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  #1  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:32 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Why I want to drop my class

GODDAMMIT ALL TO HELL WOMAN! YOU'RE A PROFESSOR, TEACH THE DAMN CLASS!!!

I just emailed my adviser to see if I can withdraw from this class without talking to my professor (it could get ugly if she asks why I want to withdraw from a class I have an A in). I just can't take her anymore. Her complete lack of interest in actually teaching the class is pissing me off more than I thought possible

1. It's an online class. If we have a question, she wants us to email 3 other classmates for help BEFORE we bother her. So, I email other classmates and they take their time getting back to me. Before you know it, the week is nearly over and there's no time to get an answer from her because she doesn't check her email during the weekend. I'm sorry but that just doesn't work for me. Many of your students take online classes because they DON'T FUCKING HAVE TIME FOR THIS KIND OF SHIT. I have 7 god damn classes that need to get done every week. I don't have time to waste hoping one of my classmates has the time in their busy schedule do DO YOUR JOB! If this were a real live class setting, I'd ask you, not them. I'm not going to do it any differently because you feel like taking the easy way out. Besides, after reading what some of them have written, how am I supposed to feel confident that they'll give me the correct answer?

2. Does she not understand the concept of a discussion board? Reading plagiarized "summaries" from my classmates every week and having to respond to 2 of them is particularly painful. My response of choice would be to direct most of them to the academic honesty section of the school handbook. But, I try to not be a bitch and if she cared, she'd say something to them. So, I try to come up with a response. When I, of all people, have trouble coming up with a response, you should know that the summaries are crap. I have resorted to the "nice article, nice summary"** response that so many of my classmates use, for the simple fact that I can't bother wasting the brain run-time for better. I do my best to find an article that is relevant to the assigned subject while still being different from the stuff everyone else chooses. I try to write summaries that are well thought out and don't just restate exactly what the article said. Discussion boards are supposed to be for discussions. Saying "good article, good summary" every week is NOT a discussion and frankly, if that's all I'm going to get, what's the point in even bothering to find and write about an article? I never thought that I would miss the Plato discussions from my intro to liberal arts class last semester. At least that professor actually made an attempt to get full sentences from her students.

** No, I don't really do that. But compared to what I'm used to writing on a discussion board, I may as well because that's what it feels like I'm writing.

3. I asked you a question 2 months ago. Are you going to answer it? Have you even looked at the boards this semester?

4. We're supposed to have chats twice a month. People said they couldn't get the chat room to work. So, instead of finding out what the problem was and getting help from the expensive IT people who are sitting around specifically to help out with problems with the online class system, you cancel the chats and now I have no hope of ever getting clarification on anything. Did it ever occur to you that maybe their chat rooms DO work but it's an excuse to get out of attending the chats?

5. Ambiguity is not a good thing in a multiple choice test question. There has been at least 1 question on every quiz you've given that could have had 3 or 4 different answers - sometimes none of which were any of the supplied answers. So, I end up having to guess which answer you were thinking of. Please stop asking us about typical this and typical that. The textbook has said many times that there is no such thing as typical. You have a graduate degree in your subject. How did you get that far without learning to write a question that can be understood?

6. (this is what pushed me over the edge today) You assigned a quiz like you do every week. I got a question wrong. I emailed you for an explanation of why I was wrong. I supplied a defense for my answer. Your response was to direct me to the page (wrong), paragraph (wrong) and section (right) that has the answer. Problem is I ALREADY READ THE FUCKING BOOK! I saw that sentence the first 4 times I read it. It does NOT SAY WHAT YOU THINK IT SAYS! If I am supposed to be interpreting it a certain way, you need to explain why. Don't just direct me to the book I already read. The fact that I have an A in your fucking class should clue you in to the fact that I am reading the god damn book. The fact that I have gotten 100s on every assignment you have given EXCEPT your god damn ambiguous quizzes, should indicate to you that I am actually learning something. Don't give me wishy washy answers. TELL ME WHY I AM FUCKING WRONG! I am not scrounging for points. I am ok with having a 90 on the quiz. I just want to understand what I am misunderstanding.

7. I took this class because it looked like a fun respite from all the boring humanities classes that I am required to take. Instead this class has turned out to be even more torturous than Psychology. I have to read every chapter to my boyfriend (poor man) because it's the only way I can keep from screaming every time I turn the page. My blood pressure rises every time I look at your name. I procrastinate doing your classwork because I hate it so much so every weekend is spent in a mad dash to get it done before the deadline because I realize on Sunday morning that I hate getting bad grades even more than I hate you.

8. I realize that anyone can make typos. I probably have a couple in this rant. But, when your constant typos make it harder to figure out what the hell you're asking, there's something wrong and it needs to be addressed. That first sentence on the assignment we had due yesterday didn't say what you thought it meant. It was only through some creative brainstorming that I figured out what the hell you meant to ask. I'm not always lucky enough to guess wisely.

MOTHERFUCKER!


Ok, I feel a bit better now.
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:36 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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My only question to you is, are you so far in that it's better to tough it out and finish it than drop it? If so, tough it out and finish it.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:47 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat Whisperer View Post
My only question to you is, are you so far in that it's better to tough it out and finish it than drop it? If so, tough it out and finish it.
No joke. It's online- it's not like you have to sit and class and watch her bumble around.
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:51 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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No.

I don't need it for my credit requirements. I don't need it for my degree requirements. I don't need it for my UCONN transfer application to look better.

If I stick it out, I will have an A- or an A so grades aren't an issue unless dropping it hurts my GPA.

If I quit, there's a pretty good chance that my reflux will settle down. This class has me so irrationally pissed off that it's actually interferring with the classes I HAVE to take so dropping it might actually be better for me.

Another issue is that I'm struggling very much with something that worries me. I have always had issues with concentration and procrastination but lately I'm acting so much like my mother and sister that it has me worried that I have ADD too (I always assumed that I was just lazy). I strongly suspect that the stress from this class is making me much worse than I usually am. I want to get back to my normal absentminded procrastinator before I see my doctor in a few weeks because I want to know what's really wrong with me, not what's caused by stress.
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:55 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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I say finish the class and then tear the professor a new one when you do your evaluation of her at the end of the class.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:55 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
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I'm not sure I'm completely following.

This is a class that you don't have to take, you don't want to take, it adds nothing to your academic resume, nor does it detract from it, no one cares if you take it or not, it sucks, the professer is a poopy head and if you just didn't logon for the class anymore nobody would probably figure it out anyway.

What's the burning decision you're trying to make again?

Dump the fucking thing. At least that way there may be a few electrons left here for the rest of us.

Last edited by Jack Batty; 03-28-2011 at 03:56 PM..
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  #7  
Old 03-28-2011, 04:05 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Jack Batty: I'm not trying to make a burning decision. I already made the burning decision. I struggled with it for the first half of the semester because I don't like quitting and because I actually do enjoy the subject. I just can't take it any more which is why I emailed my adviser to find out if dropping this class will in any way hurt my GPA. If he says no, I'm gone. I have the textbook and access to the publisher's resources so if I still want to continue the subject, I can.

I'm just still irrationally pissed off and needed to rant about it. This has been building for weeks and there's no one here for me to complain to so you guys lucked out. It is amazing how cathartic venting online can be.

Lord Ashtar: Oh my, that is so tempting. But, I don't know what kind of professor she is in person and that's how all her other classes are taught. It seems unfair to rate her based on my opinion of this one class when she might actually be a really good professor. Dammit, I really need to work on being mean. I suck at this.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:07 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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What Jack Batty said, I guess. What would be the best- and worst-case scenarios if you were to stop logging on until the final exam?

Or, if you were to log on, and switch windows so you're doing something more worthy of your time?

ETA: If it turns out you can't drop without hurting your GPA, can you enlist three confederates to be your "three classmates to email"? That way you could show her that you did what she wanted, and you're now entitled to ask her directly.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 03-28-2011 at 04:10 PM..
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2011, 04:14 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Logging on doesn't do anything for me. I have to actually do the work. If I don't do the work, my grade will drop and my GPA with it. That's what I'm trying to avoid. As long as I'm in the class, I wont stop doing the work because I wont willingly hurt my grades just to avoid her.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:32 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
<snip> I just can't take it any more which is why I emailed my adviser to find out if dropping this class will in any way hurt my GPA. If he says no, I'm gone. I have the textbook and access to the publisher's resources so if I still want to continue the subject, I can.<snip>
Okey dokey - fingers crossed for you that you can dump the crappy class and not have it affect the rest of your schooling.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2011, 04:33 PM
Lord Ashtar Lord Ashtar is offline
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Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
Lord Ashtar: Oh my, that is so tempting. But, I don't know what kind of professor she is in person and that's how all her other classes are taught. It seems unfair to rate her based on my opinion of this one class when she might actually be a really good professor. Dammit, I really need to work on being mean. I suck at this.
Who cares how she is in her other classes? You're rating her based on how she performed in the class that you paid for and in which you are working your ass off for an A. Maybe she's been doing it too long and is getting lazy, and a poor review is just what she needs to get back on the ball.

Mention how she didn't answer your questions, the typos in her presentations, the utter vagueness of it all. Don't be mean, just be honest.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2011, 04:39 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Actually in her case, I don't think she has been doing it long enough. I don't know if a bad review will have any effect on her online class mentality.

Oh well, you're right. When it comes time to review her, I will mention what I liked (if I can come up with anything) and what I had a problem with. I hate when I read reviews from students who complain that the professor expects them to be on time and turn in their assignments when due so I'll make sure all my complaints are valid and not just based on my personal preferences. It's up to them what they do with the information.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:34 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Who cares how she is in her other classes? You're rating her based on how she performed in the class that you paid for and in which you are working your ass off for an A. Maybe she's been doing it too long and is getting lazy, and a poor review is just what she needs to get back on the ball.

Mention how she didn't answer your questions, the typos in her presentations, the utter vagueness of it all. Don't be mean, just be honest.
Yep. As a college instructor, i agree completely.

Much of the stuff described in the OP is simply unacceptable. I'm especially annoyed by the fact that she tells you to consult with other students before asking her a question. It's her job to help you. My only requirement is that my students check the syllabus before asking me a question. I refuse to deal with emails asking when my office hours are or what day the research paper is due when that information has been clearly posted on the course website since the first day of class.

Also, both professors and department chairs can tell the difference between whiny students who complain about too much reading or about how the professor expects work to be submitted on time and students who have genuine and well-articulated complaints about specific aspects of the instructor's performance.

The best way to have people pay attention to your course evaluation is to offer clear explanations of what the problems were, and how they affected the class. The first evaluations to get tossed aside are usually the ones that say stuff like "This class was the worst ever," or "Boring!" If a student can't be bothered to actually explain what was wrong, both teachers and administrators probably won't spend too much time agonizing over the evaluation. But reviews that offer constructive criticism are paid much closer attention.

I should add that your comments are also confirming my own dislike for the idea of online courses. I've been offered the opportunity to teach some classes online instead of in the classroom, and there is some demand for this type of instruction in one of the required courses that i teach, but i've so far stuck with face-to-face courses.

This is partly because i like the in-class aspect of teaching. I like having conversation about the readings with my students, and i like giving lectures. I'm sure some students find my lectures boring at times, but i know that the material i'm presenting is relevant, and i do my best to be enthusiastic and to illustrate my lectures with interesting images etc.

But my reluctance to teach online also comes from a feeling that it might result in inferior education for the students and a shitty experience for me as the instructor. While i like messing around here on the SDMB, i'm not sure i'd enjoy an online discussion with my students in the same way, and i don't think it would be as interesting or productive as a classroom discussion. I've seen other teachers' online discussion boards and comment sections, and they had a lot of what you describe: short, meaningless comments that in no way constitute a conversation.

While plenty of your teacher's habit and practices are very problematic, and i agree that she seems very unprofessional, there is one area where i can't get on board with your rant. It's this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
Before you know it, the week is nearly over and there's no time to get an answer from her because she doesn't check her email during the weekend. I'm sorry but that just doesn't work for me. Many of your students take online classes because they DON'T FUCKING HAVE TIME FOR THIS KIND OF SHIT.
Now, i know that this was in the context of her requirement that you ask your classmates before you ask her a question, which i think is a ridiculous rule, but this also exemplifies another reason that i don't want to teach online classes.

I know people who teach such classes, and they all say that, because it's an online class, many students expect them to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They'll get emails at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and then a follow-up at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning wondering why they haven't responded yet. It seems to surprise some of these students that teachers have a life, and that they might spend Saturday evening and Sunday morning going out and then sleeping in. I think it's perfectly reasonable for any teacher, whether in a face-to-face or an online class, to say that they won't check email over the weekend. This is especially true because many students don't seek help in plenty of time, and then assume that the problem caused by their own procrastination should translate into the teacher's top priority.

Anyway, how far into your semester are you?

At my university, if you wanted to drop a class right now (we're about half-way through the semester), you would need a very good reason (major illness, etc.) in order to be allowed to withdraw with no effect on your GPA.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:55 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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We're down to the last 5 or 6 weeks (I can't remember exactly when it ends). We're past the halfway point.

I have no problem at all with my online professors being unavailable on weekends. I don't even mind if they don't get back to me at night. But if I ask a question at 8AM on a Wednesday and I don't get an answer until 8PM on Friday, when I know they wont be available over the weekend for clarification - that's when I get pissed. I'm also annoyed when they don't respond to emails in a timely fashion but tell us that it's their preferred method of communication.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:32 PM
The Tao's Revenge The Tao's Revenge is offline
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Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
2. Does she not understand the concept of a discussion board? Reading plagiarized "summaries" from my classmates every week and having to respond to 2 of them is particularly painful. My response of choice would be to direct most of them to the academic honesty section of the school handbook. But, I try to not be a bitch and if she cared, she'd say something to them. So, I try to come up with a response. When I, of all people, have trouble coming up with a response, you should know that the summaries are crap. I have resorted to the "nice article, nice summary"** response that so many of my classmates use, for the simple fact that I can't bother wasting the brain run-time for better. I do my best to find an article that is relevant to the assigned subject while still being different from the stuff everyone else chooses. I try to write summaries that are well thought out and don't just restate exactly what the article said. Discussion boards are supposed to be for discussions. Saying "good article, good summary" every week is NOT a discussion and frankly, if that's all I'm going to get, what's the point in even bothering to find and write about an article? I never thought that I would miss the Plato discussions from my intro to liberal arts class last semester. At least that professor actually made an attempt to get full sentences from her students.

** No, I don't really do that. But compared to what I'm used to writing on a discussion board, I may as well because that's what it feels like I'm writing.
Yea I saw a lot of that too in some online classes. Annoyed the crap out of me. Fortunately in others the teacher let students have it so to speak if they didn't participate properly.


Quote:
5. Ambiguity is not a good thing in a multiple choice test question. There has been at least 1 question on every quiz you've given that could have had 3 or 4 different answers - sometimes none of which were any of the supplied answers. So, I end up having to guess which answer you were thinking of. Please stop asking us about typical this and typical that. The textbook has said many times that there is no such thing as typical. You have a graduate degree in your subject. How did you get that far without learning to write a question that can be understood?
Needs quoted. Framed, and tattooed to the back of any test writer's eyelids in glowing ink.




That said, I'd make a point to chat with three of classmates on monday, or the earliest possible day in the week. Via in person or MSN or something. Then you ask them all three any questions you have, and they likewise, and get that red tape out of the way.

If it's not totally online and she has an office check when she's there and go visit in person. It's a huge hassel but it's a lot harder for her to duck. Plus she's conveniently located to then argue her bloody mindedness seek elucidation about some of her more arcanely phrased questions. Preferred doesn't mean only, unless she doesn't know what preferred means.

Last edited by The Tao's Revenge; 03-28-2011 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:59 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by The Tao's Revenge View Post
That said, I'd make a point to chat with three of classmates on monday, or the earliest possible day in the week.
I actually don't have many questions outside of the ones on her damn quizzes and for those, checking with anyone is not an option. The ones that aren't on the quiz are just annoying but I can live without answers or with enough google searching I can find them faster than asking anyone in my class. The quiz ones are the difference between an A and no A and generally are just because of her wording. It's also entirely possible that these are publisher supplied tests and she doesn't care enough to realize how stupid they are.

My favorite one so far (I got this one right because I guessed):

The diameter of a typical (there's that word again) funnel cloud would be:
A. 50 meters
B. 2500 meters
C. 1000 meters
D. 4000 meters
E. 200 meters (this is the right answer - according to her)

According to the textbook, the correct answer is that the average tornado has a diameter between 150 and 600 meters (that's a pretty wide range for "typical").

The only reason I chose 200 meters is because it was the only one that fell into the very wide range given in the book. I don't know where the hell she got 200 meters as the definitive diameter for a typical tornado and I'm not going to waste my time asking. I know what the book says and in a life or death situation, I can tell you the average range for tornado diameters.


The one I'm still waiting for an answer on is this one (and I totally wimbled on which to choose because I didn't know where her mind was when she wrote the quiz):

True or False - A funnel cloud does not make contact with the surface.

The correct answer is true. I put false. My reasoning is this: A funnel cloud that touches the ground is classified as a tornado. This does not make it no longer a funnel cloud. So, funnel clouds DO touch the ground. They just get a spiffy new name when they do. It kind of runs along the scotch/whiskey lines - all tornadoes are funnel clouds but not all funnel clouds are tornadoes. I want her to explain to me why a funnel cloud stops being a funnel cloud just because it touches the ground. Does its shape change? Does it suddenly become a cube?

In response to my question, she directed me to this section in the book:

"Finally, a slender and rapidly spinning vortex emerges from the base of the wall cloud to form a funnel cloud. If the funnel cloud makes contact with the surface, it is then classified as a tornado." One minute we're talking about shape and the next we're talking about classification. Like I already said, the shape didn't change unless there's something the book isn't telling me. Ergo, it's a fucking funnel cloud.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:38 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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<snip>
The one I'm still waiting for an answer on is this one (and I totally wimbled on which to choose because I didn't know where her mind was when she wrote the quiz):

True or False - A funnel cloud does not make contact with the surface.

The correct answer is true. I put false. My reasoning is this: A funnel cloud that touches the ground is classified as a tornado. This does not make it no longer a funnel cloud. So, funnel clouds DO touch the ground. They just get a spiffy new name when they do. It kind of runs along the scotch/whiskey lines - all tornadoes are funnel clouds but not all funnel clouds are tornadoes. I want her to explain to me why a funnel cloud stops being a funnel cloud just because it touches the ground. Does its shape change? Does it suddenly become a cube?

In response to my question, she directed me to this section in the book:

"Finally, a slender and rapidly spinning vortex emerges from the base of the wall cloud to form a funnel cloud. If the funnel cloud makes contact with the surface, it is then classified as a tornado." One minute we're talking about shape and the next we're talking about classification. Like I already said, the shape didn't change unless there's something the book isn't telling me. Ergo, it's a fucking funnel cloud.
This kind of question bugs the ever-loving shit out of me - I have trouble thinking like other people to start with, then you throw ambiguous questions like this at me? I would have answered "False," too - if it turns into a tornado once it touches ground then no, funnel clouds don't touch the ground. I like my exam questions very literal.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:45 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
In response to my question, she directed me to this section in the book:

"Finally, a slender and rapidly spinning vortex emerges from the base of the wall cloud to form a funnel cloud. If the funnel cloud makes contact with the surface, it is then classified as a tornado." One minute we're talking about shape and the next we're talking about classification. Like I already said, the shape didn't change unless there's something the book isn't telling me. Ergo, it's a fucking funnel cloud.
Not only that, but the book actually says: "If the funnel cloud makes contact with the surface..." This is an explicit statement by the textbook that a funnel cloud can, in fact, make contact with the surface.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:50 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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I should add that this sort of thing is one reason, apart from my belief that they are a poor judge of a student's abilities in my field, that i don't give multiple choice tests.

Writing good multiple choice questions is actually a rather difficult thing to do. You need to make sure that one, and only one, of the answers is the correct one, but you also need to make sure that the other options are not so implausible as to be immediately rejected even by someone who doesn't know the material.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:12 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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I so much prefer essay questions. If I know the answer, I can write a damn good explaination for why I'm right. And, if I don't know the answer, it's really going to show up in an essay. It's much harder to bullshit with essays.
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  #21  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:41 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Is this an all online school degree mill or something? How in the world can you possibly be taking 7 classes in one semester? I can't imagine they are very hard.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:53 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Is this an all online school degree mill or something? How in the world can you possibly be taking 7 classes in one semester? I can't imagine they are very hard.
Yeah, i was pretty staggered at the number of classes.

A standard full-time load (i.e., finish in 4 years, with no summer school) at my university is 5 classes per semester, and some students have trouble coping even with that. Most places where i've been a student or worked have upper limits on the number of classes students are allowed to take, and while those limits are sometimes bent for people who just need an extra class to graduate, i've never been associated with a university that would allow seven full-credit courses per semester.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:03 AM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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1. I have 7 god damn classes that need to get done every week. I don't have time to waste hoping one of my classmates has the time in their busy schedule do DO YOUR JOB!
I know this a bit of a hi-jack, but you say you have 7 classes? Are they all online? IF so, this truly amazes me.

I have to question the quality and difficulty of these classes if you can handle 7 of them in one semester, and also, you are pulling an A in a class that is driving you nuts.

If these are all 3 credit classes to transfer to UConn, then finish the damn class and have your revenge after the grade is posted.

Maybe she feels that this subject is so easy, even someone that hates her "teaching" style and has 6 other classes to handle each week can still get an A with all of these ambiguous questions, her heart isn't into it.

I'm not defending the teacher. You should always have access to a professor to ask questions to, usually during posted office hours. But the on-line program sounds like a joke (no offense), so maybe she's not that motivated to make it a stimulating experience.

Wait until you run into a tenured professor who absolutely can't stand teaching or you can't guess what in the hell they want... and you need the class. THAT'S when the ulcer's start.

Last edited by Stink Fish Pot; 03-29-2011 at 03:04 AM.. Reason: eta: Apparently, I wasn't the only one who noticed this. I did read over half the thread before posting.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:27 AM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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I actually don't have many questions outside of the ones on her damn quizzes and for those, checking with anyone is not an option. The ones that aren't on the quiz are just annoying but I can live without answers or with enough google searching I can find them faster than asking anyone in my class. The quiz ones are the difference between an A and no A and generally are just because of her wording. It's also entirely possible that these are publisher supplied tests and she doesn't care enough to realize how stupid they are.

My favorite one so far (I got this one right because I guessed):

The diameter of a typical (there's that word again) funnel cloud would be:
A. 50 meters
B. 2500 meters
C. 1000 meters
D. 4000 meters
E. 200 meters (this is the right answer - according to her)

According to the textbook, the correct answer is that the average tornado has a diameter between 150 and 600 meters (that's a pretty wide range for "typical").

The only reason I chose 200 meters is because it was the only one that fell into the very wide range given in the book. I don't know where the hell she got 200 meters as the definitive diameter for a typical tornado and I'm not going to waste my time asking. I know what the book says and in a life or death situation, I can tell you the average range for tornado diameters.
OK, this question you have no gripe with. She says typical, and no other answer falls within that typical range. She may not have expressed it as nicely as you wanted her to, but she isn't exactly wrong either. You got it right. Good for you. You also knew the range. That's even better. But this was not an ambiguous question in any way, and was not meant to trip you up. You have an affliction known as "exact-itis" (I made that up). See your next example for proof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
The one I'm still waiting for an answer on is this one (and I totally wimbled on which to choose because I didn't know where her mind was when she wrote the quiz):

True or False - A funnel cloud does not make contact with the surface.

The correct answer is true. I put false. My reasoning is this: A funnel cloud that touches the ground is classified as a tornado. This does not make it no longer a funnel cloud. So, funnel clouds DO touch the ground. They just get a spiffy new name when they do. It kind of runs along the scotch/whiskey lines - all tornadoes are funnel clouds but not all funnel clouds are tornadoes. I want her to explain to me why a funnel cloud stops being a funnel cloud just because it touches the ground. Does its shape change? Does it suddenly become a cube?

In response to my question, she directed me to this section in the book:

"Finally, a slender and rapidly spinning vortex emerges from the base of the wall cloud to form a funnel cloud. If the funnel cloud makes contact with the surface, it is then classified as a tornado." One minute we're talking about shape and the next we're talking about classification. Like I already said, the shape didn't change unless there's something the book isn't telling me. Ergo, it's a fucking funnel cloud.
Seriously? You think you have a point worth arguing? She used the textbook definition of what a funnel cloud was, and you over-thought it. If you KNEW the right answer (and it seems that you did), you talked yourself out of the right answer because you thought she was going to "trick" you. C'mon.... you are really picking nits. Again, if she has a history of asking trick questions, then fine. It doesn't sound to me like she does. She just asks questions that you dissect instead of using your intellect to pick the obvious answer.

Think of it like this... A meteoroid is a rock-like thing that begins to enter the earth's atmosphere. Until it hits the earth, it is a meteoroid (the trail it leaves, the one we see, is called a meteor, not the rock itself). When it hits the earth, the name changes to a meteorite. By your logic, the rock laying on the earth is still a meteoroid (and maybe it is). But the definition of meteorite makes the use of the term meteoroid useless at this point, doesn't it?

You may be technically right, but you are wrong. Let it go, take your "A" and thank your lucky stars you can take 7 courses a semester.
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2011, 05:04 AM
Gary Kumquat Gary Kumquat is offline
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Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
Seriously? You think you have a point worth arguing?
I'd agree with her. It's a very poorly worded question for multiple choice, as clearly a funnel cloud can touch the ground (at which point it becomes a tornado).
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  #26  
Old 03-29-2011, 05:06 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congodwarf View Post
True or False - A funnel cloud does not make contact with the surface.

The correct answer is true. I put false. My reasoning is this: A funnel cloud that touches the ground is classified as a tornado. This does not make it no longer a funnel cloud. So, funnel clouds DO touch the ground. They just get a spiffy new name when they do.
Ah, the old debate over whether a blowjob is sex, always one of my favorites.

Last edited by Nava; 03-29-2011 at 05:09 AM..
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  #27  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:02 AM
Stink Fish Pot Stink Fish Pot is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary Kumquat View Post
I'd agree with her. It's a very poorly worded question for multiple choice, as clearly a funnel cloud can touch the ground (at which point it becomes a tornado).
yeah, but you aren't the one who wrote the question.

And no one refers to a tornado as "the funnel cloud that's hit the ground".

Look, I don't disagree with you (or her) fundamentally. But it's not a point worth arguing about. After all, if a funnel cloud that hit the ground was still a funnel cloud, the word tornado wouldn't exist!
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  #28  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:33 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Is this an all online school degree mill or something? How in the world can you possibly be taking 7 classes in one semester? I can't imagine they are very hard.
It's a real college. I have 19 credits - the max you can take without special permission from your advisor and the head of your major. It's really 6 and a lab. Three are online and 3+lab are on site. I normally wouldn't have taken the last 3 credits but I knew Speech would be a cakewalk and my precalc professor is the amazing one so I had a feeling it would be easy too (I was right). So, I didn't think it would be a problem. And it wouldn't have been if I didn't want to kill my 7th professor.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:34 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
But it's not a point worth arguing about.
It's a point worth arguing about when every single quiz she gives has at least one of these questions and they're worth 5 points each. This class has cured me of my need to get a 100 on everything but it's still pissing me off that it's for this reason. Normally I wouldn't argue.
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  #30  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:40 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Oh, and the reason I am able to take 7 classes is because I have no job, no children, and dogs who sleep all day. I have 24/7 to deal with my 7 classes and as long as I can keep the procrastination and absentmindedness in check, I can handle it. My speech class is 3 hours a week and preparing for it takes at most another 4 (only if I have a speech due - which I don't most weeks). Precalc generally takes me only 2 or 3 hours a week. The vast majority of the time I spent on my classes are only spent on Bio, Spanish, and Weather. Lab is easy. Psychology takes me a long time but it's a very slow paced course so it's ok.

And no, when I get to a 4-year, I will NOT be taking this many classes.
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  #31  
Old 03-29-2011, 07:09 AM
zut zut is offline
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Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
And no one refers to a tornado as "the funnel cloud that's hit the ground".

Look, I don't disagree with you (or her) fundamentally. But it's not a point worth arguing about. After all, if a funnel cloud that hit the ground was still a funnel cloud, the word tornado wouldn't exist!
That doesn't follow.

If a pair of pants that flared out at the bottom were still pants, the word bellbottoms wouldn't exist!

I really have no idea if tornados are a class of funnel clouds or something that funnel clouds morph into, but the language of the textbook implies the former.
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  #32  
Old 03-29-2011, 07:24 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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I think you should suck it up and finish the class. I'm guessing with five weeks left, your advisor isn't going to let you out with a simple drop because you don't like the instructor. Since you are getting an A, and your rationale for dropping the class honestly doesn't have a lot of meat to it (so she isn't a great instructor, some aren't. I'm not seeing any ambiguity in either of those questions. Maybe her personal life has exploded this quarter/tri/semester and she is just trying to hang on. I took an online class from a stats professor where we didn't have access to anyone else in the class and she never answered an email. The entire grade was three tests, and she didn't bother to grade the tests until grades were due, so no feedback. You know what - two semesters later I found out she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer about the time I had her).

Someday, someone will ask you the interview question "How did you work through a difficult situation." This is a great one if you persevere to answer that question with. You will have had to 1) develop a network of classmates 2) figure out her testing style and 3) just get through it and finish it off the best you can.

Also, if this is a two year, and your intending on transferring to a large public 4 year, you might as well learn to work this out now. I had professors at my large school who wouldn't talk to students - they were paid to research, work with grad students, and teach an undergrad class - in that order of priority. Or make sure you transfer to a smaller 4 year without a research arm.
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  #33  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:08 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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You make good points Dangerosa. You all make good points. I definitely didn't expect everyone to come in and tell me how right I am and that she's a horrible person. It's nice to get a POV from a bunch of different people. The frustration with this class has been building for weeks and the email from her yesterday was more than I could take. I actually feel oddly relaxed right now. Maybe freaking out yesterday emptied my pissed-off coffer and I'll be good to go for the next 6 weeks.


I still want to quit the class but if my adviser wont let me, I will stick it out, continue to do my best, and leave a well written review of the class at the end.
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  #34  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:13 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Originally Posted by Lord Ashtar View Post
Who cares how she is in her other classes? You're rating her based on how she performed in the class that you paid for and in which you are working your ass off for an A. Maybe she's been doing it too long and is getting lazy, and a poor review is just what she needs to get back on the ball.

Mention how she didn't answer your questions, the typos in her presentations, the utter vagueness of it all. Don't be mean, just be honest.
This. Lord Ashtar has hit it. Make your review as scathing as it needs to be, and be prepared to justify it (keep copies of emails, copy posts off the board and save them, etc., etc.

If this is the quality of work that she is doing, then be blunt and say so. Good luck and I hope you work everything out.
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  #35  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:13 AM
fachverwirrt fachverwirrt is offline
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Originally Posted by Cubsfan View Post
Is this an all online school degree mill or something? How in the world can you possibly be taking 7 classes in one semester? I can't imagine they are very hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
Yeah, i was pretty staggered at the number of classes.

A standard full-time load (i.e., finish in 4 years, with no summer school) at my university is 5 classes per semester, and some students have trouble coping even with that. Most places where i've been a student or worked have upper limits on the number of classes students are allowed to take, and while those limits are sometimes bent for people who just need an extra class to graduate, i've never been associated with a university that would allow seven full-credit courses per semester.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stink Fish Pot View Post
I know this a bit of a hi-jack, but you say you have 7 classes? Are they all online? IF so, this truly amazes me.

I have to question the quality and difficulty of these classes if you can handle 7 of them in one semester, and also, you are pulling an A in a class that is driving you nuts.
My last three years in college I was taking 6-8 classes every semester (not including choir) and did fine. It was busy, but do-able.
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  #36  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:13 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Education in America is in a pretty sorry state. Your experience is not atypical.
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  #37  
Old 03-29-2011, 11:20 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Originally Posted by fachverwirrt View Post
My last three years in college I was taking 6-8 classes every semester (not including choir) and did fine. It was busy, but do-able.
It is very busy. I don't think I'll ever do this again - voluntarily. Even with 2 classes being so easy, I am always looking for more time and more sleep.
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  #38  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:15 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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I know someone who took 6 engineering classes a semester for 2 years, while also playing on the varsity hockey team and maintained a 4.0 GPA. I'm not sure he was quite human (also, the fact that he was gorgeous, relatively rich, and a twin made me occasionally wonder if I'd slipped into an episode of 90210....)

IME, most schools have a course drop deadline, but even if you drop the course before then, it will still show up on your transcript as a withdrawal, but no grade will be attached nor will it impact your GPA.

Your teacher sounds terrible. I've had worse, I think. I had one prof who was basically illiterate - his slides, his exams, all the course material provided were jumbles of words almost but not quite forming sentences, let alone questions. It was such a frustrating course, though luckily it was very easy since he pretty much only ever talked about one thing (O-rings! Challenger explosion! O-rings!) It was a bizarre experience. Another prof would just throw equations on the board with little to no explanation, just saying "it's easy!". Fluid dynamics, easiest topic on earth, really!

Last edited by mnemosyne; 04-01-2011 at 04:16 PM..
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  #39  
Old 04-01-2011, 06:27 PM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Well, I heard back from my adviser today. I can drop the course before April 8 and only get a W on my record.

But, the comments here and the pep talk from my adviser have convinced me that I need to suck it up and finish the course. Not only do I need the practice dealing with classes I hate before transferring, if I drop the class I'll probably forever regret letting my frustration take control of me.

So, I'm going to stick with it. Thank you for all the input. It seems silly to say but bitching about my frustrations to complete strangers really does help, even when the strangers don't agree with me.
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  #40  
Old 04-01-2011, 07:54 PM
j666 j666 is online now
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I think your two examples of questions are valid complaints, and I really think you should start preparing detailed notes on the inadequacies of the class, so you can present three to six complaints with adequate supporting evidence.

I had instructors like that. I aced their courses just some my critiques would have weight. I will never waste my time like that again. But you have to go through it at least once.
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  #41  
Old 04-01-2011, 10:34 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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I'm glad to hear it.

Sometimes in life you spend ten weeks with an instructor you hate - or two years with a boss you hate, but you can't afford to quit and can't find another job that pays as well. Or five years raising a teenager, who you do love, but drives you CRAZY and is barely human (and far less rational than your instructor). Persistence is a good skill to gain - and if you get to practice it in a class where you are getting an A - or maybe an A-, in a two year college - you are fortunate.

Enjoy writing the evaluation though. I had one prof that drove me BATTY. And it was a required course AND she was the only person who taught it.
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  #42  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:14 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
Yeah, i was pretty staggered at the number of classes.

A standard full-time load (i.e., finish in 4 years, with no summer school) at my university is 5 classes per semester, and some students have trouble coping even with that. Most places where i've been a student or worked have upper limits on the number of classes students are allowed to take, and while those limits are sometimes bent for people who just need an extra class to graduate, i've never been associated with a university that would allow seven full-credit courses per semester.
Except for my freshman year, I took 6 classes/semester, which was our maximum load. People thought I was nuts. I graduated with maybe 20 extra credits. I don't know about the OP, but I was so deathly afraid of sitting around having nothing to do that, in the back of my head, studying was the "noble" thing to do.
Also, there were so many classes I wanted to take...really, for me, uni was like having the world at my feet and and damn, I was going to take advantage of it.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2011, 07:30 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Those are actually 2 very good reasons for why I keep wanting to max my credit load. Even at the community college level there are so many classes that look so cool and I want to try to fit them all in. After all, it can't be possible to learn to much, can it? So far, I have only taken 2 classes that I didn't need. My government class last semester was very interesting and I learned so much (including how little I knew about my own government). The A&P class that I want to take in the summer is filled so now I'm wimbling between Plant Biology and Principles of Ecology. I have to keep telling myself that I can't take 2 lab sciences and Trig during the same session because the summer classes are so much more intense but 2 classes doesn't seem like enough. My brain keeps telling me to just sign up for all 3 even though I know it's a bad idea.

The other reason, being afraid of having too much free time, is a huge one for me. I know me. "If you want something done, give it to a busy person" - the motto for my life. It sounds stupid but my problems with focus and procrastination are so much more under control when I'm so busy that I am almost TOO busy. In my case there's nothing noble about it though. I just know that I function better when I'm insanely busy. This was apparent when I was actually working. After I got a promotion that required moving away from my product line, they needed 2 people to replace me. Even though they both already worked for the company and knew the customers and products, they still weren't able to keep up with all the work I did and they ended up hiring a part timer too. It sucked all around though because my new line was much less busy and I ended up finding a new job because the boredom made me constantly feel like I wasn't doing enough and that I would get in trouble for having down time.
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  #44  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:43 PM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Just as a question and not as a snark, but how much did you google for the information you were asking the professor?

Also, how did you ask the question? Was it just asking "Why is this wrong?" or did you ask "My though is that "A funnel cloud that touches the ground is classified as a tornado. This does not make it no longer a funnel cloud. So, funnel clouds DO touch the ground. They just get a spiffy new name when they do. It kind of runs along the scotch/whiskey lines - all tornadoes are funnel clouds but not all funnel clouds are tornadoes."

I think one problem may be with expectations.
Quote:
I want her to explain to me why a funnel cloud stops being a funnel cloud just because it touches the ground. Does its shape change? Does it suddenly become a cube?
(my bolding) Why does it take her to explain it to you? Can't you find this out definitively with google within 10 or 15 minutes?

You may already understand this, and if so then be ahead of 90% of college sophomores, but the further you go in school and then afterward, the less answers there are in the back of the book, or can be readily given by the instructor and the more people have to find out the answers themselves.
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  #45  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:57 PM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by TokyoPlayer View Post
Why does it take her to explain it to you? Can't you find this out definitively with google within 10 or 15 minutes?
It takes her to explain it because she is the one using a particular definition of a funnel cloud in order to assign a particular answer to the test question.

One of my responsibilities as a teacher is to explain things that my students don't understand. This responsibility is particularly important in cases where i'm the one setting the questions and determining their grades. Any teacher should be able to explain to a student in his or her class why a particular answer is right or wrong (or part-right or part-wrong).
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  #46  
Old 04-03-2011, 09:58 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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Have you considered pooping on her lawn?
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  #47  
Old 04-03-2011, 10:54 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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Originally Posted by Darth Panda View Post
Have you considered pooping on her lawn?
I've always been a great admirer of the "flaming bag of poo" method.

Especially useful in conjunction with interior office doors.



Stick it out, and crucify her when you get your eval form. I had a first-year prof this past fall who I personally like, but I didn't mince words when I evaluated her. She was the second-worst teacher/prof I have ever had in my life, and I've had some serious stinkers. (The only reason she wasn't the single worst was because that one had a personal grudge against me which put them over the top.)

I don't think she sucks because she wants to, but she really needs to learn some better teaching methods, and if no one tells her that little fact, she won't change anything, and they're going to lose people left and right because she's slated for the intro classes for the next few years. I tried to not be totally nasty, but I was straightforward about what she was specifically doing that was counterproductive or simply stupid. Sadly, there was a lot of it.

Don't think of it as being mean. Think of it as helping the school utilize their resources more effectively!
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  #48  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:35 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoPlayer View Post
Just as a question and not as a snark, but how much did you google for the information you were asking the professor?

Also, how did you ask the question?

Why does it take her to explain it to you?
I google everything before I ask anyone. If I can't find it from googling, I'll either ask my friends on facebook (most of them are way smarter and much better educated than I am). If that fails, I'll typically ask here. THEN I ask the professor. In this case, I googled and then asked her directly.

When I asked the question, I was polite and brief (yes, I am capable of being brief - though it takes me 2x-3x as long as being long-winded). I explained why I felt I was right and asked her to help me understand why I was wrong.


This is the answer I got back (and no, I didn't remove the punctuation or capitals):

page 303

at the end of the third paragraph under tornado development


THAT was the response that pissed me off so badly. I already read that damn paragraph and it was what led me to the conclusion that the answer was false. Rereading the paragraph wasn't going to change my opinion. Googling led me to the same conclusion I had already reached: funnel cloud is a description of the shape of the cloud and that tornado is just a spiffy name for a funnel cloud on the ground. And THAT is why it took her explaining it to me.

By the way, I did email her again and she did get back to me with a much better answer. I'm still not convinced but at least I understand why she chose her answer and I'm willing to accept her explanation.


By the way, when I went to check my email (you had me all paranoid that I was rude or something so I had to double check), I noticed that my grade for this week's quiz was posted. For the first time all semester, I managed to get a 100 on a quiz. The shock caused me to shout out, "Holy Shit!" Since I shouted out the same thing about 5 hours ago after finding out someone had died, my poor boyfriend came running up from the basement in a panic, wanting to know who died this time.
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  #49  
Old 04-04-2011, 03:56 AM
RndmTaco RndmTaco is offline
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I don't need it for my UCONN transfer application to look better.
Transferring to or from UConn? I'm in Storrs now which is why I ask. Anyways, If I were in your situation, I would probably just continue BSing my way through the class, make it through to the end of the year, and take the good grade towards my GPA.

Oh, and then rate the professor horribly during course evaluations.
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  #50  
Old 04-04-2011, 08:57 AM
congodwarf congodwarf is offline
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To UConn - hopefully. I should be done with community college at the end of December. I want to transfer in January.

Are you a student or a professor?
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