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Courses I feel like we don't learn enough in our classes

  1. Dec 20, 2016 #1
    I'm not sure if this is the right section but..

    During the semester it feels like we are learning a ton of stuff at a crazy pace, but then when the semester is over I always look back and am like "that's it? I've learned everything about X class that I will need to know for all of my future classes?" . I guess it feels like a class like Differential Equations should be so much longer because there's so much that can be learned about it; it all of the sudden ends after 15 weeks and I feel like I haven't learned enough about it.

    It's kinda like running in a pool of water with your eyes shut; it's taking an extreme amount of effort and you feel like you have to have covered a good amount of distance within a short amount of time, but when you open your eyes and look back, you've only actually covered a few yards.

    Anyone else feel like this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 20, 2016 #2
    Yes, every single class through undergrad and grad school. I think it is normal.

    You really aren't going to get a very *DEEP* understanding of any one subject in school. In fact, I think it's not even the point. That understanding will come later when you

    a) Have to do a project/thesis/research on a topic. (You will have to do lots of review to "relearn" the basics).
    b) You have to take a really long really hard test like a qualifier.
    c) You do some kind of work that utilizes you knowledge of the subject.

    What you ARE learning is:

    a) The broad idea behind the subject,
    b) The vocabulary/definitions needed to talk about it
    c) how to think and reason about the subject
    d) How to get information about the subject when you need it

    There's also a possibility, if you've worked really hard in a class, that you've learned more than you think you have. Even knowing what types of questions to ask about a topic shows a knowledge of the subject, regardless of whether you can actually answer the question.

    -Dave K
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