Dr. Brown (name changed to protect the source of my current irritation),
I like you a lot. I think you’re interesting and intelligent, and you’re definitely one of the better lecturers I’ve had. I always enjoy your classes, except for the MIND-DESTROYING FRUSTRATION they always seem to entail. You’ve driven me slowly insane during the course of this semester, and there are increasingly clear signs that my head and/or various internal organs are going to explode from the strain.
Now, Dr. Brown, as I’ve said, you’re a good lecturer. So why the pathological fear of, you know, lecturing? Okay, okay, the self-effacing comments about “not wanting to bore us with yet another lecture” are fine. But please, consider the alternatives. To whit: in class discussions - for which we are divided into groups, and need to actually prepare in advance. With specific topics and readings. How much does anyone get out of “small group discussions”? Here’s a hint: it’s that number when you have a decimal point, an infinite number of zeroes, and then a one. Ask a mathematician if you’re not clear on what number that is.
And the student briefs. Hey, having presentations is a great idea. The student briefs - in which a student studies a case on their own time, writes a brief, and presents it to the class for about three minutes - nice low-pressure option for igniting discussion. Except that the students are not capable of explaining legal issues - we don’t understand them all that well. Hence the class we’re taking in it. So when my understanding of a subject, and worse yet, my future exam grades, depend on another student, it sort of sucks. It’s nice that you help by making the briefs they write on the cases available to their fellow students, except for the whole bit about them NOT WRITING THEM AND SENDING THEM IN. Thus, each student case, I have to review myself. Gosh, is there another approach that could be effective? Perhaps you could - I dunno, this is really thinking outside the box here - present them yourself during your freaking lecture!
And must you use that silly web thing for everything? Our school provides web-based mechanism for professors to disseminate information to students: it aggregates emails from the professor, it stores lecture notes, we can review old grades with it - everything a student could ever want. Except that it fucking sucks. I’m so goddamn sick of searching through folders - which, incidentally, you could probably give more descriptive names - for pdfs of our assignments. Remember back in the old days? Professors used to hand information like that out in class. They used a mysterious white substance that came in thin sheets, and worked wonderfully as a conveyance of information. Gosh, those were the days. Plus, the web-thing has the potential to augment the old-fashioned system, making it easier to get information when a student misses class. It’s not a suitable replacement for the old way, though, and I’m really really tired of trawling through it trying to find things.
One of the things I can’t seem to find are your lecture notes on the Fair Housing Act. It’s the subject for the paper we’re supposed to be working on! Now, I’m normally a big note-taker, Dr. Brown, but because you’ve been providing your powerpoints online, I’ve dropped that habit in your class because it makes it easier to focus and participate. So why, then, for the one key topic for our paper, did you refrain from providing those lecture notes? Our text has a five-page chapter on it, none of the outside readings seem to address it - I’m not sure where to start with that paper. If I had a record of what you’d done in class, it would really freaking help.
Now, self, it’s your turn.
Why did you wait until the weekend before the paper was due to start on it? You waited long enough that - should there be a problem - you would have no recourse but to turn the paper in late. I understand that you were busy last week - I was there; I occupy your body - but seriously. One brief glance at the prompt before Wednesday’s class? You could certainly have found time for that at least. Just enough to find some cases to examine, just so you’d be prepared to start writing this weekend. Why, instead, did you waste so damn much time on random miscellany? One fucking hour less on the Straight Dope - and yes, self, before you say it, I recognize the irony of my now using the SDMB as a mechanism to lecture you - and you could have done it in time to meet with Dr. Brown and get some guidance.
You also could have done it if you hadn’t procrastinated on every other damn thing until it was so late that it became an emergency, thus preventing you from being ahead on this assignment at all. Now, with this paper probably ending up late, you’ve got an excellent head start on creating a similar emergency for next Monday’s paper. The one for your sociology class? For which you have to find an outside lecture to attend? Maybe you should at least find a lecture to go to. You know, so you can write the paper. It’s a quarter of your grade in that class. You wouldn’t want to fail that class, would you? It’s clearly geared towards a developmentally disabled nine-year-old; it would be really humiliating to end up with a bad grade there.
So self: you have to (1) write that paper late, and turn it in Wednesday while (2) also preparing to deliver a student brief in the same class. It might be a good idea to (3) get your week’s reading done for the Spanish class you have that day, since you haven’t done it for today’s class. This is going to be a couple of fun evenings, self, especially since you’re already sleep-deprived. And you really have no one else to blame it on. Why don’t you get your ass in gear, and get something done more than four hours before it’s due for once in your goddamn life? Hey, if you had done that, you wouldn’t be studying for a Chinese quiz at 7:30 in the fucking morning!
God I need a fucking cigarette.