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Physical Science Instructor

  1. Dec 12, 2003 #1
    This is probably not the place for this, but I must vent.

    I am taking a 1 week accelerated course at a local Jr. College. Not b/c it is needed but I am trying to crank out 133 hours of a 4 point in order to bring up my overall grade point to a 3 point in order to apply for medical. I am taking physical science and have already been through physics, organic, ect.....(I know it is stupid and I know I could have recieved an exemtion, but I figured if I could get in an extra 3 to 4 hours at the end of every semester then I could get 22 hours a semester instead of 18 and would not have to worry about the exemption).

    Anyway, We walk into class and he gives us this worksheet and has us convert 100 lbs to mass.:frown: After, trying to explain to him that these two were not equivalents, his comment was, he knew there was a difference between mass and weight but was not sure what it was. Btw, did I mention he had been teaching not only physical science at this college, but, also, physics for 30 years. I explained that the US unit for mass was a "slug" which he had never heard of. This was only one example of what I had to sit through from 8 am to 5 pm and will have to sit through for 6 more days. I asked if he would go ahead and give me the final so I could take it and leave, but he explained that wouldn't be fair to everyone else.

    What bothers me is not that I have to sit through this class, b/c it was my decision to do so; but it is the fact that he is actually teaching freshman college students the crap and has been for 30 years.

    Oh, and one other thing, did you realize that Kelvin was measured in degrees, like F and C.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2003 #2


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    Let me get this straight: you are taking a course far below the level at which you have already taken course just to get a high grade, you already know everything to be covered in the course, and are complaining about the teacher?

    I can understand the teacher in a basic "physical science" course asking the students "convert weight to mass"- with the understanding, of course, that this was at the surface of the earth, so that the usual "32.2 ft/s2" applied. If some "know-it-all" complained that "mass and weight are not equivalent", I might play dumb myself. There certainly have been times when a student asked me (especially during a test!) about something I thought he ought to know well and my response was "Well, gosh, that seems to have slipped my mind! Why don't you try to work it out yourself?"

    "Oh, and one other thing, did you realize that Kelvin was measured in degrees, like F and C."

    Uh, yes, I think I learned that in the eight grade. What is your point?

    (Actually, I was tempted to answer that Kelvin was measured in feet and inches like any other Englishman of his day!)
  4. Dec 13, 2003 #3
    I am not complaining about having to take the class - I was complaining about what he was teaching the students and I did not say anything to him during class.

    He did not tell the class that it was a conversion, which included gravity. I told him that our US system for mass was slug and he did not know that - he thought it was lbs. His comment was that he knew that mass and weight were different, but was not sure what exactly the difference was.

    As far as the Kelvin thing. That was my point. He did not realize that Kelvin did not included degrees, which I too learned in 8th grade and figured he would had too. He told me that he had always wondered why the book did not use degrees when using Kelvin.

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