Random Ranting 4

April 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Rant | 11 Comments
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Anger is an interesting emotion- it’s definitely not good for one’s health, but in the intense moments of directed passion it ignites, if one focuses his or her rage towards a sheet of blank paper or a computer screen, brilliance often shines through in what is produced. Or, if you’re not so lucky, all you get is an incoherent rant. Which one will this be, I wonder?

In Malaysia there’s this thing called the LAN program- I do believe I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but basically, every student not in a government-owned higher institution is forced to take it. There are three compulsory subjects, namely Moral Studies, History, and the National Language (Bahasa Melayu, for those who didn’t get a credit during the SPM- supposedly the Malaysian equivalent of the O-Levels). All that’s left for me right now is the third subject, the previous two completed when I did my A-Levels.

Problem. The college didn’t allocate a lecturer as there were too few of us. I had been seeing an someone in admin about this and she’d given me the compulsory assignment- which holds 50% towards the final exam- and although attendance didn’t contribute any points, I was told to see her once a week to take it. I did everything she said. Well and good.

What came next was a lecturer. Yes, we finally got one. How wonderful- life would be easier, or so I thought. I gave her the assignment, asked her what she thought, and she said it was ‘alright’ (Boleh tak? Bolehhh…). Hold on to this point while I jump to another. Classes started last week, on a Monday. I complained to her about it, by email and SMS, since I didn’t have class on that day and it would be a real pain to have to go all the way for college for just three hours- and I got no reply until I called her on Monday itself, whereby I was told in no uncertain terms that I had no choice in the matter. Wonderful.

So, on the 13th of April, I went to college. Class was slated to start at 2pm. I arrived at 1.30. I sat in the lobby reading ‘A Beautiful Mind’ until close to 2pm. Since the class wasn’t on the timetable, I went up to the office and asked where it was supposed to be held. Guess what? They had no idea. Well then, can you get hold of her for me? They checked- no clue at all. Right. I went out, found a public phone, and called two of her handphone numbers. No luck. Back to college.  I went and asked the aforementioned admin person, who said that she’s probably out for lunch, as she was there with her a moment ago. Most excellent.

She told me to wait at the fifth floor, where I found a classmate of mine, and plonked myself near her. Sometime around 2.30, she (The lecturer) came. She told me which classroom to go too, and there I went. Surprise, surprise. Once in class she gave us a few assignments. Homework, she said. I asked her if these counted towards the final exam, and she said no. So I don’t have to do them? No, you have to! …OK. But what about that assignment I submitted to you a few weeks ago? Isn’t that one worth 50%? If the exam is 50%, what more is left? Candy? Blueberry pie? Are you so sure you can get 50% from there, she asked. Of course not, I said, but definitely enough to get me through. Well I don’t think you can even get 10% from there, said she. 

A moment of stunned silence, please. Didn’t she say it was ‘alright’ when I first asked her about it? And now she says I can’t even get 10% out of it? She says that she will take the better marks from these new assignments and use that instead. Oh, and since the other students would rather have homework instead of classes, we will probably be getting more of this nonsense. Next week we won’t even be having a class. The week after that, class will be from 3 to 4pm, a notable reduction from the original 2-5pm.

I’ll be having my finals for Law from the 13th of May onwards. I have a research paper to write. I have revision classes to attend. I have to try my very best to study. And here you are happily twisting things and piddling about in circles. You want to do it properly, you say, but just what…

You know what? I’m too tired to bother. I’m too tired to think. I’m too tired to rail against the stupidity of it all. I don’t even remember how I started this post. I remember that I asked a question, but I don’t remember what. That’s it, I’m outa here. Toodles till next.


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  1. This lecturer does not seem mature, I’m sorry to say. It’s an unfortunate reality that certain people who are in positions of power let their moods and emotions dictate their aggressive use of that power. I can understand that she might be annoyed at what she sees as your unwillingness to go to class and your unwillingness to do work – but under no circumstances should she have suddenly snapped at you with that comment about getting 10% rather than 50%.

    Do you have a dean of student affairs, or some kind of student advocate at your university?

    • It’s a little strange considering that since she said she’s doing a major in psychology, she’s failing terribly in covering her slip-ups. As for a Dean, I don’t think there’s anyone like that in my college. There’s always the student council president, but he’s no Milly (or Lelouch, for that matter).

      The main problem here is that this compulsory LAN course is something that was imposed on private educational institutions years back by some statute- it was either ‘you will run this program, or we will revoke your license’. Legal blackmail. The colleges/universities run it all right, but their attitudes towards the program differ- in my previous college, they did their best to ensure that the LAN program did not interfere with the primary course, and even allowed us to have the LAN final exam after the primary course’s finals.

      This college I’m at now, on the other hand, seems to allow the hired lecturer free reign in running the classes, which leads to the current problem. I could complain to admin, but they always seem to be bogged down, and don’t really care about it, especially since there’s less than 10 students in the National Language class.

  2. @A20: Wow. Maybe I’m falling asleep or something, but sounds like the lecturer doesn’t give a damn about lecturing.

    Reminds me of my days as an Engineering teaching assistant when a professor would pretend to teach, and the students would pretend to learn. The grades were all curved anyway. Ridiculous. But I didn’t care either. I just graded the stuff, lol… I mean, if the professor cares more about his own research than his students, what’s the point of higher education? Or paying for it? Oh, right, for your degree.

    • It does, doesn’t it? Now take what she said to me on our first meeting, about wanting to carry this out properly, do what she’s paid to do… sigh.

      I get what you mean… I’m currently reading ‘A Beautiful Mind’, and while I feel that it would have been great to be able to have a lecture by someone like Einstein, but it’s really pointless when you don’t get what they are saying at all. Teaching should really be left to teachers… I guess this is probably due to the influx of cash into the universities for research- and the admin goes crazy about attracting big names. Meanwhile, non-genius, average students are on the losing end. No fun at all. That’s the good thing about a college- it seems a lot more like a cram school… less interesting lectures, or radical theories, but you do actually learn something relevant to what you’re supposed to be studying, whether you like it or not.

      Soo, you have an Engineering background? From what I’ve seen of your blog I figured you’d be more inclined towards something with more literary discourse^^;

      • @A20: Uh-oh, I’m getting a script error again. That Box thing looks to be the culprit again… True, I’ve survived a ton of creative writing, but math and science were my stronger points. Unfortunately, math and science aren’t as creative or artistic. I originally entered college via Architecture school. But there, the framework was too creative. Could no longer deal with the undisciplined nature of rebellious black-clad peers or the super-subjective standards of contradictory teaching styles. Thus, I switched to Civil Engineering.

        • Sorry about the script error- but as I said, I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of it anytime soon. Strange that I’m not getting any errors, though. Maybe it’s because of FF? And yeah, I guess that with the arts you are given a limited license to do whatever you want, but that makes teaching near impossible- all that the lecturers can give you is their opinions and that of others. In the end, you’ll still have to formulate your own… as for the sciences, you generally have a set pattern to follow. It’s either this or you’re out, unless you can come up with something highly original that actually works. Ah, I miss my English Lit. classes- law is repressively dull:(

  3. @A20: No worries. But yeah, it might be FF related. Then again, I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of FF anytime soon. Ah, an impasse… Yeah, structure. Seems like there’s either too much of it or not enough. Oh well. Good luck!

    • Hehe, sorry if the constant script errors disturb your visits here^^;

      Thanks for the cheers:)

  4. >~< LAN. I’m sooo glad those days are over for me. I only had to take 2 of the 3 classes for my program though; BM was required for non-natives only.

    Basically, bureaucracy sucks. You’ll find that many big educational institutions tend to be rather ineffective in one way or another. Just sucks especially when it hits too close to home with a baka lecturer.

    • Not really- those who didn’t get a credit for BM during SPM have to take it. I got a D- mainly because I messed up on the format of the ‘rumusan‘- actually had conflicting info on how to write it. Didn’t give much thought to the subject anyway. Students really can’t do much unless we have the numbers to push through a complaint.

      • Ah, I see. Conflicting formulas messed me up on the moral paper instead. (Government can’t even get their own testing system straight… *rolls eyes*)

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