Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm sorry, but there ARE stupid questions!!!

I will be the first to admit that I am not a patient person. In some settings I have more patience than others, but this is never an adjective one would choose to describe me. I am also a very fast learner. In 95% of cases (let's not talk about Physics 240: Electricity & Magnetism), I hear/see it once, and I've got it . . . . thank you. . . . let's move along. These two things combined can be trouble for me. At work, if I have to explain something to you for the 101st time, I'm just not going to be chipper about it - and you will know it. I am trying my hardest to work on this. . . understand that not everyone is as 'quick' as me and take a deep breath before having attitude about it. Why am I talking about this? Because my Community College experience is testing me. . . . . to the extreme.

I had my class last night. Keep in mind, this is Interior Design, folks, not a particularly technical subject - in my opinion, of course. I'm really not sure I can 'suck it up' enough to be in this program. I certainly know I have things to learn. I'm quite excited about learning a lot of it - particularly drafting. I just don't know if I can learn with the group of students I am in with. There is only one other person in the class (mainly adults) who holds a degree already. Having a degree doesn't make me any smarter in the particular subject matter, but it does mean I know 'how' to learn: how to take notes, pick up on key words from the instructor, filter out the nonsense, etc. Unfortunately this is not a skill all the others in class possess, which leads to the instructor repeating things umpteen times (not important things, mind you, just things someone missed while writing down every word being said). . . . which leads to the class running over and the instructor not finishing the full agenda. Others in the class also appear to lack the basic skill of staying on task and paying attention to what we are actually trying to learn. Example: We are reviewing slides of completed rooms and are supposed to be commenting on which Design Principles & color schemes are being applied (did you know monotone is a color scheme and not just voice without inflection?). The slide that comes up is a den, with an awful orange & blue striped sofa. We're not looking at the aesthetic, though, just the principles. One student raises her hand and says "That sofa is atrocious. I have a really bad sofa at home, too. Do you know anyone who upholsters? And that would teach me a class as a favor? I've looked everywhere locally and can't find a place to take a class and I really want to learn how to do it." WHAT?!?! Later in class, this same student asks again about "Where does discarded furniture go when you take it from a client?" Ummm. . . have you ever heard of a dump. . . or a consignment store. . . . or charity. . . .? And how is that relevant to class? Oh, it's not, she was asking "because I think there must be some place I can go to get a good deal on old furniture from other people." AGGHHHHH!!! Lest you think I'm picking on one person, we also did our mock interview with the client IN THE CLIENTS HOME (we're pretending of course, but this is the setting we were given). The client just told us she has two daughters, currently in two rooms, but she wants us to move both girls into one room and turn the other room into a guest room. The next question asked? "So is this project for new construction or your current home?" I know everyone has been told the only stupid question is the one not asked, but there really are some things better left unsaid! I had no idea THIS is what would be 'hard' about taking a class! I'm really not sure I've got it in me to tough it out without either blowing up in class, or giving myself a migraine!

Alright, now that you all think I'm a pompous witch, I'll switch to knitting :) Sheldon is coming along. He's taking a lot more yarn than I thought. . .. I originally thought I could make two Sheldon's in contrasting colors, but I'm almost out of light green, so I guess I'll have just one for now. I guess that is OK, given February is for finishing is coming. I'm going to try really hard not to start anything new even as I finish projects up, until March. List of items to finish are: Jeezny Cricket socks (one sock done, 2nd sock not yet cast on). Cowboy Boot socks (one sock done, 2nd sock not yet cast on). Felted clutch (been knit & felted for ages, but I need to buy a lining to sew in). Golf towel (this is with the icky eBay yarn I bought in the hopes of using for Mr Greenjeans). Bob's hat (unfortunately, I've barely worked on this because the cabling seems like the hat is too small. . . I know it will be stretchy, but it's stumped my motivation). Jake's socks (just finished the ribbing on sock #1. . . . may be a stretch to finish both socks in February!). Sizzle (this may wait until March, as technically I've only swatched and not officially cast on. I'm also still debating knitting it in the round and finalizing the mods I want to make to shorten the torso). OK, it's a lot more daunting to list them all like that! Wish me luck in finishing (and please don't hold my lack of patience against me!)


Jen said...

Wow, how frustrating. Is this a course designed for undergrads or is it an adult education/career switcher type deal? I wonder if that would make any difference anyway. I hope that it gets better for you, at least, because it really does sound like fun

Sheldon is adorable, BTW.

Heather said...

oh ick! I agree with you about the stupid questions! I hope you have lots of patience....or that the other students become flustered and drop out....LOL, did I say that outloud?
Sheldon is so cute!

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Oh, I so feel for you! Hang in there at least another couple of weeks!!

And look at all those WIPs! You go!!

Eva said...

I know your pain. I'm a college grad currently attending court reporting school, where my fellow students are everything from people who barely got GED's to Ivy League grads. The academic classes are excruciating. If they would just let me pace myself, I could complete a 12 course in 2 weeks instead of sitting there day after day wanting to bore a pencil into my ear drums.

I find the problem in this situation lies less with the students, who really don't know any better, than with the instructors, most of whom were not educated as teachers and, therefore, are unable to keep the class on track. Due to this, lessons veer wildly off plan, students are permitted to ask the same questions day after day instead of being instructed that this has been covered in lecture so they should approach the instructor before or after school hours, and still other questions are just excuses to digress into personal stories.

I've found that having a crossword puzzle folded into my notebook is quite helpful. I can't tell you how many times I've completed the entire NY Times puzzle while something has been explained for the upteenth time or while someone rambles on and on about a legal situation a cousin's cousin found herself in. It's helped keep my blood pressure down, for sure.

Good luck! FYI: Found your blog through the Cocoa Swap blog.

Miss Me said...

education is a privelege, not a right or an obligation. i'm with eva on the subject of students needing extra help. if they have a problem it is THEIR problem! yes - i would be just a frustrated as you are. it's not rocket science, unless of course, it really is rocket science... ; )