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Mon, Feb. 6th, 2006, 04:02 pm
MT unit feels broken today.

My entire life has been classwork (or things relating to) for the past couple of weeks, and I'm still somehow getting behiiiiind so I haven't been a real bucket of joy up here. I can only hope morale improves as the beatings subside.

Chemistry is my most work-intensive class. I don't find it challenging or anything, just time-consuming. There's another annoyance behind the curtain, though: the textbook publisher has a stranglehold on the way the class is conducted. We buy this little transmitter and a subscription to an obnoxious online homework service with our textbooks -- both required. During lecture, we are given chemistry problems to solve, and radio our results with a press of a button (think Family Feud), we get participation points for this, two if our answer is correct, one if it is not. (There are obvious time constraints, so we have to answer quickly.) We spend about ten hours a week on the homework site, feeding the exact strings that the database wants to hear, or we don't get credit for any of the problems.

I feel like I'm being reduced to an aspect of a system, like a computer program: if the MT unit does not return the exact required string values in exactly the right way, it does not receive credit, wizzzz whirrrr, it must be broken. This binary system of education is humiliating and (on the academic level) leaves me feeling cheated: after all the trouble of arriving at the correct solution, I pushed the button the same time the instructor closed polling. No participation points for the MT unit: it obviously was not there and didn't give the correct input, whirrrrr. Provide the atomic symbol instead of the chemical name on the homework site? INCORRECT INPUT WHIRRRR. I'm learning rather quickly that I'm just jumping through the hoops of the system, which is a a matter of patience, rather than being tested directly.

Tue, Feb. 7th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
sparksol: Grr... *Beep*ing


Blasted meat-robots. Time to do some rewiring....

Tue, Feb. 7th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)

That does sound rather horrible way to learn anything...
But just wait until they make you download that stuff straight in your brain, with all its data faults and idiosyncrasies. =)

Wed, Feb. 8th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)

Yep, that sounds like chemistry alright. >.<