Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I'm sorry, I'm going to climb on my soap box for a little bit. Today's topic: grad school.

I'm almost half-way through my first semester as a graduate student at Northern State University. I like NSU; nice people, laid-back atmosphere, athletics, you get the picture. But there are two things that are bothering me: the curriculum of one of my classes, and a teacher that speaks English as a second language.

Step one on the soap box: curricula.
So today in my 10 a.m. class we were discussing the APA style of writing. Helpful for me because I've never used APA format before. However, after going through a few slides we had to write examples of topic sentences. Now, I'm 23, almost 23.5. And I'm in grad school. So are the people in my classes. My question is, why are we talking about topic sentences, something we were taught from first grade on, in a graduate level class? Couple things about this bother me. A) Why am I spending money to sit in a class and do something I did on my parents' money way back at St. Joseph's Elementary School? This class is a two credit course, which at NSU is costing me about $600. Six-hundo and I'm learning how to structure a paragraph. Another thing bothering me about this is B) Why do we have to go over this in a grad level class? Where along the way did people not pick up on sentence and paragraph structure. Like I said before, I've been drilled with topic sentences since I came into this world, so where have we failed ourselves and not learned how to write? How bad has our society become at stringing words together to form sentences that express our ideas. This is mind-boggling to me, folks.

I'm almost done complaining, I swear. My second on the soap box: professors who speak english as a foreign language.

Earlier I mentioned I pay $600 for a two credit course, so with my great math skills, I've figured out I pay $900 for three credit class. Once again, I feel like I'm wasting my money because one of my professors uses broken English. Let's call this professor, Dr. Deadleg. Now Dr. Deadleg has done his work. He has his doctrate, so he's been around the educational block a time or two. So he probably knows what he's talking about, problem is, no one else does. The other day he was describing a "heartattack," or so I thought. Luckily from his broken English powerpoint slides I could tell he meant "hard tax." I did not know that all citizens of any given town must pay a heartattack. That's unfortunate. So back to my money. Northern State is paying this professor to teach students, yet, every student I've talked to has gotten nothing from his class. The state of South Dakota is facing a ten percent budget cut, the education system included. I'm sure Dr. Deadleg will keep a job, students will still waste their money on a class they don't understand and in the end, be the ones getting the short end of the stick.

All right, I'm done venting. Sorry about that.

In other news, I've been trying to decorate my apartment for my roommate (Michael) and myself. He has done a great job of helping me. Nailing things to the walls, voicing his opinion, and my favorite, hanging his own decor, beer signs (including one neon Budweiser sign) in our living room. Lovely. Does anyone know how to make a Miller Genuine Draft sign look country chic? Any help would be much appreciated.

Shout outs:

The woman on TLC's What Not to Wear right now: If you just described the shirt you put on as "something my grandmother may have crotcheted while drinking," please don't buy it.

Erin : I hope D-Day went well and you took my clothing advice, by that I mean the nice sweater and Bulldog brooch. Jokes. But seriously, I hope you wore my suggestion.

Wilbert my landlord: Please get rid of the no pets rule. While the roommate may look like an Irish Setter with that ungodly beard, I would like an actual dog. Thanks.

Derick Stanley: Good talk on Saturday. Thanks for fighting the fire at Bosch's. Please tell Reese he has my vote for Citizen of the Year.

Mumford and Sons: How did I live before your music?

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