It’s that time of the year again, time to pick my classes for the coming academic year.
I usually decide on my courses in five steps.
1) Read the academic calendar to find courses that interest me.
2) Print out a calendar grid for timetabling. Write all potential courses into the timetable to discover conflicts.
3) Select the necessary courses from my major and minor. Make sure they don’t conflict.
4) Look at professors to determine if any should be avoided.
Step four is the most difficult of the process. I’ve only enjoyed a few good professors. My definition of a “good professor” is very different than what seems to be the definition on this evaluation sites. I want a professor who assigns material without a step-by-step manual to completing the assignment does not expect regurgitation of course material. Sadly, these professors seem to be harder to find with each passing year. (Mind you, I’m getting better at turning off my brain as I advance in university.)
I always find I’m most interested in a course where I’m allowed to conduct research and develop an argument based upon that research. I cannot stand the typical go and research to develop a boiler plate argument using the a predetermined set of books and journals.
It seems few people actually evaluating professors share my point-of-view. It also seems the only people using these sites are those complaining about having to work for their degree. Sigh.
Thankfully, I will again be taking most of my courses by distance education. DE courses are self-directed and a lot more work. Whereas the regular full-year course will have at most two essays, DE courses have a minimum of six essays.
I forgot, I added a step this year – make sure the credit will count towards my degree! I’ve been obsessed with taking courses that broaden my horizons that I forgot the real reason for attending university – getting a piece of paper. I have a few courses which I took knowing they would not count towards my degree.