I’ll Have Some Whine, Please.

Matt brought up a good point in the comment he posted to my blog yesterday. When I got home from class last night, I did what I inevitably so every semester: complain.

I’ve taken 7 classes at Harvard and have complained about every single one. Actually, the complaints have become more vocal since I started working on a graduate program. I guess that’s because I was taking the undergraduate classes for fun so I picked courses that interested me (History, French, etc…). Now that I’m in an actual program where there are required courses, I’m not always as interested in the individual topics themselves. My complaints in the past were frequently about the commute (we were living in Salem so I wouldn’t get home at night until 9PM) or about the professor’s teaching style.

Last night was the first class of the semester (a computer class). And, predictably, I got home and complained to Matt. But listen to my whine and tell me if you’d complain, too.

This is a computer class to teach managers how to most efficiently use the computer. It focuses on teaching the students to use the software as designed – so that the programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Explorer) are all integrated. That’s all good. But professors somehow get so cocky. He was saying that by taking this course we’ll save 5-10 hours per week spent on the computer because of the stuff he’ll teach us (does that mean I can take every Friday off now?).

Anyway, at one point he said that there’s no right or wrong way to do things because the programs are set up with so many options. But minutes later he explained that it is wrong to create a space between paragraphs by hitting enter twice (so much for no right or wrong). He said you should go to Format-Paragraph-Indent/Spacing-Spacing Before to add the space. I understand that’s the proper way to do it…but in a one page business letter it’s not worth the effort to do that. I could see if we were novelists writing 800 page books. But this is a business class for business people – it’s not for authors.

And I hate when they get all cocky trying to show off their knowledge. He kept playing little games to trick people (is there a difference between the internet and the web? Who created the internet? Who created the web?). My questions in return should have been: Are we going to be tested on this? No? Then why tell us?

The strangest (and possibly most offensive) part came when he was comparing fonts. He asked if we knew the difference between sarif and sans-sarif. He proceeded to ask rhetorically “Sarif means it has little curly-cues on the individual letters. And do you know where that comes from?” At this point he pointed to a middle-eastern student and said “It comes from the Arabs.”

That poor student! Why did he need to point him out spefically?

Oh, and did I mention that about 10-15 minutes into the class a woman burst into the classroom and exclaimed, “I can’t find my class room. I don’t know where my professor is.” Then the professor introduced this woman to the class as his wife. He asked her if she’d like to stay in his class instead…but she left to find her class.

Welcome to Harvard.


Anyway, that’s why I was complaining to Matt.


  1. Comment by David on September 22, 2004 12:41 pm

    MMMMM- doesn’t say much for Harvards faculty——-good thing you are only paying a small fee.

  2. Comment by David on September 22, 2004 12:42 pm

    Ohh, lets send him the link to your blog so he can critique it!

  3. Comment by jeff on September 22, 2004 1:27 pm

    Sounds complainable…plus it gives you something good to write about it.

    I once took a “intro to powerpoint” class because our entire office was forced to take it when I worked in Maine. At the time – I had already been using it for years – I do believe that those 4 hours were the most painful in my entire life.

  4. Comment by Karl on September 22, 2004 2:56 pm

    You’re lucky it was just a 4 hour class! Mine’s an entire semester!

  5. Comment by Erica on September 22, 2004 6:54 pm

    Ooh I’d complain too. Why not complain to the Ext School actually he sounds like a real nitwit and they oughta know, especially about that Arab comment which is essentially racism.

  6. Comment by matt on September 22, 2004 11:58 pm

    I do not disagree that there might be good reason to complain, but I also do not think it is worth pursuing something you really do not enjoy. Why not spend your time doing something you could ‘cheer’ about vs. complain.

    …by the way, he had his second class tonight. He didn’t complain, but he was a very unhappy camper and I think it had to do with the fact that he spent the majority of his evening at school. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

    …still love him, tho!

  7. Comment by Karl on September 23, 2004 1:28 pm

    Oh, my mood last night wasn’t about the class – they were all about Dusty. She was annoying the shit out of me last night.

    The class went rather well (and the professor is cute). Plus, for once, it’s a class that will actually be helfpul for me in my life (personal financial planning).

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