Friday, September 15, 2006

Students can sure be funny

By funny, of course, I mean "idiots."

Our discrete math book has 58 sections, numbered 1 through 58. The sections are broken up into 10 chapters, numbered 1 through 10. So there's at least a little potential for confusion. In fact, I'm not really good at remembering the difference, so I'll say as often as not that we are in Chapter 2 when I mean Section 2. Having said that, just how long should it take students to catch on? See if you can decide when you might have tumbled to the difference.

On day 1, we did a problem not from the book. I announced that they should read "Chapter 1 and 2" (meaning Section 1 and 2.) I pointed out that "Chapter 1" was a short one, and said that we would begin with "Chapter 2" on day 2.

On day 2, I went in and talked about "Definition," the topic of Section 2. I assigned homework.

On day 3, we did a problem from Section 2 on the board. We talked about "Theorem," the topic of Section 3.

On day 4, I collected homework from Section 2. One student turned in the wrong homework (I still can't figure out where he got the problems from, although it was clearly later in the book.) The fact that his problem 8 had nothing to do with the problem I did on the board apparently didn't concern him. That day, I also talked about "Proof," the topic of Section 4.

On day 5, today, I handed back this homework (with a note to this student saying exactly what pages in the book he should have looked at.) We talked about "Counterexample," the topic of Section 5.

At the end of class today, the student approached me and said that he was a little lost, and asked what problems he was supposed to be doing.

OK, I understand that I was imprecise in my language. But come on, it can't be that hard to figure out. He really didn't have any clue until this point that he was even looking at the wrong problems?

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Anonymous said...

Com'on prof. Give the students a break. Calculus is hard enough without you compounding the confusion.

USJogger said...

Understand that when I say "Students are idiots" I mean that affectionately. ;-)