annoyed at a teacher and I'm here to rant

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Lost_dragon
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20 Jan 2021, 10:42 am

OK, so I recently started my last term of University. I'm in my final year. Today I messed up. I had an online lesson and a tutor asked me a question. This was early in the morning and I wasn't fully awake - I'd stayed up working on work for a different class. I heard the question but it was worded in such a way that I wasn't sure if it was a statement or a question and I was half asleep so it took me a moment to realise that it was indeed a question. By then he'd moved on but he was annoyed that I'd ignored him. I didn't want to ask what the question was because I was fairly certain what it was but I'd left it too late to reply. Besides, I couldn't think of a good response.

Anyway, he had another lesson after mine which my friend attends. My friend informed me that the teacher had mentioned me twice in the lesson. The first time was to point out my lack of response. Which yes, I know came across as rude and that's completely on me but it seems odd to bring up to others.

Now, the second mention requires a little explanation. He teaches an elective class composed of students from different courses from the same overall department. Some students are therefore more knowledgeable with the software from the get-go because they have more practice with it, than compared to someone that specialised in another area. I am one of those students that specialised elsewhere. My class is composed mainly of those that did not and are very familiar with the software. The classes are split into two time slots and the other time slotted group is mainly made up of people from my course. I think I'm going to move to that one, I think that the fact I am in the current one is annoying him. He teaches both slots but having a class that goes slower than the other one would make some sense. I'd find that easier than to be in a group of experts when I'm just a novice. After all, I didn't choose to be in that group to begin with. Back to the point though, he said that I have some serious competition and apparently wagged his finger in disapproval to show the others his disapproval / disappointment in me.

Is it petty to dislike the guy already? Frankly I've been considering dropping the class anyway and moving to another elective but I'm not much of a fan of the other options either. I might just switch time slots but it's a bit awkward, now that I know I've been shamed in a sense. People are likely to forget anyway though.


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IsabellaLinton
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20 Jan 2021, 11:18 am

Did he mention you by name? To another class? When you weren't there? That's extremely unprofessional behaviour.

I'd be following up with a written note to him, explaining what you've said here. Put it in writing as opposed to discussing it in person when you see him next online.

That's really shameful.

I'm sorry that happened. You don't need to make any apologies at all.



Mountain Goat
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20 Jan 2021, 11:44 am

Unless he wanted to understand you. If you are on the autism spectrum and no one else is, he will very likely want to ask some of the others about you to try to find ways to teach you because he needs to understand how you think to adjust his teaching methods accordingly, and your classmates may have noticed things that you do not.

I remember a manager of a store I worked in. He was a really interesting man. He kept us all on our toes as he aas a workaholic and pushed himself and us to perform which actually was a good thing in many ways, because I and others learned so much because while he pushed us, he encouraged us and pushed us into areas we had not come across before and we learned a lot.
But during my time there he kept trying to work me out. He could not seem to work out how I think. It puzzled me because I did not realize that being the brilliant manager that he was, he was always trying to work out how to manage us effectively and get the best from us (I was head of a department), and to be good at that he needed to work out how we think. (Most store managers do not realize that this aspect is part of their job).
For many months he kept watching me and trying to work me out. He almost gave up trying to fathom me out because I was not like everyone else!
Then one day he came up to me and said "I have done it! I have worked you out! You are autistic!"
I said "No" because I did not know anything about autism back then (And I still don't know if I am on the spectrum). Now that event happened around 1997.

I mention this because at school I have had maths teachers who could not work out how I did maths and how I think so they can teach me. I did not know how I think as I had not thought about it back then!



IsabellaLinton
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20 Jan 2021, 12:01 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
Unless he wanted to understand you. If you are on the autism spectrum and no one else is, he will very likely want to ask some of the others about you to try to find ways to teach you because he needs to understand how you think to adjust his teaching methods accordingly, and your classmates may have noticed things that you do not.



Lost_dragon said he was a TA, not her teacher. TAs often develop inflated egos and lack discretion when it comes to interpersonal skills.

If the issue is Lost_dragon's autism, then he should speak to her directly and not ask others how to teach her. He should adjust his teaching according to whatever accommodations L_d has in that department.

It sounds to me like he's just on a power trip. I would contact him in writing so you have a record of the conversation. If you have accommodations or even if you don't, his behaviour wasn't OK.



Mountain Goat
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20 Jan 2021, 12:04 pm

Why is she being taught by a TA officer? Teacher shortages? They will have them marching by numbers next! :P



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20 Jan 2021, 12:33 pm

Hello Lost_dragon

I can understand where your coming from. When I went to university, your grades in a subject often would be determined by how well you got on with the teacher of the subject, regardless as to what quality your work was apart from perhaps multiple choice exams.

Most my teachers were arrogant people who had failed in the industry and got off on teaching, as they had power over people. Some of the teachers on the course i was on, actually had no (zero) industry experience but had simply done the same degree as me a few years before.

The people who got jobs at the uni after completing the course were often manipulative sycophant suck ups, who would lick the head teachers bum at every opportunity. These people were big men in their own tiny little ecosphere of the uni, and often spent their time abusing the students and abusing the tiny little amount of power they had over the students while you were enlisted in their university.

However, their power did not extend any further than this tiny little ecosphere, and if any of these people treated people in the real world like they did at uni, they would get shut down (or perhaps even beaten up, murdered?...)

so they often stay Big Fish in Small Pond, rather than a tiny little fish in a massive ocean full of sharks.

But there ya go.
As for advice, remember the above fact, and remember that the course is just your stepping stone to a better future.
Try and bite the bullet and get your head down, take the crap (if it isn't too painful) and look forward to your own future.

As the uni course you are on will go quick, and before you know it, you will be getting your diploma, and upwards and onwards.

If you are able, and if it isn't against your nature (as it is against mine)
perhaps learn some techniques of manipulation in order to try and get on with jerk offs that teach you.
Perhaps even buy them a thoughtful present or something, in attempt to get them to like you more.

I know such behaviours are very slimy, underhanded, but this is how some of the other students play it.
These are the students that often get firsts! not for the quality of their work or their intelligence
but due to how well they get on with the teacher

I have seen this kind of thing happen where ever i go
at work (how about the rugby / soccer / football last night boss, what a game!)
at martial art class (some people get their black belts really quick by sleeping with the instructor).
ho hum... things that if the world was honest and fair, wouldn't happen, but the world isn't
this is how the real world often works...

Anyway
good luck



Lost_dragon
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20 Jan 2021, 2:07 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Did he mention you by name? To another class? When you weren't there? That's extremely unprofessional behaviour.


Not directly by name, but with a description that definitely narrows it down. I was described as the only female digital media student in the other class. There's only two classes, one with ten and another with around fifteen university students. If a student knows me, then they'd catch on that it could only be me that description fits. Likewise, if another student really wanted to figure it out then it'd be pretty easy task to do. My friend knew it was me because I'd mentioned to them I am doing the same subject and we both knew we were in different classes but the same course.

I don't get accommodations. As far as the outer world is concerned I am completely neurotypical. Is this accurate? Well, that's complicated. I have sensory issues, trouble concentrating, visual processing issues, I can be socially anxious and can come across as awkward. Usually this is just passed off as me being dramatic, quirky or otherwise eccentric. Or just complaining about things that everyone goes through, but there are things I experience which I doubt are typical. Such as breaking down on a University trip in my first year because I got overwhelmed sensory wise and a tutor saw me crying (out of exhaustion) which I passed off as crying because I was a sore loser (I lost a game that day but that didn't actually bother me).

Frankly, I'm rather used to lying in small ways because it's usually easier to explain than what I'm actually going through because I'm used to being dismissed. However, in this case I don't think it was due to any underlying issues I may or may not have. I think this was just due to tiredness, I was slower to process what he was saying because I hadn't woken up fully. That was my fault and I admit that. I probably should have mentioned that this was an online lesson via a video call. Most people had their cameras off and mics off (which they could turn on to speak, or alternatively write in the chat box). He assumed I was skipping class and pretending to be there, which is a fair assumption. I did later ask questions in the chat but I guess he just assumed I skipped the first half. Not too unreasonable to assume, it's certainly possible I could have been doing that. I wasn't but I can understand why he'd assume.

At my university, we refer to our teachers as tutors. He wasn't an assistant to me, he was just another University lecturer. I think sometimes people just assume the worst due to a misunderstanding (thinking I was skipping when I was actually just tired and slow to process what was happening, it can also be more difficult on video because there's no directly facing you so it's not always obvious if something is aimed at you unless your name is mentioned) and he'll probably have low expectations for me...I guess all I can do is keep on with it and not pay him any mind. He seems passive aggressive.


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kraftiekortie
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20 Jan 2021, 2:14 pm

How would dropping the course affect you? Would you lose your tuition? Would it lower your grade point average?

What I would do:

Yes, I understand that the TA is being a jerk----but I would sort of apologize to the TA, anyway.

Or maybe not----maybe he'll forget the incident in a couple of days. How would what happened affect your grade? I do understand about "first impressions" and all that jazz.

Sometimes, it's best to "let sleeping dogs lie." And also to show him your competence in the subject in the not so distant future.

I've aggravated teachers before----but I usually changed their minds after a little time. Unless he's a true jerk, I don't feel he would hold what happened against you. Especially if you show your competent side subsequently.



Lost_dragon
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20 Jan 2021, 4:24 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
How would dropping the course affect you? Would you lose your tuition? Would it lower your grade point average?

What I would do:

Yes, I understand that the TA is being a jerk----but I would sort of apologize to the TA, anyway.

Or maybe not----maybe he'll forget the incident in a couple of days. How would what happened affect your grade? I do understand about "first impressions" and all that jazz.

Sometimes, it's best to "let sleeping dogs lie." And also to show him your competence in the subject in the not so distant future.

I've aggravated teachers before----but I usually changed their minds after a little time. Unless he's a true jerk, I don't feel he would hold what happened against you. Especially if you show your competent side subsequently.


If I were to drop the class, I would have to choose a class to replace it, out of a limited set of options. However, this is only possible in the first few weeks - any later and you're stuck with that subject. This would not affect my tuition. If I switched I would have some catching up to do - which could potentially affect the grade from the class I switched to affecting my overall grade I graduate with.

He probably will forget about the incident, but I will have to bring things (research, work) to show if I'm going to get in his good books regardless. I could make a PDF outlining my plans and answer his original question a little bit - I guess it would be a question of how best to approach that without potentially coming across as snarky or a suck-up. Possible, but I'd have to tread lightly.

The other question on my mind is how to organise myself. At the moment it's a bit of a nightmare. I have three deadlines, all quite close together and it can be difficult to know which tasks to attempt first. Constantly switching between completely different projects is confusing and sometimes I can't keep track of which task is for which project. I think it's always like this at the start. There's got to be a way to break this all down though, I know it's possible. I just need to figure out how to stay motivated and how to set fixed time slots dedicated to one project at a time because switching constantly is an absolute disaster.

Oh, and just in case anyone wants to interject with "you think university is hard? Try having a job!", I know - that's why I want to improve at this because it's a useful skill to have (organisation). I'm still fairly new to the whole organising your own time as an adult.


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20 Jan 2021, 4:42 pm

That's very petty and unprofessional of him to talk about you like that, especially to another class. I don't think you're in the wrong for disliking him. He wasn't very vague about the fact he was talking about you and he is being unnecessarily rude over something that isn't a big deal, plus he can just talk to you privately about if it upsets him that much.

Personally, I'd try to confront him about it as he may continue that behaviour. You don't have to be rude, but if you want to talk to him just bring up the fact that you were told he mentioned you to another class, that you don't appreciate it and you do not believe it's professional behaviour, and then explain why you didn't respond to him and that if he doesn't like something you do that he can talk to you privately about it, other than discussing it with other students. If you are more mature about this than he is and call him out on it, it may embarrass him and get him to shut up so this doesn't happen again.


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20 Jan 2021, 5:55 pm

Once you get organizing yourself in these situations down pat----this would put you in good stead for the future, when you have a job.

Unfortunately, one almost always must go through at least some discord in order to really learn the subject at hand at University level. I am sure you've had considerable discord before during your first two years. This is just another hump in the road, it seems to me.

I would emphasize the class you need most to fulfill your degree requirements. An "elective" is way down on the list, unless it is required for you to attain the required amount of credits.



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20 Jan 2021, 8:37 pm

Lost_dragon wrote:
Oh, and just in case anyone wants to interject with "you think university is hard? Try having a job!", I know - that's why I want to improve at this.


From my personal experience, having a job was significantly more rewarding and easier than university.

If I have any advise for you, never feel embarrassed to ask questions. That is why you are there. If you are able to ask intelligent questions, more the better. If you didn't understand the question, ask him to repeat it. If you still don't understand, then paraphrase the question back to him. You are there to learn. You are like a sponge. Soak it up.


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21 Jan 2021, 5:18 am

Lost_dragon wrote:
OK, so I recently started my last term of University. I'm in my final year. Today I messed up. I had an online lesson and a tutor asked me a question. This was early in the morning and I wasn't fully awake - I'd stayed up working on work for a different class. I heard the question but it was worded in such a way that I wasn't sure if it was a statement or a question and I was half asleep so it took me a moment to realise that it was indeed a question. By then he'd moved on but he was annoyed that I'd ignored him. I didn't want to ask what the question was because I was fairly certain what it was but I'd left it too late to reply. Besides, I couldn't think of a good response.

Anyway, he had another lesson after mine which my friend attends. My friend informed me that the teacher had mentioned me twice in the lesson. The first time was to point out my lack of response. Which yes, I know came across as rude and that's completely on me but it seems odd to bring up to others.

Now, the second mention requires a little explanation. He teaches an elective class composed of students from different courses from the same overall department. Some students are therefore more knowledgeable with the software from the get-go because they have more practice with it, than compared to someone that specialised in another area. I am one of those students that specialised elsewhere. My class is composed mainly of those that did not and are very familiar with the software. The classes are split into two time slots and the other time slotted group is mainly made up of people from my course. I think I'm going to move to that one, I think that the fact I am in the current one is annoying him. He teaches both slots but having a class that goes slower than the other one would make some sense. I'd find that easier than to be in a group of experts when I'm just a novice. After all, I didn't choose to be in that group to begin with. Back to the point though, he said that I have some serious competition and apparently wagged his finger in disapproval to show the others his disapproval / disappointment in me.

Is it petty to dislike the guy already? Frankly I've been considering dropping the class anyway and moving to another elective but I'm not much of a fan of the other options either. I might just switch time slots but it's a bit awkward, now that I know I've been shamed in a sense. People are likely to forget anyway though.


Talk to him privately, apologies and explained exactly what happened.
If he chooses not to believe you, you tried.
What more can you do? [shug]


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Lost_dragon
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21 Jan 2021, 7:53 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I would emphasize the class you need most to fulfill your degree requirements. An "elective" is way down on the list, unless it is required for you to attain the required amount of credits.


Most of my classes are worth 20 credits. I have three remaining classes to complete (this includes my elective which is mandatory for me to take, the elective part of my elective is that I get to choose which subject out of a limited set of options). So I have one core subject (20 credits), along with my elective (also worth 20 credits) and then I have my main project and dissertation (40 credits). My main project is what has the most impact on my graduating grade - but getting a good grade in the other two would make a significant difference.


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kraftiekortie
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21 Jan 2021, 8:06 am

Will you be going for your master’s?

In the US, most companies don’t usually care if you had an A or C average....as long as you have the degree.

For Grad school, they do care about the A average.

I understand you’re in a competitive field where your undergrad grades might count.

I would still prioritize the main project, and let your hard work in your main project inject itself into the electives.

How have been your internships? They are very important...maybe more than grades in courses.

President Biden had a C average in college.

People in corporations know that grades in college matter less than what you do after college to fulfill the aims of companies. They might even consider those with high grades “too smart, with little common sense.”



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21 Jan 2021, 10:01 am

When I graduate with my undergraduate degree, I am going to start job hunting. I could later go on to a master's, but I probably won't. Personally I have heard that employers (not all) can sometimes be critical of people that gain a master's in my area before having any form of employment. Having experience and a good portfolio are the main things.

In my degree, we sometimes work with what we refer to as 'live clients' which is about as close to an internship type situation that I've experienced. This is where someone from outside the university, a representative for a brand / company will ask for work (which is classed as work experience and is unpaid). Unfortunately, this tends to attract the worst kind of clientele, but I digress. I've only ever had one paid commission, but hopefully my unpaid work will count for something. Currently, with my core subject class I have a live client and I am competing against my classmates. If I produce the piece of work that is chosen by the client, then it will feature in a local ad campaign. Hopefully it is chosen, because if it is then that would help to establish myself. It is indeed quite a competitive field to get into, and sometimes certain people can undervalue it as a skill. Personally, I've certainly had conversations where people have boasted to me that they could easily do my job or criticised me for taking too long (e.g. complaining that producing a storyboard and plan for a video taking a day to complete is too long, which I think is a completely reasonable amount of time if you want a good quality video). You do have to develop a certain amount of tolerance for such attitudes and remarks if you want to work in design.


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