Tuesday, November 6, 2007

All As

On every midterm I took I received an A. Very pleased. The only classes that are wild cards as of now is Calculus 2 and Medium Voltage. Although I have an A in both classes, Calculus 2 always hold some amount of unknown in how difficult the test will be, and Medium Voltage, another class I have an A in, has the final remaining which is worth 50% of my grade. I have so much homework to catch up on; Electronics 2, Microcontrollers, Circuit Analysis, and Calculus 2. Last Winter Semester I waited until the last minute to finish the work, and I know now not to do that. This weekend I am dedicating myself to Calculus. Next weekend, well Microcontrollers I suppose.

In other school related news, I have a rough idea of what classes I will be taking this 2008 winter semester,

8 classes for a total of 24 credits. This is nearly double the workload of my first semester of college. The 3 electronics classes and CIS-152 Visual Basic Programming should be of no concern, but Sociology, Business Management, and Economics are the beasts to tackle. I can easily handle 23 credits under my belt, but save for Calculus 2 all the classes I am currently taking are ELEC classes. Maybe this is a chance to prove to myself my limits. As much as it pains me to say this, the standards at community college are lower than at universities. Perhaps the workload of next semester will be a way for me to balance that difference. When I transfer to Lawrence Tech I plan on taking credits nearing 20, so I have to prove that I can handle it. If I succeed this winter, then maybe I could justify taking 30 credits... Haha, that'd be crazy! Well, if a 3.7 GPA afforded me 23 credits, then I will be able to tear down any concerns with my 3.92 GPA. Speaking of restrictions, I have to hurry and get Intro to Programming waved so I can take Visual Basic Programming!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hate for Homework

After next Wednesday (11-07-07) I will be able to report all my midterm grades. I'm a bit curious of my score for the test I took yesterday in Medium Voltage. The only concern I have with my academic performance is the homework that I still need to complete. If there is one thing I hate it is homework. Homework is typically busywork given by teachers who want to make sure you're busy even outside of their class. Others think of homework as a way to practice on what you learned, and to hone your knowledge of the material covered in class. I consider homework to be a lazy tool used by educators who assume that homework will be affective as a means of learning and becoming better. For many, including me, homework is nothing more than an annoyance I mindlessly burn through in an attempt to get it done with. I do it for the grade, not to learn.

In all the classes that require homework, I have never found it to be helpful, not even once. But, for the classes that give out homework as supplemental and optional, I have found it to be extremely beneficial. In my Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 classes, homework assignments are given but are optional and are not graded. In this way, I can focus on problems that I am not familiar with, and know what material I can use to be prepared for class. If anything, the optional homework guides me and prepares me. The same can be said true for my Chemistry class that I took my freshman fall semester. Although homework was given, it was optional and was not graded. I used this homework as a means to know what would be covered in the tests and through that I was able to achieve an A in the class. When homework is optional, it becomes a tool to be used when needed.

I cannot say the same about required homework assignments. Although I have scored 90%+ on my Electronics 2, Microprocessors and Circuit Analysis classes, I have yet to even start on the homework. If I have proven my knowledge of the material through tests, why must I still do the homework? Why is it required in the first place? In some ways I don't hold it against the professors who assign the homework, as homework is a traditional part of education. Hopefully educators will eventually overcome this widely held belief that homework should be required as a means of succeeding and understanding the class. Anyways, I have homework to do, even if I won't remember a thing from it as I mindlessly drudge through it.