A note to learning on my own

*RANT POST AHEAD* I’m sitting here with a glass of Pinot Noir, my muscles are dead from an intense workout and I’m so pumped on adrenaline because a stressful 2 weeks lies ahead. But I’m so mad right now.

I should be used to teaching myself. I taught myself the advanced and extension one courses for HSC english because my teachers just didn’t cut it. I learnt how to analyse like a boss through a shit ton of effort. I know what it takes to succeed when you don’t have the most valuable members of an educational institution on your side.

I also understand that university life is so different to school. Firstly, there are a lot more people. The size of one course I’m enrolled in is double the population of NSG alone. Uni is all about gaining the skills that’ll apparently help you in your future working life (not that I believe that right now). University makes you manage your assessments, your exams, your workload, your attendance on your own. I get all of that, and frankly, I’m fine with it. I never considered myself needing to be spoonfed like they occasionally do in school.

However, that being said, there’s a huge bloody distinction between spoonfeeding a student and helping them to understand the content or a part of an assessment better.

I’m enrolled in potentially the shittiest course UNSW offers alongside any business degree. It’s a bloody nightmare. And there’s a few reasons for that:

  1. They expect us to read a 900 page textbook that tells us absolutely nothing about anything
  2. They’re creating theory that no one gives a crap about getting into depth about in an attempt to keep a course running
  3. There is no theory to how organisations run. It’s all frigging practical.
  4. The content is boring AF
  5. THE STAFF ARE LITERALLY THE MOST UNHELPFUL, RUDE AND HORRIFIC PEOPLE I’VE EVER HAD TO BE AROUND

I could deal with factors 1-4 because I know how it is to have to handle content where there is no theoretical value whatsoever. I mean, I tried to find metaphors in a non fiction book. That’s saying a lot.

BUT, in an educational institution, I thought the teaching staff – our lecturers, advisors and tutors, would be more helpful. Not sympathetic, motherly or caring like many of our highschool teachers are. Just helpful.

There seems to be a trend with the MGMT1001 staff at UNSW, where everyone permanently has a needle stuck up their asses and are walking and talking like they’re all the queens of England. Pompous, rude, unhelpful and frankly, a disgrace to the name of teaching at one of Australia’s best universities. (no I don’t mean the queen of England is all those colourful adjectives. It’s just an expression of speech.)

ALSO FOR GODS SAKE THERE IS A REASON I PAY 5K A SEMESTER. IT’S SO I CAN GET AN EDUCATION AND A DEGREE AND WORK AS AN ECONOMIC CONSULTANT. I DON’T PAY 1.25K FOR YOUR COURSE TO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE COURSE LECTURE SLIDES. IF I CAN’T ATTEND THE LECTURE BECAUSE OF REASONS, THE ASSUMPTION IS THAT I’LL BE ABLE TO FOLLOW ALONG FROM THE CORRECT LECTURE SLIDES UPLOADED. BUT HOLY SHIT IF YOU UPLOAD SLIDES WITH A FRIGGING HEADING AND NOTHING ELSE, WHAT GOOD WILL IT DO? WILL IT HELP ME LEARN THE PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT? I DON’T BLOODY THINK SO. HOW THE HELL ARE YOU TEACHING MANAGEMENT IF YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MANAGE 1600 STUDENTS WHO JUST WANT TO LEARN AND PASS THIS SHITHOLE COURSE? IT’S THE ASSUMPTION THAT ONCE I PAY FOR SOMETHING, I HAVE ACCESS TO IT UNTIL MY TIME WITH THE THING RUNS OUT. IF I DON’T EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO LECTURE SLIDES AND YOU DON’T FKN RECORD YOUR LECTURES, HOW AM I EXPECTED TO LEARN? YOU SAY TO BECOME PROACTIVE, CRITICALLY THINKING INDIVIDUALS, BUT I’M SORRY, WITHHOLDING INFORMATION DOESN’T MAKE ME ANYTHING BUT MAD AND PISSED OFF OK.

FAR FREAKING OUT GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSES. THE MANAGEMENT STAFF PARADE THEMSELVES AROUND OUR LECTURE HALLS AND LECTURE ROOMS TALKING ABOUT ALL THEIR MANAGEMENT ACCOLADES AND WONDROUS ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FIELD OF MANAGEMENT. THAT SCREAMS A WHOLE LOT OF BULLSHIT TO ME BECAUSE THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MENTOR A GROUP OF PRIMARILY FIRST YEAR STUDENTS. LEARN YOUR OWN CONTENT FOR FKS SAKE MGMT1001. GOOD MANAGERS MENTOR THEIR EMPLOYEES. I DON’T SEE YOU MENTORING US. I DON’T SEE YOU LEADING US. I DON’T SEE YOU HELPING US DEVELOPING OUR SKILLS. YOU KNOW WHAT I SEE YOU DOING? MAKING ME MAD AND HATE THIS GODFORSAKEN COURSE WITH EACH PASSING MINUTE.

When you ask lecturers, teaching staff and tutors a question about work or assessments that isn’t in any way indicating that they’re telling you the answer, the general assumption is that you’ll get an answer that will benefit you. It happens in all my other courses. I can easily ask my accounting tutor or lecturer a question about non-current assets or subsidiary ledgers and I’ll get a response. I asked a few questions for clarification before our midsem exam. I got clear and concise responses every time.

BUT WITH MANAGEMENT? OH GOD FORBID IF YOU ASK A QUESTION THAT INDICATES YOU’RE INTERESTED IN ACTUALLY PASSING THE COURSE. GOD FORBID IF YOU ASK A QUESTION THAT CLARIFIES WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU.

The amount of times I’ve been slapped in the face with a brick when I asked a question that’s relevant and pertains to our course and assessment is unreal. And it’s gotten to the point where I’m mad AF over the sheer rudeness I’m being displayed. You can be unhelpful. Just don’t be a bitch about it. I know about teachers being unhelpful. But I don’t need attitude, sarcasm and outright bitchiness along with that.

Whenever you ask a question to the staff, there are a few classic responses:

  • Check the course outline
  • This was answered in a presentation
  • this has been answered in the forum before. Maybe you should learn to use the search function
  • Ask your tutor
  • In the workplace, your manager might not help you figure these things out when given a task so maybe you should figure it out yourself.

Oh I’m so sorry I didn’t realise that as a 17 year old first year student, I was some sort of Einstein. And to answer the 5th statement, I work a business environment. As an accounts clerk, I’m given new projects, tasks and things to do that may be unfamiliar to me. And not once has my manager turned me away and told me to figure it out. Instead, I’ve always been given the support, either by her or my coworkers as they help me figure out any issues so the work is done correctly and efficiently. If my manager had told me to go figure out how to create and manipulate pivot tables in excel by myself, I would be nowhere in life. So no, your managers help you when there are issues because it’s for the greater good.

Moreover, the course outline isn’t a Bible. It’s called an outline for a reason. It indicates goals, assessments, procedures and vital information about the course. But it isn’t the only resource we have. Moreover, in our first lesson, my tutor explicitly told our tute class that she wouldn’t answer any questions about the work we’re doing. Well fking done to everyone in this course. I hope you’re all happy.

AND THEN WHEN ASSESSMENTS ARE HANDED BACK OH MY GOD. Every student gets frigigng wrecked because we haven’t correctly done sections of assessments. When in fact, if our simple queries had been answered, maybe the average for our assessments wouldn’t be so abysmal.

To be in an educational situation like this is horrific. I’m just trying to get through this semester, but I’m being told that I can’t even ask relevant questions that’ll aid me in actually getting somewhere?

Well done MGMT1001. I hope everyone is really fking proud of themselves.

There’s a distinction between spoonfeeding and helping students out. Maybe it’s time to learn about that before you all embark on teaching and harping on about how you’re all so successful.

Thank you for making my life hell. I’m now going to read the frikking course outline and try magically understand what it is I need to do for this assessment. Time to bullshit my way through this assessment and pray it’s what my tutor wants. Oh and did I mention, she marks like a sergeant? Harsh and unforgiving with minimal explanation. Well done.

xx Simran

 

 

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