Teacher, this is stupid stuff

  • Thread starter Rach3
  • Start date
Rach3

Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm wasting paper today because I have to throw away the homework which has scribbled-in curses, rants, insults to the grader, etc. Does anyone else have this problem? "This problem is useless." "This is obvious. Why do I have to write this out?" "Only a moron would use this notation." &c.

Yeah. :devil:
 

Answers and Replies

Math Is Hard
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,491
28
I am confused. Your returned paper contains harsh critcisms from the teacher to the grader?
 
2,903
13
Next time, dont sign up for 100 level courses.
 
1,073
1
I am confused. Your returned paper contains harsh critcisms from the teacher to the grader?
I think those are his comments about the usefullness of the assignment.
 
Rach3
It's comments I'm writing earnestedly on the homework I'm doing, then having to scrap after my blood pressure comes down. Yeah.

I've actually experienced a complete mood shift; I've consumed so much coffee I'm now dancing around and loudly singing praises to the transfer matrices of optical stacks. Naked too. I'm enjoying this too much...
 
Rach3
Next time, dont sign up for 100 level courses.
Kindly sir, this is the 2nd semester of a graduate-level E&M course. It's not supposed to be two stupid pages of high school trig, which is why I'm outraged.
 
2,903
13
It is what it is, what can you do about it?
 
verty
Homework Helper
2,157
198
Rach, sounds like you're just a tad too indulgent generally. Might want to reassess your priorities...
 
J77
1,070
1
Kindly sir, this is the 2nd semester of a graduate-level E&M course. It's not supposed to be two stupid pages of high school trig, which is why I'm outraged.
I use high school trig every day in my research.

Don't diss the basics!
 
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
110
80
I sympathize. Same thing with C++.

Write a program that adds up all the numbers from 1 to 100,000.

number:=100,000
sum=(number^2 + number)/2

That's a pretty easy program, yet I got a major markdown because I failed to use a loop. How fair is that? Isn't part of learning how to use loops knowing when using a loop would be silly?

That's okay. I was able to make it up by writing a decent program that found square roots using Newton's method (yeah, that's just as silly since there's a C++ command for square roots, but, hey.....)
 
1,307
19
Then stop scribbling irrelevent comments on your homework....if you don't intend to submit the hw with the comments then why do you write them?
 
1,058
6
Hmm, where has Rach been?
 
2,903
13
Hes in australia or something.
 
-Job-
Science Advisor
1,124
1
I sympathize. Same thing with C++.

Write a program that adds up all the numbers from 1 to 100,000.

number:=100,000
sum=(number^2 + number)/2

That's a pretty easy program, yet I got a major markdown because I failed to use a loop. How fair is that? Isn't part of learning how to use loops knowing when using a loop would be silly?
Sounds fair, to be honest.
Clearly the point of the assignment was to use a loop. I mean you weren't adding all numbers from 1 to 100,000, just evaluating an expression that has the same value.
 
siddharth
Homework Helper
Gold Member
1,110
0
I mean you weren't adding all numbers from 1 to 100,000, just evaluating an expression that has the same value.
What's the difference? :confused:
 
248
0
Rach, that sums up every single class I've been in 9-12th grade. o_O
 
JasonRox
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,287
3
Rach, that sums up every single class I've been in 9-12th grade. o_O
It sums up almost every class I've been expect for maybe 2, and I'm in 3rd at a university!
 
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,946
130
Kindly sir, this is the 2nd semester of a graduate-level E&M course. It's not supposed to be two stupid pages of high school trig, which is why I'm outraged.
Hmm..so, trigonometry is trivial to you. That's fine.
Unfortunately, trigonometry is difficult for many. That is not at all fine if you are to progress further with maths.
 
Mk
1,963
3
I don't see anything wrong with it other than it taking up your time. I guess it is impolite, but I don't think it should be a reason to lose credit.

Yeah, really.

But I spend a lot of paper like that too.
 
Alkatran
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
942
0
What's the difference? :confused:
They clearly said "add up all the numbers" not "return the value of all the numbers added up." Clever answers don't always get high marks.
 
mathwonk
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
10,742
918
TEACHER!! Leave those kids alone!
 
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,231
785
vanesch
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,007
16
Two remarks:
- first of all, you should acquire some "psychopedagogy" or whatever one should call that: you shouldn't "give an answer to the question in the assignment", but you should try to analyse WHY the teacher gave the assignment, what was the purpose of it, and then answer as a function of what you think was the purpose. Nothing stops you from ADDING a smart remark, but you should show the teacher that you acquired what he wanted to test with the assignement, and not that you're able to find an answer to his question.

- most stuff you'll do in real life is intellectually WAY below the level you reach in grad school. MOST of what you do will be highly trivial if you get into a "real life" job. Only now and then you will be able to use, say, 10% of the intellectual power you acquired. So consider a trivial assignment as a training for life "out there" :smile: Do you think it takes sophisticated math to get a budget in balance when you're managing a project ? Do you think you need sophisticated combinatorics to plan a set of meetings with co-workers in your agenda ?
 
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,349
51
- most stuff you'll do in real life is intellectually WAY below the level you reach in grad school. MOST of what you do will be highly trivial if you get into a "real life" job. Only now and then you will be able to use, say, 10% of the intellectual power you acquired.
Very good point. 90% of research is following instructions/recipes/manuals. It IS trivial. But, that's not why you get a Ph.D. You get a Ph.D. to do the other 10% of the work that requires knowing what questions need to be asked, how you will use those "trivial" tools to accomplish it, how you will interpret the results you get from it, and how it fits into the bigger picture of other scientific findings.

So consider a trivial assignment as a training for life "out there" :smile: Do you think it takes sophisticated math to get a budget in balance when you're managing a project ?
Just learning to read a question carefully and answer the question asked (i.e., follow instructions) is a skill many people lack, and is what will prevent them from moving up in the world.

Do you think you need sophisticated combinatorics to plan a set of meetings with co-workers in your agenda ?
:uhh: Maybe. I sometimes joke that the hardest part of obtaining a Ph.D. is getting 4 or 5 busy committee members all into the same room on the same day and time. :biggrin:

There are a few other issues raised. First, if you cannot control yourself and your temper enough to stop and NOT write insults and rude remarks on the page you're actually doing your assignment on, then you have bigger problems than doing trivial homework assignments. There's a lesson in self-control and professionalism that needs to be learned there...or maybe just plain common sense! It's one thing to utter some swears as you're struggling through a boring assignment (then again, if the assignment were trivial, why aren't you just thrilled to have such a quick problem set you can bang through in no time?), but if you're sitting there wasting your time writing them out and then needing to rewrite what would have been a quick assignment to complete, just making it longer, then you only have yourself to blame for the wasted time and effort.

Another thing that vanesch touched upon, but I want to emphasize, is that your teachers/instructors/professors have reasons for the assignments they give. If you don't see the reason why it is relevant, you may not be fully understanding what you are being taught in the class. If trig is essential to the higher order problems you'll be needing to solve in the course, then it makes perfect sense to make sure the class is all up to speed on trig before moving along. Remember, graded assignments are not just for your practice, they are also a means for the teacher to assess where the class' knowledge level is. If everyone can quickly work through those problems and get 100% of them correct, they know they can move forward. If much of the class cannot answer them, then they know they need to provide more fundamentals before moving on with harder concepts. If the class all gets stuck on just one problem, they'll know that is something that needs to be reviewed. Without student assessments along the way, instructors have no way to know if they are teaching to the right level for the students, and if the students are following along. If it was just a review for practice, and not meant as an assessment, it wouldn't be a graded assignment.

Also, something I see too much of in this thread, and sometimes elsewhere on PF, are monstrous egos that need to come back down to a more normal size. Perhaps you are the top student in the class, and have learned the material quickly, and much of this is review for you. That doesn't mean everyone else has. It also doesn't mean it is trivial or unimportant or that you should be rude and dismiss the teacher or the need for the assignment just because it comes easily to you. If you find the subject is easy, just be happy with that, get those assignments done quickly, and then spend your time focusing on the ones that don't come as easily. You may think this makes you smarter than the teachers, but I can assure you that they do know more than what they are teaching you, and have their reasons for what they do. Such a negative attitude will only close your mind down rather than open it up to learning. If the class isn't challenging enough, instead of whining over it and wasting your time scribbling insults on your papers, why not seek to make it more challenging for yourself? Read ahead and work ahead, or ask your instructor for some independent readings on the topic that delve into concepts more in depth. There's nothing fun about having a student who would rather mouth off than learn and challenge themself, but it's quite fun and rewarding for a teacher to have a student who craves a challenge and asks the teacher to provide that challenge. So, you can sit back, be lazy, moan and groan and gripe about the subject being boring and easy, or you can take your learning into your own hands and make it interesting by challenging yourself.
 
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,946
130
To have sufficient trig skills in E&M problems will often lead the candidate to simpler solution techniques and enhances his visualization skills as well.
In short, trig is important here as well (spherical trigonometry in particular)
 

Related Threads for: Teacher, this is stupid stuff

Replies
22
Views
7K
Replies
5
Views
586
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Replies
13
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
224
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
34
Views
6K
Replies
9
Views
2K
Top