Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another Quarter Down

Today was my last day of class for the quarter. I have one final next week, so I do have some studying to do over the next few days, but am starting to be able to relax a bit and spend more time thinking about the holidays without feeling guilty because I should be working. End-of-quarter apathy started to set in about three weeks ago, so it's a good thing we've reached the end.

My Developmental Psychology instructor did everything in his power to make the class as easy as imaginably possible. We didn't even have to read the text, had no projects (aside from raising a virtual child and living our own life virtually) and all exams were multiple choice, and very easy multiple choice at that. Yet some students still tried to argue points and whatnot, which is especially ridiculous considering he made it very clear at the beginning of the quarter that he wasn't willing to argue points on the exams. I'm not sure how useful this class will be for me in the long run, so I was rather glad it was extra easy. But it also made it somewhat less interesting to have it be so incredibly easy. Or maybe it was that it was only an hour class and I've become accustomed to two hour classes where you can have much more in-depth conversation about the material. I can't quite put my finger on what left me feeling dissatisfied with the course. I mean, the instructor has been teaching there for ages and is a nice guy and seems to really know his stuff and did a good job of making sure we were all understanding the material. But it all just felt lacking somehow. At least I made a friend in the class. We've talked about getting our kids together at some point - we'll see if it happens or not.

General Chemistry was more intense. Four days per week, two hours each day. New instructor, so some things about the course were a bit unrefined as he was figuring out how everything works at the college. I made some friends in this class as well, which is particularly nice since we'll all be moving on to the second part of General Chem together. The first couple chapters we covered here were things I covered in high school. Not that I actually remembered them or learned them well then (I had two years of inexperienced/horrible chemistry teachers in high school). But at least the concepts weren't entirely foreign. And while some of the other chapters had a lot of information, when you got right down to it none of them were terribly difficult. 

I had to wonder if most of the class was bothering to read the text or not. I have a feeling they weren't, because many of them seemed to have difficulty grasping even the simplest of concepts. Concepts that were explained quite clearly in the text (or so I thought). And then explained and re-explained multiple times by our kind teacher, who really seemed to want everyone to understand. Which I appreciated, except that it meant we got behind schedule and didn't finish all the material we should have this quarter. We did make it halfway through the last chapter to be covered, but now I get to teach myself the last half of that chapter and hope it's not too terribly important as we move on through chemistry (molecular orbital theory and stuff about bonding in solids). I try to keep in mind that at some point I might be the horribly confused person who just doesn't get what everyone else thinks is so simple. Hopefully those who were struggling so much don't have to take much more chemistry for what they want to do.

One good thing this quarter was having early classes. Chem was at 8am, so I'd drop the boys off at our friend's place at 7:30 where they'd eat breakfast and play and then Gareth and his daughter would go to school (they're in the same class) and I'd pick up Malcolm after I finished at 11. Or on my short days Ryan would get the boys ready and Gareth to school before I got home just after 10. Since Malcolm's mostly given up morning naps (occasionally he'll take one at Colin's house for about 30 minutes), this schedule worked nicely because I could get a bit done with him after coming home, feed him lunch, put him down for a nap, and then have 2-3 hours to practice or do schoolwork or whatnot around the house. He usually wakes up just in time for us to pick up Gareth from school. Malcolm struggled going to Colin's house last quarter, but he adores Colin now. He even gets to ride on Colin's bike sometimes and really loves that. And Gareth and Colin's daughter enjoy playing together before school. Unfortunately, my schedule will be one hour later next quarter - Nutrition at 9, followed by two hours of Chem at 10. At least I won't have to feel badly about waking the boys up at 7am anymore, but they won't have as much playtime at Colin's before school and I think they'll miss that.

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