Thursday, January 25, 2007

Week is finished.

Well, this semester I am promising myself to work harder in my classes. Over the past year I've grown increasingly compliant with not caring too much. I think that on some level I wished to fail out so that I have an excuse to get a damn job!

Needless to say, that would be a very stupid thing to do now that I am entering my 5th year of classes and have gone about 2 fair sized annual salaries in debt for school.

So here we are on the tail end of week 2 and the summary thus far is things are looking good and so-so all the same.
My Mgmt 212 class (Calc to the outside world) is one class that I am residing to work hard in; however, the local bookstores have yet to gain us access to any books for class! Yeah, that's right, 2 weeks in and with the promise of our first Quiz on Feb 1, a lot of us still don't even have any books to study. Not to mention during today's class we already entered into Chpt 3!

Granted the first few chapters are review, but this is where my weakness is and I am just a little worried about the outcome of this semester considering it's rocky start. I did talk with my Prof. twice now, both informing her of the book issue and asking her to please post homework exercises for those of us that don't have access to a book yet. Still, no actions have been taken.

VCU bookstore says they ordered them back on 12.26.06 and have no idea of when they will be shipped. VaBookCo says next week, but than again they said that last week.

I've been burned mega times by buying online without use of a ISBN # and the number that VCU supplies us does not reference any book on the net. As it turns out, VCU has a "special" deal package so the supplied number references that package, not just the book. After finding this out I did locate it and bought one. With any luck I should see it on Monday the 29th.

IMO: These are possible solutions the professor should have already and should express to help out:
1) Offer hand written problems or handouts for homework.
2) Inform students that there is an issue and she is willing to help out.
3) Provide the ISBN for the book up front instead of directing us only to the numbers VCU uses.
4) Show some concern on behalf of the quality of teaching to the students for this huge failure.

So today, I went and spoke with the business office and informed that of my opinions on this horrible way to start a semester and treat students, especially in a class that has <40% pass rate. I further addressed my opinions that although this is not the fault of the prof., the professor now aware of the issue should try to not only help students out somehow, but should take a quasi-personal interest in finding out the hold-up on the books.

The person was very understanding and seemed genuinely concerned. She agreed with my assessment of the issue and I guess only time will tell whether things will change. Until then I have to hope that maybe the first Quiz and test get pushed out at least an extra week.

In other classes, I already had to turn in a 7 page paper as of yesterday for SysAnalysis. It was 3-5 mandatory and all single spaced! Yes, single spacing on a 3-5 pager in the first week of classes.

Intermediate Java is going to be real interesting too, our prof wants us to create files with .jar extensions and also expects us to be able to run them from a command line. In fact, he asked us to only use command lines for the whole class, except when using the JCreator interface itself.

Needless to say, this will be an interesting challenge and a fun semester.

Now to go relax and get ready to head out to Douthat State Park tomorrow.