Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I dreamed this morning that I was taking a Spanish exam and had only finished half of it but the time was up. I was furious, I wadded up the test and scowled at the teacher as I stormed out.

This semester is very different from last semester. Last fall, except for my Spanish teacher who was inexperienced and struggling, I had excellent professors who were organized and enthusiastic, great lecturers, tough but fair. There wasn't a lot of bovine memorization; their exams were more about understanding complex processes and being able to grapple with the subject matter. Also, I only had 15 class hours and an American government class in which I knew about 80% of the material going in.

This semester I have one really outstanding teacher (he's a grad student, I found out last week), one who is entertaining in lecture, but sometimes vague and scattered, one who is a walking encyclopedia of American and Texas history, and -- for someone who loves to listen to people who know history talk -- a mesmerizing lecturer, but whose exams are straight names and dates, and one who is an absolute dud whose class makes me want to scream it's such a disgrace. And I have two classes, geology and Texas government, packed with subject matter that was totally foreign to me, as well as two hard-core academic thinking and writing type American Studies courses. And Spanish.

The other big difference, the one I'm most concerned with right now, is that last fall everything didn't pile up at the end of the semester making the last couple of weeks hellish like I remember from my first college career. Finals were tough, but I didn't have a lot of big projects and papers due right at the end. This semester is more like old times. Hence, the dream.

I have a sinking feeling last fall was the anomaly.

No comments: