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Which professor to take?

  1. Jan 17, 2013 #1
    So I am in a predicament here and can't make up my mind for which Organic Chemistry professor to take next semester. I am a chemical engineering major, so I don't know how important Organic Chemistry will be for me. I already took professor 1 last semester and barely scratched out an A, but I don't know if I want to test the waters again because it was by the hair on my chin that I got the A. The cons that worry me most for professor 1 is the fact that all my friends are in the class and can distract me as well as his attitude and arrogance (It's hard to approach him for help without being made felt stupid), and the con for professor 2 is her lack of knowledge in the subject. Scheduling is also an issue, because professor 2 makes it so all my classes are on tuesday/thursday, which means I only have school twice a week. Professor 1 is monday/wednesday so I will have classes 4 days a week, but less hours on the 4 days. Ialso signed up for gym class so if I have school twice a week the other 3 days I can go and workout and shower then study for the rest of the day, but if I go with professor 1 it will be a little more hectic juggling studying with gym time (because I will have to do my workouts at night instead of early in the morning with the rest of the day to study).

    Professor 1
    - Knows the material much better (has a PhD in Organic Chemistry)
    - Grades labs fairly easy
    - Has taught class 5+ years
    - I more or less know how he tests since I took 1st semester
    - Class starts at 9:30 am

    - Arrogant/Bad attitude
    - Exams perceived as more difficult
    - Friends are in the class (distractions)
    - There is an exam every 2 weeks
    - More homework
    - Lab is first thing in the morning

    Professor 2
    - Nice/Good attitude
    - Tests perceived as being easier
    - Friends are not in that class (no distractions)
    - Less exams, more content/exam
    - Less homework
    - Lab is after lecture in the morning

    - Doesn't know the material as well (MS Biochemistry)
    - Grades labs more difficulty
    - this is 2nd year teaching the class
    - Not exactly sure what the tests will look like (but I looked at 1st semester exams and they were easier than mine)
    - class starts at 8 am
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    go with prof 2 and become a self sufficient learner by filling in where you leaves off. You could also ask questions as an aid to get him to fill in the details and make him a better teacher.

    I think you picked him already since you worried about prof 1 with distracting friends and distracting arrogance.
  4. Jan 17, 2013 #3
  5. Jan 17, 2013 #4
    How do you know for certain that Professor 2 lacks knowledge?? I would expect an MS in biochemistry to know organic chemistry very well. Maybe not on a PhD level, but that's irrelevant for an intro class anyway.
  6. Jan 17, 2013 #5
    It's her now 2nd time teaching the class, and I know people who have taken it with her and said she doesn't know whats she's doing. If you don't do organic chemistry for 20+ years after graduating, I suspect you wouldn't know it very well (she has been teaching general chemistry for her entire career and was just given responsibility to teach organic chemistry).
  7. Jan 17, 2013 #6
    Hmmm, then I fear you're a bit on your own. Neither profs will be very helpful to you since they either don't know the material or will make you feel bad. I fear that you'll have to self-study most of the class. I think I would go for Professor 2, but it's just a gut feeling.
  8. Jan 17, 2013 #7
    Yes, that is the situation in short. Self-study because one teacher can't help, and self study because the other will make you feel bad.
  9. Jan 17, 2013 #8
    Professor 1! You want to be an apprentice of the best don't you?
    And in my experience, professors are hard to talk to because the majority of kids ask obnoxious questions - they don't want to deal with it.

    For the record, you will probably be on his good side if you are inquisitive and ask tough questions.
  10. Jan 21, 2013 #9

    I signed up for professor 1 because there was an open spot today (professor 2 has 6 open spots, so I can switch back anytime) but I put myself in this one because someone else might take the spot if I don't

    Still would like to hear more opinions :)
  11. Jan 21, 2013 #10
    Take Prof 2 and sit in on prof 1?
  12. Jan 21, 2013 #11
    He doesn't take too kindly to that, one student tried and he didn't let them stay
  13. Jan 21, 2013 #12
    Do Prof 1. You will get a better grade for multiple reasons including the lack of friends as distractions.
  14. Jan 21, 2013 #13
    How small is the class? I have never had a professor who minded at all if a student sat in on a course. That's odd to me.
  15. Jan 21, 2013 #14
    It's only 25 people..also Jesse, it was prof 2 that has no friends
  16. Jan 21, 2013 #15
    Sorry I meant do Prof 2 not 1. My mistake.
  17. Jan 22, 2013 #16
    Go talk to them during their office hours.
  18. Jan 22, 2013 #17
    Something very important I forgot to mention: I have the tests/quizzes for prof 2 from last year, and I think some of the questions will definitely be recycled for this year
  19. Jan 22, 2013 #18
    Don't memorize answers to questions to get good grades. Learn the material. Those questions will not be recycled in life after school.
  20. Jan 22, 2013 #19
    When I was in undergraduate, I never knew anybody who was the least bit competent in their work that did this. If I [or my friends who were similar minded] were on a project team for a class (biggest memory being senior design), we made sure that the kids with this mentality had the least responsibility.

    Don't believe me? A colleague and I refused to sign a paper that said our "team leader" did sufficient work that would count for professional experience (because he neither got an internship nor summer research). He had to go to fellow slackers to get his signatures. Ha! Too bad he graduated.
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