Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home Again, Ranting, & Tiny Fiber Update

My last final was yesterday afternoon and I'm home again. Shawn is here with us this week... he's going home Sunday after we go to the Marietta Diner. Shawn is taking us there as a Christmas gift for Moma; she's been wanting to go ever since seeing it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (we love Food Network).

I do have a rant about a class I took this semester: War & Society in America. I love history. I love American history especially. I really thought that this would be a great class. Boy, was I wrong. It was the professor... he does not lecture and we only have "discussions" in class. I enjoy a good discussion and find them useful in the learning process, but the prof never led the discussions, so they never really went anywhere. No one had notes and the assigned readings were relevant, though not very useful in adding knowledge (they were mostly about things that we already knew/had notions of and expanded only on specific aspects of those things).

There were few grades and the midterm, final, and a research paper were about it. I did decently enough on the midterm (B) and thought I had at least a B-worthy paper. Nope. A 68. I have never made so low a grade on a paper!

I was docked points for using the passive voice (history majors should use active voice)... I admit, I did use it some, but I was docked points for using it when I was quoting! A quote is a quote, regardless of how grammatically incorrect/inappropriate. I was also docked for using the term "housewife" instead of the p.c. "homemaker." Um, I was talking about women in WWI/WWII... they were literally housewives and that's what they were commonly referred to. I hate when professors dock points for being "politically incorrect;" I'm not trying to be offensive and I use the language that I think is appropriate. Seriously, put out a manual on what's p.c. and what's not so that we all know. Docked again for lack of citations. I use Corel Wordperfect and don't have Microsoft Word. We turned our papers in online as an attachment and I left a comment that I wasn't sure if he had Wordperfect, so I copied the text into the body of the submission, but the footnotes did not copy over. Apparently, he didn't care about that and only acknowledged it after I emailed him about it after reading his comments on the paper (I had a ton of citations in the paper, he just didn't see them), but it's too late to change anything. The main reason for the low grade? A weak topic. What?! I told him my topic and plan for the paper months ago and he approved it and looked forward to the end paper. Why approve a topic that he thinks is weak? My paper was pointed toward social history and he said that it wasn't a history paper (I now know that he only wants straightforward history, no genres). Oh, he also didn't like a few of my sources (all of which were properly cited, valid, and definitely backed up with good information; he wrote that he simply did not agree with the premise of my paper, though I did provide sufficient support).

Ugh. I'm glad that I didn't know my grade before going in to take the final. I would have been a little nasty, I think. However, I kind of wished that I knew beforehand because now I fear for my grade on the final! It was an essay and I brought up a few things there that had also applied to my research paper topic. This may be a class that isn't counting toward graduation... we'll see in a few days when final grades come out. I may be doing a super semester this spring with four upper-level histories and a cj.

Ok, rant over. On a happier academic note, I made a 93 on my big project in Modern World Revolutions. We had to design a revolution. It was supposed to be a group project and I had 2 partners (Shawn and a girl I didn't know), but they were busy (Shawn with ROTC stuff (I was there and know how they try to suck the life out of you by wasting your time!) and she with grad work) and I had to do it myself. I was quite proud of myself for spitting the project out like that in one day.

Fiber news? Working on the scarves, though I'm afraid that I'm going to run out of the red Cascade 220 for Arty's illusion scarf. I have plenty, but didn't think to bring it all home with me. The sock has part of a heel flap right now. Will get on that more this week. I'm still spinning the red/yellow mohair. It's so pretty and will be a really nice fingering 2-ply for gloves. I've been carding a bit also... finished up the rest of the blue alpaca/bamboo blend and made a lovely merino/llama batt. Very soft and very cushy.

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