8 Replies - 1795 Views - Last Post: 05 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

#1 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

I have a math lecture with a professor that I flat I don't understand. I maybe understand every 6th word he says or so. I don't feel that I'm getting what I'm paying for because I can't hear the guys words to learn anything from the guy. I don't know what I should do about it however, but I think I need to do something.

I'd like to emphasize that I'm not exaggerating when I say I don't understand him. I can't even have a small conversation with him. The words I understand are ones that he tends to place emphasis on like "important"...it's not exactly pleasant to hear the word "important" and have no context for what is important.

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Replies To: I can't understand my professor

#2 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

I've seen this numerous times.

In high school my girlfriend had a chemistry teacher who chose to speak Creole a majority of the time and found it offensive and/or racist if someone said they didn't understand him. Though it didn't help they'd say "I don't understand your Haitian speak."

I also had a Physics teacher in college who had an extremely heavy Cuban accent. He was a nice enough guy, but I had no idea what the hell he was saying. Even my Spanish friends were confused at times. (it turns out I've learned that the Cuban dialect is surprisingly different from other Spanish, my Cuban friend said he had to work really hard at understanding everyone when he was in Guatemala... he had expected to have an easy time since Spanish is his primary language).

I also had a German math professor that everyone had a hard time with.

And also some woman, who spoke I have no god damn clue what, teaching English Lit. Holy crap was that annoying as all hell.



I complained to the Dean's of the departments (and the assistant principal in the case of the high school teacher), and they took a formal complaint from me, but basically said to me to not expect anything.

Furthermore the schools I've gone to don't refund for any reason what so ever.

So really... I feel your pain, but sorry, I have little to no advice as how to remedy the situation beyond dropping the class (and eating whatever comes with that), or just heads down study with out the lectures.



Note, I'm a college drop out... and I have a long list of reasons why.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 01 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:36 PM

What class are you taking and how is the textbook? I've also been able to supplement with online material for almost every math class I've been in. How is the homework going? Generally, if you are doing well on the homework, you should be fine for the class.
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#4 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

Quote

What class are you taking and how is the textbook? I've also been able to supplement with online material for almost every math class I've been in. How is the homework going? Generally, if you are doing well on the homework, you should be fine for the class.


It's calc 2 and the text book could be better. I'm fine with math, I've just never been interested enough to teach it to myself. I suppose that's the most practical solution I have at this point how ever. I'm doing fine for now and I would be willing to bet I can just drudge on though and make an ok grade. I just feel like I'm getting ripped off because I end up teaching my self when I'm paying like 800 dollars for this class.

Quote

I complained to the Dean's of the departments (and the assistant principal in the case of the high school teacher), and they took a formal complaint from me, but basically said to me to not expect anything.


I've really thought about doing this but I was worried about how it would come across and I didn't really think they would do anything about it. I mean the options are 1) they assign a different prof to the class(HIGHLY unlikely) or 2) I drop the class and take it some other time(HIGHLY inconvenient for me)
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:53 PM

As you get into upper level math classes, you generally teach it to yourself while doing the homework. Going to class is great, and you usually end up even more lost if you don't go to class. I've found study groups to be of significant help as well. You really have the following options:
-Drudge through alone
-Drudge through with others
-Drop the class and take it another time
-Learn to teach yourself math and get good at it

You'll have the opportunity to let the math department know about the problem at the end of the semester with teacher reviews. You can also consult your adviser. It may be too late at this point to switch into another section this semester.
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#6 peace_fixation  Icon User is offline

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:08 PM

I had a Chinese professor for Calc 2, he was a smart dude and a quite a good teacher but I often found it difficult to follow what he was saying. For what it's worth, I think that Calc 2 is the kind of maths that you can make good progress with if you just keep working the problems. It's mainly exposing you to methods of integration and the only way to learn that stuff is to work the examples, over and over and over. The concepts aren't overly difficult, it's just a lot to take on board. Get yourself a good Calc book with a lot of exercises and you'll be alright. :)

Oh, and a study group / partner is a great idea. I would have failed my Numerical Methods class if I didn't have that resource. It's all well and good to attend lectures, but the real learning comes with tackling problems, and it's really easy to make simple mistakes in long calculus problems. Someone to bounce stuff off and compare your approach with is invaluable.
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#7 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

Ya, I work with friends on homework. I don't know that I would call it a study group but that's where I feel I learn the most. Today is the last day I could possibly drop and I don't plan on it. I suppose I just end up teaching my self. I do it all the time with computer science and programming, why not math I suppose.
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

The most useful thing you'll get from a typical math class is a list of problems that would be worth working on, in a particular order. The second most-useful thing you can get is a bunch of other people trying to solve the same problems at the same time. The third most-useful thing is the opportunity to go to the prof's office hours and talk to them about these problems. The lectures are usually useful as well, but somewhere down after number three.

How does he do in office hours?
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#9 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: I can't understand my professor

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

I don't go to this guy for office hours, I have to go to another guy who speaks English just fine, so that's a big upside.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 05 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

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