Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's so not her fault

One of my professors, Dr. Meander, gets on my last nerve, and it's so not her fault. She speaks in the slow, soothing cadences of a nursery school teacher at naptime, and it takes her forever to get to the point. By the end of class I'm ready to jump out of my skin, because her personal style is so anathema to me. And I feel bad for hating her, because she's a really nice person and I do actually believe she knows what she's talking about. She just talks... about it... too... damn... slowly.

Dr. Meander also made me redo an assignment that I thought was poorly defined, or I would have given her exactly what she wanted. So I had to spend a few hours doing more or less just a restatement of what I'd already written, hence a complete waste of my time. And she passed out class evaluations near the end of class, asking us to hand them in the next week, which was last week. I guess I was irritated about the unnecessary busywork, so I expressed myself rather freely, as I tend to do with these anonymous evaluations.

So this week Dr. Meander comes up to me right before class and asks to speak with me privately. Uh-oh!

"Ayelet, did you hand in an evaluation last week?" she asked.

"Uh... yeah," I said. They were supposed to be anonymous!

"First, I want to say that I really liked your revised assignment. You got an A," she said.

"Thank you," I said. Where is this going?

"We're going to spend some time in class going over the second assignment, to be sure that everyone understands what kind of paper I'm looking for, and everyone feels confident they can produce that," Dr. Meander said. Okay -- that's an improvement.

"I also want you to know that I want this course to be a good educational experience for you, Ayelet, and if your learning needs are not being met, I want you to be sure to tell me so that I can adjust the assignments, and perhaps the readings, in order to provide you with what you need from this course," she said. "Because a clinical practice course is geared to refine the skills you're currently using, so I need feedback from my students to ensure I provide that kind of experience for them."

I really appreciate her taking the time to reassure me that my concerns were very important to her. But why does it have to take so much time?

"I appreciate that," I told her. Fortunately another student had a question, and Dr. Meander turned her caring, slowly-moving attention away from me.

I feel terrible not liking her. I know I should. But right now, I can't wait for this class to be over.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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