Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Squeaky Wheel Does Not, In Fact, Get the Grease

This semester, I'm taking Calculus.  Well, I'm trying to take Calculus.  About five classes into the semester, I realized that there was no way in hell I was going to learn anything from the teacher of the class, for various reasons - a language barrier primary among them. But I realized too late, and there's literally nothing I can do about it.  Today was the deadline to drop if I wanted even a quarter of the tuition back, it's too late to switch horses and take Physics 102 and hope for better luck with a different Calculus teacher in the Spring.

Actually, that last bit wouldn't make a bit of difference, since a somewhat lengthy phone conversation with the head of the department - who not only didn't seem to hear my concerns about the teacher in question but essentially told me to go stuff it - indicated that the same teacher would be teaching the only evening Calculus class in the Spring as well.  And, seeing as I can only take an evening class, no matter what, the only way I can take a Calculus class is with this woman teaching it.  Note that I didn't say 'the only way I can learn Calculus,' since, as stated above, learning from her will be a mathematical improbability of the highest order.

The options are limited.  No distance learning classes, only one night class offered, and the same teacher each time.  This is starting to feel vaguely like the dullest ever Douglas Adams Infocom game - Calculus! - wherein your goal of actually learning the titular discipline is constantly thwarted by bungling, cruel bureaucrats, scheduling conflicts, lack of any kind of clear direction and, presumably, a fleet of Vogon ships.

Lord knows, I could use a babel fish about now.


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