.  They have to memorize over 100 of them–function and location.  I made up a lovely list for them with all of the information on it and put it online on Saturday.  I told them that it’s rote memorization to get through this–start now and they’ll have it done by the test a week from tomorrow.  We’ll be finishing the chapter on Monday and their test is Wednesday.  The students who came by want to know why they only have 9 days to memorize so much information.  Why can’t we have the test the following Monday and just start new material next Wednesday?  (And one has a field trip that will take most of the weekend–it’s not fair that she won’t have that time to study.)

This is what I said: how much time do you really want?  Because presenting new material on Monday and having a test on Wednesday happens in every college class*.  You don’t have to wait until Monday to start memorizing the muscles that we learn on Monday–everything we’re going to talk about then is on the list that I put up over the weekend.  If we move the test to the following Monday and start new material on Wednesday, I can guarantee than 2/3 of the class won’t be there on Wednesday.  So we won’t be moving the test again.

What I wanted to say (knowing that one student’s goal is med school and the other’s is dental hygiene): do you really think that you’re going to make it through medical programs without being able to learn material at this pace?  This is slow compared to some of those programs.  Quit complaining and deal with it–this is not high school any more!  9 days to memorize 100+ muscles is 12-13/day–that’s hardly undoable.


*Case in point, the students in my non-majors’ class have a test tomorrow and learned the last of the material yesterday.  Not ONE of them has complained that it’s not fair.


1 Comment »

  1. DD said,

    I really think that because of Halloween, zombies have been sucking the brains out of what should be rather intelligent people. And it’s not like those muscles have never, ever been discussed at any other point in their educational lives, right?
    That’s when you just want to say, Grow UP.

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