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We don't need no thought control!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Reading the jobbie job thread tells me that lots of TiBbers have plenty of education but that doesn't necessarily translate into job prospects. I was pretty happy with my education, but I worked in my field all through college and so I had a good balance of theory and practice. I did take the full complement of required liberal arts classes, which were interesting but of limited obvious practical value. The one that sticks in mind as being the least useful is the one where the TA was emphatically attempting to convince us that missiles were only shaped the way they were because men made them in the shape of their penises.

    FOCUS: What's the most useful class you ever took? What's the most useless class? Did something you think was going to be useless turn out to be useful, or vice-versa?
     
  2. Harry Coolahan

    Harry Coolahan
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    I wish I learned this earlier in my time at college: This might be specific to my school, but I've learned that adjunct professors with real careers outside of academia will be much better at teaching practical, useful information. A few of full-time professors I've had were good, but the majority were mediocre. Tenured professors are guaranteed to be worthless—they have better shit to do at that point in their careers than teach undergraduates.

    It was only in my fourth year that I started choosing classes based on the bios of professors, rather than on their RateMyProfessor.com ratings.
     
  3. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    Thinks he has a chance with Christina Hendricks...

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    I'm not sure if my experience is completely relevant since I'm still a student but: Experimental Economics. Class I took in my last year of undergrad in which basically we would do or read about famous experiments in Economics, then model the observed behavior. I had learned the math, I had learned the economics, but prior to that class, had never put the two together. They seemed like complete separate disciplines to me. Incredibly useful because modeling is essentially what graduate economics is. The economics is really no more advanced than undergrad, but you learn how to properly model everything. A lot of my peers had no clue that this was what graduate economics was like and were really thrown for a loop when all the math hit them in the face. Luckily, I was prepared by that class and have had a much easier adjustment.
     
  4. Volo

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    Shop class has been infinitely useful in my line of work. Having basic knowledge in woodworking and metalworking has helped me develop my jury-rigging skills over the years, which are essential in the culinary industry where shit often needs to be done on the cheap.

    Home Ec was a solid choice too, teaching me how to sew. Always gotta know how to patch up a hole in an otherwise good garment.

    Consumer math was also a brilliant choice on my part, although I didn't know it at the time. Fuck calculus and trig.

    Didn't really take any useless classes. Most of what I actually absorbed in high school has been put to use in my career and other parts of my life. The worthless shit seems to have been blocked out I guess.
     
  5. BL1Y

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    Most useful was probably Deductive Logic in college. Learning how to dissect and build arguments in a structured fashion really should be something taught in high school. Unfortunately, it also adds a lot of frustration, because so many smart people still make really basic mistakes. My honors ethics seminar was also really useful, but mostly because we spent so much time on writing, so more the style of the class than the substance. More classes need essays that go through multiple drafts.

    Surprisingly useful was Feminist Jurisprudence. Great opportunity to understand a different point of view. Not in the "I feel so enlightened by this understanding!" kind of way. More like how your immune system "understands" a disease after you get a vaccination.

    On the useless side, both my Alabama history classes have proven to be of no value. We had a curriculum change while I was in high school, so we got AL history twice, and no world history (I took it as an elective, far more useful).

    Property was pretty bad too. Some of the stuff you'll need for the bar exam, but the fee tail and rule against perpetuity? Doesn't come up in real life.
     
  6. Stealth

    Stealth
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    In one respect I am glad that I studied Science, Physics , Chemistry , Engineering , Maths, Biology etc type subjects ... but as one of our University lecturers said to a class one day ...

    "If you guy's want to make money , forget this Science stuff , go and study Finance, Accounting and Management"

    He was kind of right.
     
  7. effinshenanigans

    effinshenanigans
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    Most useless class has to be "The History of Dinosaurs: A Geological Survey."

    My roommate and I decided to take it together because it seemed like a piece of cake and we just needed the credits to graduate. Plus, we could switch off going and just share notes.

    The class was a joke, a mix of memorizing vocab words and dino parts on fossil drawings. The big project was to watch something involving dinosaurs and point out accuracies and inaccuracies with their portrayal. We, of course, got drunk and watched Jurassic Park--noting that the Raptors were clearly without their vestigal feathers.
     
  8. Frank

    Frank
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    Intro to Francophone studies: "Now I know you all learned that most countries treated black people like shit, and that the French were nicer than most, but they were still kind of mean, let's talk about it and make you feel guilty for being white for another semester."

    The worst part is that the course description was "History of French Canada" and most of the kids (myself included) were French Canadian wanting to learn about our history, instead we were blindsided with another African pity party, neither France nor Canada were discussed, just the impact of the French on Africans... and they really weren't that bad.
     
  9. Ogee

    Ogee
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    I did the Jesuit education thing, which requires a metric shit ton of Theology and Philosophy classes. Not being Catholic, I rolled my eyes at these courses and put them off until my last three semesters. Surprisingly, these were the most useful classes I have ever taken.

    I can't speak for other schools, but it was a rare occurance to find a Professor who would call you out for being disinterested and invite you to explain why you thought the course was irrelevant. They pushed us to make logical, well thought out explanations and, due to the 50 minute classes, forced you to be concise.

    Those courses weren't so much about the material as they were about the critical thinking process. That is apparently a skill that not everyone picks up and comes in quite handy.

    So, and I cant believe I am saying this, Thank You for forcing me to sit through 18 credits of Philosophy and Theology.
     
  10. Parker

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    I couldn't agree more. The most I've learned was from adjunct professor. I did have one professor that was trying to get tenure that knew what he was talking about but that was because he focused on bringing in people from the outside and didn't try to act like he knew everything from an academic stand point.

    Focus: The most useful class was an Advertising Media Sales class. Forgetting the actual topic, the professor taught a lot of people just how to present themselves, negotiate and talk. The negotiation was the best, he'd give to pairs of people two different negotiation scenarios with limitations and a way to figure it out. Car buying/selling was the best scenario. There was also another scenario where people had to negotiate for oranges. One side just wanted the orange peels and the other side wanted it for juice. It was hilarious how many people didn't talk and figure out both sides could win. He'd also have people stand-up and talk for 30 seconds without being able to say any of the space filling words "uh, um, ya know, like" etc. After doing that 5 times in front of a class, you nail it.

    The most USELESS fucking class was a media studies class I took the last quarter of my masters program. It was called Pop Music in/and film. I thought we'd look at movies and talk about how the music affected the film and yadda yadda. Nope, we got into some extremely pointless mental masturbation. The concept of musicals came up, and the following questions where asked: Where is the music coming from? Do the characters know they are singing? Why are the characters singing? How do all of them know the words and dance? How do the characters handle the transition out of the song? Then later, can music be representational? Who assigns meaning to music? Is it inherent?

    Also reading dense academic articles about how audiences would freak out if they wouldn't see the source of the music on screen. When movies first came out, like plays, they had an orchestra, band or pianist in the theatre playing music. Then sound came along, and anytime music was played the film showed an orchestra, band, pianist or gramophone playing the music. Then when some films started just having what we don't even flinch at these days as background music, people were writing dense articles talking about how audiences wouldn't accept it and would freak out. Absolute mental masturbation.

    This could be a total unrelated rant, but what's worse about this mental masturbation is that it is a cyclical self-sustaining pile of bullshit. Everyone but me was in that class was majoring in it. Their only career path is to be a professor to teach that same bullshit, to keep "researching" the same pointless shit, and go to conferences to hear people talk about about that useless shit. None of the questions have answers that could even remotely be used in a practical purpose. You can't answer those questions and go make a better musical or movie.
     
  11. Puffman

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    German was the most worthless class I took in High School. I have not used the language once outside of the classroom, I remember taking the class only as it was required and my friends were all taking it. I should have taken Spanish which I would use everyday and would be helpful to expand my business.

    Typing, a class that I detested has actually been the one class where the skills I was taught are something I use everyday.
     
  12. LadyLecter

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    I moved around a lot as a kid (7 states and 13 schools by the time I was 12), and for 6th grade I ended up at a Christian school. The most useless class was by far the "science" class that we had. When we got to the chapter of evolution our teacher told us that we would be skipping that chapter because it was "written by the devil." So instead she taught us the days of creation ... I can still remember how much my brain hurt.
     
  13. ghettoastronaut

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    It goes against everything I otherwise believe in to mention it, but one of the most useful classes I took was a high school class on European history class, focusing on Europe after 1600. It goes against everything I believe in because I otherwise regard people who consider high school noteworthy or important in their lives in any way as not having done enough with their post-high school lives. The Reformation, Renaissance, and Scientific Revolution figured heavily. I guess it was a collision of factors: I was also taking chemistry and physics and was applying to university to go into something science related. Nothing quite illuminates learning science quite like learning its very philosophical underpinnings. I've since gone on to do a lot more reading on my own time on the philosophers and scientists of the time and it was a damn valuable background to have. The teacher was knowledgeable and did a great job of leading the class.

    In terms of university classes, I might go with my Italian elective. I mean, sure, there've been a lot more classes that I've taken far more applicable to my career, but doing something you want to do as an aside to your main course of study is extremely valuable in and of itself. I had an amazing professor who was as good as you could hope in terms of explaining the parts of speech and how they work, and had a good time in a small, intimate environment. I fucking hated French in elementary school, but having a good professor really made learning a new language fun, easy, and revealed a natural passion and knack for picking up languages. I've since learned French (on a not so voluntary basis) and have been having a super easy time picking it up, largely due to the fact that I had direct and indirect objects, and transitive and intransitive verbs properly explained to me.

    My most useless class? Fuck. 90% of what I took in university. I am pleased to have my impending degree but am extremely displeased with the crap I had to put up with to get there. I had courses where the professor would put up supplementary notes online because her accent was so thick that you honestly just couldn't understand a word she said. I'll save myself the high blood pressure by not going into the people who were just fucking useless in an otherwise native language.
     
  14. caseykasem

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    Best Class: Philosophy of Law. I hated philosphy going into this class but came out loving it and had a great classroom experience. The professor was incredible and really challenged me to think critically. He taught using the socratic method and wouldn't think twice about making an example out of someone. He was tough but fair. His class challenged me to clearly convey my thoughts, make logical arguments, and truly understand the course material. It was without a doubt the best class I have ever taken.

    Worst Class There are a lot of classes that could fit this bill but the worst was probably Middle East in World Affairs. I thought this class would be awesome and an excellent one to take but I was wrong. The professor did nothing more than read the slides on the screen. He never went into any more detail than that. It was so boring and pointless. His tests were open book and open note. As you may have guessed, no one went to class.
     
  15. zyron

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    Worst Class: I needed to fill a history requirement so I took a class on the Hapsburg Monarchy. My God did I want to kill myself every time I was in that class. The professor wore a big bow tie and was so fucking boring.

    The class essentially boiled down to remembering about 500 peoples names and what they did.
     
  16. $100T2

    $100T2
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    I had to take a computer class. While sure, I really don't need to know how to make a fucking webpage (and we spent a month on that), the Excel portion of class was awesome. I had no clue about 80% of the shit Excel could do. I actually kept the Excel book, and that's the only book from any of my classes I've kept.
     
  17. Disgustipated

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    Totally agree. It's so important, our degree made us do it twice by having Legal Research and Reasoning I as a core subject in first year and then having Legal Research and Reasoning II as a core for graduation. Like many legal problems, you don't need to know the answer off the top of your head, just where to find it quickly.

    The most useless class I took was Jurisprudence. The subject itself is not useless, just how my university chose to present (which was by hiring militant feminist private practitioners from family law firms to deliver course content and set assessments). I'm all for the plight of the sisters, yo, but I'd kind of like to learn a bit more than that.
     
  18. lust4life

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    THE class from my undergrad that had the most application in my career was "Theory of Coaching," which at the time I thought was just an interesting choice to knock off some prerequisite. The class was taught by Rick Majerus who was the head basketball coach at the time. I've applied the principles and strategies he taught in every managerial position I've held, and it was especially applicable when I got into sales management.
     
  19. shabamon

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    BEST CLASS: I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my class on Information Gathering class I took during my junior year of undergrad. It was basically how to conduct research, so it taught how to effectively conduct surveys, find and use databases, and how to uncover and utilise all of the resources of a library. All quarter, we had a topic of our choosing that we wanted to research (I chose performance-enhancing drugs in sports) and the final project was to write 35 abstracts from 20 different kinds of sources (encyclopedias, databases, thesis, etc.) that provided information on our topic. Tons of real world applicability.

    WORST CLASS: I was required to take two African American studies classes in undergrad. I took Black Communication Styles my senior year, which was actually pretty cool. We talked about WEB Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Al Sharpton, MLK, etc. and I analyzed Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech. The other class, "Blacks Media", was terrible. Every day, the message was the same: Everything is racist.
     
  20. Diogenes The Cynic

    Diogenes The Cynic
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    Not a week of my life goes by without having to refer to my Logic and Critical Thinking course in college. That class taught me how people make mistakes in assertions, how to tell when a someone is making an argument or orating uselessly. Its the reason "post hoc ergo propter hoc" pops into my mind as often as it does.

    Most useless class was French. I lived in Southern California, and didn't take Spanish instead. That was a very retarded decision.u