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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
I used to be an adjunct professor.

I'd just take the course from another professor later. If that's not possible, talk to the head of the department about the unexpected work load not outlined in the syllabus. Don't go to the dean for these matters.

Or do the community service. We're talking about 1 hour per week of service.
We were actually only given about 5 weeks within which to complete the hours; the hours are due tomorrow, so it's more or less done with. I have to continue with another hour (min) a week because of the program I switched to when I couldn't finish at the first location, which is frustrating because I offered to switch programs instead of begging off the hours, thinking she'd be glad I tried to take responsibility in finding an alternative, instead of berating me for "not planning well"...

Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
I'm not, and have never been, in a position of authority at a school of higher learning (though I did graduate from college ...eventually). However, there are a few thoughts that crossed my mind:

One, a 300-level class is an advanced class. I would definitely expect extra work, possibly including work that involved traveling beyond campus. There are few situations which require students to take 300-level classes outside their major or minor, and I would expect to possibly have to go "above and beyond" in 300- or 400-level courses.

Two, I can understand the extra 15 hours of "academic service-learning" outside of normal homework, if those 15 hours were (on paper, anyway) in lieu of 15 hours of normal assignments. A semester is maybe 4 months. That means an extra 4 hours a month, or maybe 1 hour a week the vast majority of circumstances, given some planning, this is not much to ask. The head of the department probably knows (and definitely should know) something about this, as it's slightly outside the norm. And they probably signed off on it.

Three (on the other hand), springing this on students after they signed up for, and paid for, and arrived at class, is unfair. Especially since many or most students, depending on the school, work as well as go to school.

And four, if you don't physically have time to take it up with anybody, including your mentor (who I think you implied is in that department?), you're screwed. Make time. If it continues to be unresolved, the department head is next. Unfortunately, if your teacher, your mentor, and your department head disagree with you, then going to the Dean will be totally useless.

And five: You have certain periods of time, during the day, or week, or month, that you can choose to devote to whatever you wish. I understand you have very little free time, but there's rarely any such thing as an inability to make time for something you *have* to do. If the suggested times for this off-campus learning don't coincide with the times you can make available, then why not do a bit of research into institutions which will allow you to do service when you *do* have time? There are still places which function in the wee hours of the night, for example. Or one four-hour Sunday afternoon per month. Then, bring that proposal to your teacher, and see what happens.

Good luck!

*edit* ^+1 to mistergreen. If you can avoid the issue without annoying any of your instructors, all the better. If you're at a big school, switching classes between semesters should be fairly easy. If it's a small school, maybe not so much, but still worth investigating. I went to a small school (<2000), so I pretty much sucked it up when I had to, even after I became an adult student, which is when "life" and "school" didn't overlap nearly as much.
Unfortunately, our professor gave us a choice of two institutions to work with, one of which was the 9-5 office hours (I attend class from 9:30 until noon, and then work 2 until 8pm most weekdays), and the other of which involved intensive one-on-one interaction, which I wasn't comfortable with. She would not consider other institutions--another student asked in class about it.

As I noted in my above reply there; we had 5 weeks to do it in.

I take my understanding of 300-level work from a number of courses I've taken at that level in Japanese, Psychology, and other Anthropology courses, most of which had extra projects and presentations, but none of which required me to go off-campus. My university isn't huge, but it's large enough campus that a significant portion of students have to get by without vehicles, and professors generally understand that, I thought.

I assume I'm overreacting to all of this, but with everything else that's gone on this semester, wrestling with the school over other things and so on, my stress-level has been through the roof. I've gotten sick twice just because my immune system is crap right now, so I'm dreading how thinks are going to be around the end of the semester with finals and so on. This is just one of the few large things that I can pin stress on, you know?

Thanks for your input, though. I do appreciate it. I'm trying to rationalize all of this and it does help hearing other points of view.

"Aquariums are like science, art, and hypno-therapy, all rolled into one," I insisted.
"You're not putting a hundred gallon tank in the living room," my roommate replied.

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