First Quiz

I took my first quiz for Sociology 101 last night. I didn’t learn about the quiz until Tuesday, so I spent the 48 hours between the two classes studying my ass off, trying to get the vocabulary down and remember the accomplishments of the dozen or so sociologists that were mentioned in Chapter 1. I depended on the textbook entirely since I had no notes, as we hadn’t actually had a lecture on sociology yet; all we went over in the first class was the syllabus. I was nervous, naturally, and yesterday I couldn’t wait to just get it over with. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried, because I studied so hard, and I breezed right through the 25 multiple choice questions with no problem.

Just kidding. I needn’t have worried, and I shouldn’t have stressed myself studying so hard, because I had no chance of passing that quiz anyway.

We took our quizzes online, in the computer lab. When she gave us the go-ahead, I braced myself and opened up the quiz session.

The first question stumped me. It didn’t have any resemblance to anything that I had read in Chapter 1. I breathed deeply and immediately skipped it, deciding to go back later.

The second question stumped me. It named people that I had not heard of and referenced studies that I had not read about. I looked around the room quickly, glancing at my classmate’s faces. Everyone looked calm, no one seemed to be as taken aback as I was. I started to wonder if I had the wrong edition of the textbook or if I had studied the wrong chapter.

And so the quiz went. Out of 25 questions, I only truly knew the answers to less than 5 of them. The rest were educated guesses based on my powers of deduction and completely wild eeny-meeny-miney-mo guesses.

The man to my right finished his quiz in less than ten minutes. The woman to my left finished a minute later. I took almost twenty minutes to complete mine, struggling to deduce the best possible answers for all of the questions that I didn’t know. I was one of the last to finish, and I wondered if my classmates had done theirs so quickly because they knew all the answers (but how? why didn’t I know the answers??), or because they’d given up.

Shortly before we were told to go back to the classroom, I made eye contact with the woman next to me and mouthed, What the fuck? Her eyes widened and she shook her head slightly. I don’t know.

A couple of students took another ten or so minutes to finish up, so the rest of my classmates and I spent that time in the classroom (the professor was in the lab with the other students) wondering aloud what the fuck had just happened. As it turns out, everyone had finished so quickly because they just gave up and guessed randomly at each question.

When Professor G returned to the classroom, she started to set up the projector, which happened to be right in front of my desk. With her back to me, she asked the class, “Can anyone tell me what sociology is?”

With my head in my hand and without missing a beat, I said (in the most dejected deadpan voice ever), “The systematic study of the relationship between the individual and society and the consequences of difference.”

Professor G asked, “Did you just read that out of the book?” as she turned around to face me. When she saw that, no, I actually had memorized the definition since it was the first vocabulary word in the first chapter of the text (and the title of the fucking class), she looked pleasantly surprised, applauded me a little, and told me, “Good job!”

“Yeah, that wasn’t on the quiz,” I quipped. The class laughed. The professor  went back to her projector and her slideshow, oblivious.

Nobody said anything to Professor G about the quiz, at least not during class. I emailed her this morning asking her what exactly I should be studying and how I can better prepare for the next quiz. I mentioned that the majority of the questions on the quiz were not in the text (at least, not in Chapter 1). She hasn’t responded yet but I hope that she does.

If every quiz and test is going to be like this, I am not going to pass this class. And failing a 101 level Sociology class is really not how I wanted to start my new scholastic career. Hopefully, after grading and realizing that everyone failed horribly, she’ll be more clear in the future about what her expectations are and what materials we should be focusing on.


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6 Responses to “First Quiz”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Did she get back to you dude? Don’t panic – I’ve had a lot of college classes start that way and the vast majority of it is miscommunication or the general unpreparedness of the teacher. Let me know what happens.

    • August Says:

      She sure didn’t. In fact, she sent out an email last night to the class saying that this Thursday’s quiz (which, according to the syllabus and according to her just last Thursday would be on CHAPTER TWO) is actually going to be on Chapter 3 instead. So I’ve been studying the wrong shit for the past 3 days because she just changed her mind.

      Also, she gave us a due date of Thursday July 17th in Blackboard for a paper that we have to write. I just realized last night that July 17th is a SATURDAY not a Thursday, and that what she probably meant was this Thursday JUNE 17th. So I have to study a chapter I haven’t even touched AND write a fuckin paper that I didn’t realize was due in the next 3 days.

      It’s one thing for her to be unprepared. But this is effin ridiculous, we can’t take anything she says to be true because she keeps making mistakes (and not admitting that she made mistakes) and switching shit around on us.

    • August Says:

      Also, I got a D on the quiz. What a wonderful way to start my first semester!

  2. DDog Says:

    Ugh, that is such BS. I HATE classes like that. Sitting through them is one of the most demoralizing experiences I have EVER had and one in particular is at least 30% of the reason I changed my major because it was a required course and I had taken it twice already.

    Stupid fucking Operating Systems class: I understood all the theory we learned in class and from the book and could pass the tests and homework which were based on all that information–however, the projects were supposedly “practical applications” of the theory but nothing in the book or the lectures prepared us for them. I’m sorry, I expect A LITTLE BIT OF TRAINING before I’m supposed to reprogram a Linux kernel, but apparently they were testing for a type of student I’m not, namely one that had 5 billion programming classes on high school and was tromping through the back end of an OS when they were still in diapers.


    Anyway. Clearly I’m still bitter. Maybe if she notices the whole class did really poorly on the quiz she will realize something might be wrong with her teaching and not the students’ learning?

    • August Says:

      See, that shit is SO not cool!

      According to Blackboard, the weighted grade of the quiz is 0%, so it would seem that she’s going to discard the scores entirely. It’s hard to know whether she actually meant to set it 0% or not, considering her track record.

      Demoralizing is right. I studied like a fiend for the first quiz, and now for this one, I kind of feel like “meh.” I’m studying and reading, but not nearly as much.

  3. Nicole Says:

    Have you talked to other classmates about this? It seems really important that either you go with another student or at least yourself to talk to her about this – if this goes on all semester, her being unprepared and unaware of her inability to communicate, you’re going to get even more frustrated. Nab it in the ass right away dude. And if she’s uncooperative, you need to go above her. I know it sounds obnoxious, but YOU are paying for HER to TEACH, and if that’s not what’s happening, you need to raise a ruckus.


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