Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Smiley Faces

One more day of classes and then on to finals, with the first one on Saturday. My stomach is knotted, though I don't know why. It was last fall too.

I will not miss most of the classes I had this semester and have thanked God that I do not have to take most of these instructors again. I've voiced my gripes here multiple times so I won't say much more on the subject except this:

I have had four instructors this year. One very hands off professor who oversaw my practicum, though he was pleasant enough and easy to work with; one disorganized, scattered mess whose classes were stress-fests of high speed lectures and rushed experiments; one who wasted hours and hours of my class time with his rambling, pointless lectures that added nothing to the topic we were studying and were not relevant to the test material; and one true jewel.

This jewel was my math instructor. She's a sweet lady, an excellent teacher, and is bending over backwards to make sure that everyone does well on the final on Saturday--which is taken with all of the other sections of Algebra 102 in a huge auditorium. Both our classes this week are completely focused on reviewing material; she's organized study groups, and has made herself available for extra office hours. All this and she is also nine months pregnant (due immediately after finals week).  Yesterday, at the end of class, she asked how many of us were taking her for 103 next fall. Hands went up all over the room and she just beamed and then asked us if there was anything we'd like to see done differently in the future. A few minor suggestions rose and she took them on board cheerfully. I am in awe of this woman who draws smiley faces on my test papers when I do well. That's right. I'm 45 years old and I still like smiley faces. But I especially like it that they are coming from someone who so clearly cares about her students' success.  My hand was among those raised to take her again next fall.


Debby said...

Oooh. You got smiley faces.

I never got a smiley face except for the time that I mispelled my name on a test paper, and had to correct it. I hadn't even gotten to the test part. I misspelled my NAME! So I wrote under the corrected spelling of my name, "Dear God. There is no hope..." and the teacher made a great big smiley face and wrote 'Sure there is!!'

Mary O. Paddock said...

:) LOL Deb. I'm sure your teachers want to draw lots of smiley pictures on your papers.

Scotty said...

I think one of the reasons I remember my school years so fondly is for that reason, Mary - all my teachers except for one were great people who made learning enjoyable. And every time I'm back in my hometown, I go say hello to those who are still around, and every time, they're amazed (and pleased) that I do so.


Mary O. Paddock said...

Scotty--You were very, very lucky. It was about 50/50 for me. About half of them "got" what they were doing and why it mattered so much.

I had two in particular who really stand out as people who were invested in seeing us succeed.