Gender & Identity, Life

I never knew just how awful college would be. Then I saw where my money was going.

In the end, most of us failed and had to repeat the course. Including me.

I always imagined how classes in college would be. I pictured a strained atmosphere in a silent classroom where all the students were listening to the lecture with full focus while jotting down the lessons in their notebooks. The professors enthusiastically explained some theories or mathematics solution, pointing to the screen full of notes or formulas and equations. A few times someone would interrupt the lecture to ask questions.

I thought once I got into college, my classes would be that way. Unfortunately, my expectations were completely off the mark.

Of all the classes I took in my first year, Business Mathematics was the only class I looked forward too. I enjoyed math. Although I’ve always been terrible dealing with numbers and formulas, nothing gives me greater satisfaction more than getting the answer right after solving the problem. I thought it was going to be my favorite subject and I was planning to ace it.

And of course, I was hoping this class would be just like those I had always pictured in my mind.

The professor was an hour late on the first day of class. But I kept my hopes up. My hopes vanished as soon as he started teaching. He just sat in front of the computer, turned it on and then searched for the syllabus for 20 minutes! Obviously, he wasn’t prepared for the lesson, but that wasn’t it. Once he started his teaching, the lecture became more and more tedious. Throughout the class, all he did was read what was on the screen, clicking the next button to make the steps appear one by one without explaining the math behind the steps.

This professor was in his mid-50s, which meant he had plenty of years to gain teaching experiences and improve his teaching skills. But what we had there was an expressionless man with no enthusiasm to guide us at all. Worst, he taught in our local language, which was Malay. I pitied those foreign students who relied on English as their only language of communication.

There was no group assignment or projects for the subject. But still, I had to endure the mind-numbing class for the whole semester. In the end, most of us failed and had to repeat the course. Including me.

For another class in my second year, this professor was no better than the previous one.

For the whole semester, the class was held for only half of the time allotted. The professor, a woman this time, also had a problem with time punctuality. An hour late, and then teaching for only half an hour. Most times she canceled the class and replaced them with quizzes she put online.

Luckily I didn’t fail that time, but my grade wasn’t great.

I hate to be the one student to give a negative evaluation to teachers in college, but I couldn’t lie just to save their career. There were few times when I got tired of their lack of interest and incompetence in teaching and one day, I told them about my concern in this matter. Even my other classmates have spoken out about this, straight up to these teachers who don’t teach. But in return, they blamed us for our lack of diligence and focus on their teaching. We weren’t  pre-school kids anymore and to them, we’re grown up enough to figure out things by ourselves.

My friends from another college are still facing the same issues. It’s all the same problems – professors coming late, canceled classes for no reasons at all and their passionless lectures.

I came to college with high hopes to learn, explore and strive for a better future. The only thing I want is education, but I don’t need to be spoon-fed or given an exact correct answer for every question. I never ask them to make the learning easier. In fact, I’d be up for challenges if that gave me more experiences to push my boundaries and gain more knowledge. It is highly unfair to pay a large amount of money just to receive their inadequate lessons and instructions. I’m facing an insane amount of stress and pressure every semester, yet the effort and works they’ve put in aren’t nearly as equal.

I’m really glad that there are few other professors and tutors that are worthy to be appreciated. They are the ones who are actually passionate and eager to share their knowledge. When they do, everyone can feel it, including me. These teachers are always enthusiastic and have their own creative way of teaching. However, other professors need to remember their job title as educators and not boring powerpoint makers. To better this world, we need to produce better students who have learned something at the end of the year.

  • Thee Shaheera

    Thee Shaheera is currently a senior in college, majoring in Business Management. Her interests includes arts, fashion design, languages, foods, photography and anything unrelated to business but her greatest passion is writing. She likes to think of herself as a modern-day Renaissance woman, or at least determined to be one in the future.