Classroom Madness

It is hardly original taking to print (kind of) to bitch and moan about ones teachers, but then it is rare that I have ever been accused of being original. I’ll get over it. I am a few days from 45, divorced, had my mid-life crisis (despite my legitimate reasons nothing screams mid-life crisis quite like a Porsche, apparently) so am quite used to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

We have this one lecturer that is v. old skool regards method. One gets the feeling that the methods they employ today are the same as when they started teaching 20 odd years ago. I am reminded of the question, “how many years experience do you have?” and the reply being, “twenty years”. What is not explained is that it is really one years experience repeated twenty times.

With this tutor it is very reminiscent of O Level history again.  All very  surreal as there are six hours a week of mostly being talked at and being given a rainforests worth of handouts. The handouts are all on different coloured paper and have the same typos that were there from the day they were labouriously re-typed from chosen texts.

I think they were told at some point to be more interactive. However, this clearly doesn’t sit well with them and discussion is never allowed to deviate from the strict parameters they have set  for the day. Conversations are abruptly terminated citing an unacceptable deviation from the topic . This new-fangled interactivity piece just had to be shoehorned into their old schedule thus reducing time for breaks, lunch and boring things like that. On top of all this they spend half the class looking like they are on the edge of a nervous breakdown, pacing up and down, jingling their change and doing unspeakable things with their prosthetics.

I can never decide whether I am sympathetic  to their inner-turmoil or am just going to enjoy watching them slide over the edge and wobble off their perch in some faintly macabre but compelling spectacle where they start humming loudly, shaking and bleeding from the ears before their head explodes in a gory mess.

As it is a university, I think we should be learning through exploration, discussion, disagreement and consensus. Much like our other tutor does, to great effect. What makes this wildly odd and eccentric behaviour tolerable is that underneath the seething surface madness they are really really very smart. The advice they can give has been very helpful. So when the nutty professor behaviour  gets me down I force myself to think of this…

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