I almost dropped my biology class last Monday. I still might, I don’t know.
Allow me to explain. This semester, I’m taking a biology lecture with a lab, because it’s required. I knew from the first week that my teacher just… wasn’t my cup of tea, let’s say. Her lecture style and my learning style just don’t mesh, so already I know this class will be a struggle for me. But, it’s required and I really can’t afford to keep putting off these science classes (especially if I stick to the nutrition path because I need to take about 50 of them).
So, I decided to suck it up and deal with it. That was my mistake. That’s on me. I get it.
She’s… not a great person. In fact, she’s kind of a bitch, and not in the Boss Bitch Getting Shit Done, way. She’s a bitch in the, “I’m going to humiliate you and constantly remind you that I am the authority figure here and you’re just worthless peons,” kind of way.
I’m no stranger to this type of teacher. In fact, my English teacher last semester could border on that, at times. She once said we were acting like assholes because no one knew what song they would want to walk to out bat to at the World Series or some shit (she did these silly roll call questions because apparently they made things more “fun”).
The difference between my biology teacher and my English teacher is that my English teacher was actually a good teacher. Awful person, perhaps, but a good teacher. She gave consistently helpful feedback and always answered questions concisely in a way that we understood.
My biology teacher… is a whole different bag of failure. Her lectures are confusing. She has what she calls “senior moments” where she forgets the words for things (which happens when you get older, I understand, but unfortunately makes it difficult to follow her lectures). She often contradicts herself (usually she calls “thing one” “thing two” and “thing two” “thing one,” then switches back to the correct information… leaving us confused until we can read the book).
When someone asks a question, she’ll often go off on a tangent that is only semi-related to the question. This wastes class time and more often than not the question doesn’t actually get answered (at least, not in a directly understandable way).
She doesn’t give us our exams back. If we want to look over what questions we missed, we have to see her during office hours (which are only in session for about one hour before class every day–a very narrow window for people taking other classes or who have other responsibilities). When you do go to take a look, you have to sit at her desk and look it over there–she won’t let you take it with you to study from. Fucked if I know why.
She says that we’re adults and she’s not going to hold our hands. It’s out responsibility to ensure we’re reading the book, so she’s not going to tell us what chapter to read–we can check the syllabus ourselves. It’s our responsibility to make sure we check to see if we need our protective equipment for the lab; she won’t remind us the week before. It’s our responsibility to leave our prior class or work or our kids early to come to office hours to check our grades.
Which wouldn’t bother me (I mean, hell, I even agree, mostly), if she didn’t make a point of calling people out for being absent. When she does roll, she will announce (in front of the class), “You have two absences. You have one absence. You have three absences.” She does this because she wants to remind us so we know and we aren’t dropped from the class. Not to make sure we can correct it if we were really here, because we should have been responsible and talked to her after class if we missed roll–and if you’re late she marks you absent anyway, because you should be responsible enough to make it to class on time.
Sorry, but shouldn’t it be our responsibility to make sure we’re coming to class? Everything else is our responsibility as adults. Shouldn’t making sure we’re not missing so many classes we’re dropped also be our responsibility?
But, when she “helps” us with this, she gets to announce our shortcomings and chastise us, publicly. So, I’m sure she’s happy to “help” in this case.
But you know? I could live with all that. I really, really could.
What I cannot live with, and what sends me into a rage as I just think about it a full five days later (I’m writing this on Friday morning 3/9), is what happened in this week’s lab.
We were doing experiments. The lab manual doesn’t have the clearest directions, so it can get confusing. When you’re confused about what to do, what would be the logical thing to do? Ask the teacher, right?
Except… where the fuck is our teacher?
She left us alone in the lab working on the experiments for twenty minutes at a time!! And she didn’t just do this once; no. She would come in, walk around for about ten minutes, maybe fifteen, then leave for twenty minutes. If we got confused, she wasn’t there, and we couldn’t just sit there with our thumbs up our bums for twenty minutes waiting for her, so we had to interpret the directions as best as we could and push forward.
As you can imagine, this didn’t result well. Our data was all messed up. No one managed to do anything correctly. No. One.
And she had the nerve–this fucking nightmare manifestation of pure evil had the fucking gall to yell at us that we should know better than this. Well, obviously, we don’t, because you weren’t here to fucking teach us.
I have never… in my life… been so close to assaulting a professor. I’ve had some awful, awful teachers in my life. I had a history teacher in high school who sent me out of class for wearing a gay pride t-shirt (which triggered a series of events which led to me being suspended, but that’s a different story). I’m no stranger to the fact that not all teachers are unappreciated angelic beings sent to guide the youth into a bright and shining future of academia; some of them are fucking scumbags.
But this woman is by far the worst teacher I’ve ever had in my life. I get physically ill on days when I have her class. I can’t eat in the morning before leaving, because I feel so nauseated. I got the same feeling toward the end of my job, before I got laid off (which was actually a relief).
I don’t even have to go to this class for another two and a half days (again, writing this on Friday 3/9), but thinking about it is making my stomach churn and giving me the anxiety shakes.
But, it’s too late to drop the class without a mark. I really can’t afford to have another withdrawal on my record. But, I also kind of think staying in this class might actually kill me.
If nothing else, it is making me completely rethink a career in dietetics. I don’t ever want to do another science for as long as I live. This bitch has ruined fucking science for me.
I just… ugh.
I love you all.
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