Should I continue with physics...

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24 Replies - 3925 Views - Last Post: 13 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

#16 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

community college still effects your transcript.

I accept that the school should be weeding those who aren't fit out. But one shouldn't have to seek education to prep oneself for a course in fear of getting a low grade. Now I end up educating myself and no longer needing the course except to get the shiny piece of paper (which was my situation in college... I stopped going because I had already learned what each course was teaching the year before getting to that course).

But say one takes a course, isn't equipped for it, gets mediocre grade. And even if they then brush up on it, or get better later, this lower grade still hurts their overall GPA and transcript.

Example, I was in college and had to drop classes repeatedly for an unfortunate series of funerals. Combined with unforgiving professors and deans, I got F's for said classes (even if the professors were forgiving, there's only so much they could of done, and I'd still have bad marks on my transcript). I come back take it again the following semester with an A. And even so, everyone is critical of my transcript because of some low grades... it's not like those new grades replace them. They BOTH exist. I'm not punished for my inability to do the study, I'm punished due to a lack of representing real learning experience in a school, and the current system punishes failure no matter if the failure is a learning experience showing growth, or a failure due to laziness or lack of aptitude. This lack of distinction is stupid.


I believe in higher education. I just think that our system is FAR from perfect. Not just a little, but far far far far FAR. It's mediocre at best. And even if it's the best in the world (some say), it's still not good enough.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 11 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

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#17 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:38 AM

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And even so, everyone is critical of my transcript because of some low grades... it's not like those new grades replace them. They BOTH exist. I'm not punished for my inability to do the study, I'm punished due to a lack of representing real learning experience in a school,

So that falls on the people reviewing and interpreting your transcripts not the school's fault. My particular school allowed me to retake a few classes every couple semesters if I had a bad grade in one. When figuring out the GPA the better of the two counted but both were on there - it didn't affect me much when I had to use that to go from a c- to a b+ (damm you calc 2 the three years being removed from calc 1!).

My school also allowed people to 'audit' classes. You can come in (if there's a seat)... go through the class material, the lectures, etc and just not get a grade for it.

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I just think that our system is FAR from perfect. Not just a little, but far far far far FAR. It's mediocre at best. And even if it's the best in the world (some say), it's still not good enough.

Sure, but you want to the system to cover all options. Let's be honest - your circumstance is/was far removed from the a-typical student. That compounded with 'unforgiving professors and deans' put you in a bad spot, but I am not sure the system should change to cover all these fringe situations. I agree the system is less than perfect but it does work for many people. Learning does occur... ideas form... and structured education ambles on down the road.


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the current system punishes failure no matter

To be clear - what sort of failure are you taking about? If it's just regular ol' "not passing grades is failure" then yeah, why shouldn't it? Structured learning requires some sort of feedback that you are picking up the material in a timely manner and, in most intro classes, having a solid foundation for other courses to build on.

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But one shouldn't have to seek education to prep oneself for a course in fear of getting a low grade.

That's why there is a 'pre-req' structure.

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Now I end up educating myself and no longer needing the course except to get the shiny piece of paper

Sure if that's your goal. some people cannot function without that outside feedback. Hell - look at all the "erm-mah-gerb should I continue this?!" threads we have.. hell one guy can't pick out a console (after owning both) without people telling him which is the right one for him.

Other people have no problem learning on their own and setting their own course. So college isn't for you - big whoop. We know there are plenty of folk on here that will explain A"nd may I say, not in a shy way; Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way".


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community college still effects your transcript.

How? Our local community colleges offer no credit classes and if I fail my "black smithing 101" it will never impact my grades from college a while back for comp sci.
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#18 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

You respond like I'm only criticizing the school itself.

I'm criticizing our educational system in general. This is a criticism of students, schools, and employers. Because they have an expectation of the educational system due to its design.

Here's the thing, I long ago learned university isn't the thing for me. BUT due to our educational structure, it's the only method of getting approved education. My auto-didactic education means NOTHING to anyone because I didn't subscribe to a half broken system.

And un-accredited classes where I can take a class and learn something with zero credit for it is the same as me reading a book (like your black-smithing 101 class). Causing for the same problem, I am learning something before taking the class for it. So that when it comes time to take the class I'm essentially wasting my time as I already learned it. I'm now paying out the nose to sit in a room for 3 or 4 months just to get a shiny piece of paper.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 11 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

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#19 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

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You respond like I'm only criticizing the school itself.

Fair enough - it appeared you were only criticizing the school.



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And un-accredited classes where I can take a class and learn something with zero credit for it is the same as me reading a book (like your black-smithing 101 class).

Bah.. it's not the same for everyone, but it may be the same _for you_.

With the example of Blacksmithing 101 - I have access to direct feedback from someone deemed awesome enough to lead the class *AND* the lab with a furnace, metals, and bitch'n goggles.

Of course I can take a similar class down at the local art-hive... so I can shop around for projects, time, and so forth.

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I'm now paying out the nose to sit in a room for 3 or 4 months just to get a shiny piece of paper.

Then don't.. it's not a system that works for you and there are other paths. Test out, take online classes, or just fore go the whole system and have a kick ass portfolio.

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I am learning something before taking the class for it

I always took it as learning the material and expanding on it in my own ways. If you have to study a semester ahead to pass a class next semester I think you are doing it wrong.

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 11 December 2012 - 09:56 AM

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#20 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:19 AM

Can someone help answer my question: will my poor performance in physics have any impact on my CS career?

Fortunately I am at the top of my CS class and have been nominated for an internship at IBM, just so you know where I stand.
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#21 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

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will my poor performance in physics have any impact on my CS career?

I thought that was answered. The answer is: yes.. no.. maybe? It depends on who is looking at your transcripts, how your college deals with the degree, and honestly your preparedness for a masters in another field than your major.
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#22 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

I meant that the un-accredited class is like reading from a book in that they are both un-accredited. I still would have to take a class to get the shiny piece of paper to receive any form of proof I did something.

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Bah.. it's not the same for everyone, but it may be the same _for you_.

With the example of Blacksmithing 101 - I have access to direct feedback from someone deemed awesome enough to lead the class *AND* the lab with a furnace, metals, and bitch'n goggles.

Of course I can take a similar class down at the local art-hive... so I can shop around for projects, time, and so forth.

Then don't.. it's not a system that works for you and there are other paths. Test out, take online classes, or just fore go the whole system and have a kick ass portfolio.


A portfolio within the current educational system is completely dependent on degrees. You can get a job with out a degree, but you'll get less pay and be quickly over-looked for someone who did get one. All because they do play nicely with the 1 system that is approved. It's not like any system is better than another, it's that not any system works for everyone, yet we treat it as there you're inferior if you don't fall into the one approved model.

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I always took it as learning the material and expanding on it in my own ways. If you have to study a semester ahead to pass a class next semester I think you are doing it wrong.


I'm not saying one has to due to a lack of ability. I was saying that the option to avoid getting mediocre grades is to pre-educater yourself and then waste time spinning your wheels to then prove yourself afterward. Making the college setting a testing ground. (you brought up testing out, which is only available for certain basic classes).



It's a system, that works for a limited group of people, leaving several to fail miserably (especially in the primary and secondary area of school, which is also modeled the same way). This is a failed system not because it doesn't work, but because it only works in very limited ways for a limited group of people.

And you keep suggesting go another route.

You can, at the expense of being ignored professionally. Especially in some jobs that not only prefer, but instead REQUIRE degrees. Let alone the high school diploma which with out that you're pretty much relegated to poverty... despite the fact that in some regions massive numbers of students drop-out. Is this because these numbers of people are lazy and stupid? Or is this because a system failed to meet the needs of this population. A system, I might add, which is required by law for the first half, and required by social contract the other half.

palm beach cnty (my cnty) graduation rates. UP at 74%... it's been slowly raising over the past few years. When I graduated highschool over a decade ago my school's personal graduation rate my graduating year was 59%, and the county was roughly 65% (not shown in this article as it only goes back 6 years)
http://www.palmbeach...s-states/nTKdS/

Note that drop out numbers are different to these. Showing an average of 5% over the last decade across the county, and the worst being 13% in Glades. But this also is because Florida's rating for what constitutes a "drop-out" is very specific and leaves out several people who don't graduate. Mainly because they push kids into so-called "drop-out prevention" programs, and then drop them from there, where the numbers don't hit the state "drop-out" numbers.

Anyways I'm done, this topic angers me, and this forum isn't going to change anything on the matter.





As for OP - yes it will. If you want to get to another school for your masters your transcript with low grades will impact your ability. To what degree that impact will be depends on the school/employer.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 11 December 2012 - 11:56 AM

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#23 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:27 PM

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You can get a job with out a degree, but you'll get less pay and be quickly over-looked for someone who did get one.

Don't speak like this is absolute. I've read too many threads here of the non-traditionally educated to even remotely think this is right.

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I was saying that the option to avoid getting mediocre grades is to pre-educater yourself and then waste time spinning your wheels to then prove yourself afterward.

That or just study as the material comes along. I don't think I ever "pre-educated" myself for any specific class in all of my educational career.

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Making the college setting a testing ground. (you brought up testing out, which is only available for certain basic classes).

Well yes.. to deal with structured education you need to test what you know. That was covered.

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but because it only works in very limited ways for a limited group of people.

By limited you mean "not all"... a substantial amount of people who enter college graduate.

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You can, at the expense of being ignored professionally.

Again that may be your personal life experiences, but that is not a guarantee. I *WORK* with people that disprove that. Some of my good industry friends disprove that a degree is needed.

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despite the fact that in some regions 50% of students drop-out. Is this because 50% of people are lazy and stupid? Or is this because a system failed to meet the needs of half of the population.

Is the system required to start covering all reasons for drop-outs now too?
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#24 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

For IT, there is a fair point about a degree being needed. For engineering, that's something entirely different. Would you really want someone designing your bridges that didn't have some (significant) certification that they had the know-how? A lot of engineering programs at colleges have certifications, like ABET. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But it does provide a base for ensuring some quality standards. The fact that a university is trying to fine tune and enhance the education, with an outside engineering organization's input (as well as input from the industry), that counts for something more than some Joe Shmoe who read the newest Statics textbook. It's the first few steps in a process to determine who is unfit to do the job. Once someone graduates with a degree in the field, industry can make better determinations.

The same can be said of electricians or plumbers. They go to vo-tech school or an apprenticeship program, which is still higher education. Would you trust some Joe Shmoe who just read the textbook to hookup your house's heating or electrical system? How do you know they are remotely qualified?

As always, the (job) market will move towards equilibrium in a competitive environment.
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#25 carnivroar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Should I continue with physics...

Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

My CS professor said it won't really matter as long as my GPA is comfortably above 3.0. He said it's good that I am worrying about these things.
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