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Which physics class should I take first?

  1. Dec 13, 2017 #1
    So, I just finished Mechanics of Solids and Fluids and have the option to take 'Electricity and Magnetism' or 'Heat, Waves, Light in Modern Physics' next semester. 'Electricity and Magnetism' is the next class in the series but I didnt vibe well with my instructor, so I can take the other class first if I want(They have the same prereqs). If 'E and M' is better to take first I could take it at a different near by college but I would like to try and keep all my classes on the same campus.

    At any rate, I would really like to avoid taking it with the same instructor. I didn't feel prepared for the exams and didn't get much feed back from him outside of lectures. When I had questions during office hours I also felt rushed out and he didn't really listen to my questions. I am generally a good student, get A's in my other classes, including math and sciences, but I just didnt know what to do on his tests.

    Sorry for the tangent at the end there. Any feedback is appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2017 #2

    scottdave

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    E&M is normally the next Physics to take. How do you get along with your advisor? Perhaps you could talk with him about it. Something maybe to consider - is there another college in town where you could take it? I did not do very well in Chem I at the large university, so I took it again and 2nd semester at the local community college, and felt I learned a lot more, there. Who you get for a lab TA could help your grade as well. Our Physics was set up so we had lecture and then 1 smaller group discussion with the TA and then another session for lab. If you get a good TA, that can make a big difference.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2017 #3
    My instructor is an overall nice guy and we can talk about things outside of the course material but when I ask him about course work he often gives me answers only lightly related to my question then kind of rushes me out of his office. At least it feels like I am being rushed out.. After I got an F on my rotational dynamics exam I went to talk to him about different strategies for studying but it didnt really get anywhere. I am understanding the concepts when I do the homework but its been hard to translate onto the test for some reason, which means my method isnt establishing the concepts well enough for me to REALLY know the material.

    My lab and discussion are all with the same instructor. I do have another college I can take it at but its kind of full now so I will be wait listed. But I am wondering if it would be worth it to possibly not get in. I am also wondering if just sticking it out with this professor will make me a better student in the long run. I do think there is something to be said about figuring things out on your own.
     
  5. Dec 14, 2017 #4

    scottdave

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    I wasn't saying that you should avoid this professor, but I did want you to know that there might be other options for this course. Thinking back about these classes, I am thinking that the best track is to take E&M before Heat/Light/Modern Physics. That's my opinion. Sometimes you will not be able to avoid a professor or some tough boss, client etc. It seems like you're willing to give yourself the opportunity to overcome some adversity. As long as it doesn't tank your GPA, then it could be worth it. Even a low grade now, will carry less weight than a low one closer to graduation (in recruiter's eye).

    Sometimes, courses like this are designed to be "weed-out" classes, to see who will stick through the tough times. At least they used to be that way, 20 years ago.
     
  6. Jan 18, 2018 #5
    Just wanted to follow up on this. I ended up with a B in the class. I am not sure how as I went into the final with an 80% and needed a B to maintain that, but I got 90 out of 150 on the final. I know he curved it a bit but not that much. It seems like he puts a lot of value into effort. He did complement me on my lab and homework, saying that I was his most thorough student.

    This semester I am going to try and change my approach and see how it works. Hopefully I can do better this time around.
     
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