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Topic: Which professor to take?  (Read 5688 times)

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Offline Woopy

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Which professor to take?
« on: January 21, 2013, 03:06:36 PM »
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
Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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
Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 03:17:29 PM »
Well, that's a lot to process.  Still, I'm glad to see someone taking their course choices seriously, so kudos are due there.  Working with your listed pros and cons:

The knowledgeably of the professor is important, they may have developed experience in getting the more difficult concepts explained clearly.  They can also be arrogant, and believe if they got, you will too.  That arrogance can strike someone, anytime, even if they seem "nicer" so be wary of that.  If you've taken a first semester, you should e better off sticking with the same professor, so they can build on previous concepts in the same way.

Its really not terrible to have friends in your class.  Nor is it bad to have classes early.  You will, as you move through academia or (horrors) get a job find yourself in these situations anyway and in those cases, you'll have to endure them and still focus on producing your best work.  Might as well get used to dealing with it now. 

One unrelated thing:  is the textbook written by the instructor?  In that case, run, run, run far away.  The instructor will never give you a new example during lecture, but will simply repeat the one they developed for the book.  And that's often no help at all.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Woopy

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 03:22:49 PM »
No we use the book by gorzynski-smith. And when I say my friends are in the class, I mean out of the 25 students, I engage in regular conversation with 15 of them

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 01:06:26 AM »
Short answer:

I'd choose Prof. #1

Offline Woopy

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 01:25:49 AM »
Short answer:

I'd choose Prof. #1

Can you give long answer? Just to appease me

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 01:55:14 AM »
Short answer:

I'd choose Prof. #1

Can you give long answer? Just to appease me

To me the most relevant point is  "Knows the material much better" versus "Doesn't know the material as well "

A lesser point would be "Has taught class 5+ years" versus " 2nd year teaching the class". (but some bad teachers have decades of bad teaching behind them! OTOH most good teachers turn better teachers with experience)

Organic Chemistry degree wins over BioChem degree (for this class)

PhD wins over MS. (again, not a hard rule. Many crappy PhDs around that know less than a BS)

The rest of your points seem less relevant (Friends are in the class, time of class, time of lab etc. but that's more personal. Don't want to trivialize your concerns. )

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 07:52:16 AM »
Having friends in my classes, especially for something like organic 2, was much more of a help than a hindrance. As you've expressed already, it's a different type of learning in that class. Having friends around basically ensures that you'll have several different perspectives on the same material, making it likely that at least one of them will be able to explain something in a different light.

Also, pretty soon you'll be taking Chem E classes with nearly the same exact group of people every time. Get used to having people you know around now because it's going to be happening a lot more.

Offline Woopy

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 12:30:59 PM »
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

Offline curiouscat

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Re: Which professor to take?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 01:34:51 PM »
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

You'll have to decide: What's the relative importance of grade versus learning to you.

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