2/13/07 - That Student

So I'm taking this class at UCA about Home Landscape Design. I'm mainly taking the course so if a lawn care customer asks if I can do that type of stuff, I will be somewhat knowledgeable. Also, since I love being outside and working on stuff like that, I figure it might come in useful at some point. For anyone who has ever been in a classroom setting, you will be able to relate to my rant that I'm about to lay out. If you have not, you might be able to recognize someone like this in another part of your life, but for me, it's the classroom setting. Here it is (including a summary at the bottom for those that don't want to read the whole thing):

First of all, I understand that it is beneficial to share your opinions and get feedback and verify information while learning, but there should be a limit to how much you share. In the very first class last Monday, "the student" sat right behind me. Although she looked just like all the other females in the class (grey-haired, retired and very "maintained"), I did not realize that she was going to be "that student".

The class began with a slideshow presentation of some of the designs that the teach felt summarized some different types of landscape design. On each of the 10 or so pictures, "the student" (I will refer to her as TS from this point on) had a comment on each of them. Whether it be "Oohh..that's pretty", "that looks lovely", "what a wonderful design" or whatever popped into her head, she commented on it. On several slides, she had more than just a two or three word comment, and went on to explain how she once tried something like that, or would go into detail on what she would like to see different, or why ivy beds are better than a mulch bed. If the teacher would make a comment that disagreed with what TS said, TS would have a comeback for it. And although I'm sure many people had comments that they might have said under their breath, TS made sure everyone could hear what she said.

After the slide show, the discussion turned to materials we would need for the class, and TS had alternate suggestions for each and every item we needed. Needless to say, with her sitting right behind me, I was having difficulty focusing on the teacher.

I was prepared for her this week, so I thought. I made sure I didn't sit anywhere near TS, hoping that it would prevent her comments from getting on my nerves as much. I was incorrect. The teacher said that she had planned a one hour lecture, and was leaving time for the class to talk with each other about ideas and things like that. This one hour lecture turned into over an hour and a half of discussion because of the comments, questions and stories that TS HAD to share with the rest of the class. One thing that was amazing, is that if anyone else in the class had a comment or question, the teacher was able to get an answer out, and then immediately, TS would have a counter story about how she also has sand in her flower beds, or how her neighbor also had a lot of grass, or how the builders left building materials on her property when the house was built. I will say this, she had a handful of good questions, but if you ask a question a minute and have stories every 3 mintues, at least one or two of those have to be useful to someone.

After class, I had a question for the teacher that was only important to me and had no meaning to anyone else in the class, based on the property that I'm designing. Well, wouldn't you know it, about three other students had a question, and I decided to let them ask first. TS stood right next to the teacher while each of these students asked their questions. In many situations, TS would answer and give her two cents before the teacher could get a word out. Because of this, it took 30 minutes for these questions to get answered correctly.

I've decided that I'm going to have to write a note or letter and give it to TS because something has to be done. Based on the reaction of the rest of the class every time TS would open her mouth, I'm not the only one that has a problem with it. I don't want to be rude and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also want to get my money's worth out of this class, and I sure didn't pay to hear TS tell stories.

Summary: (for those that don't want to read the whole thing). TS, as I have called her, is one of the most annoying people I've been around. I would talk to the teacher about it, but I believe they are friends. I'm going to write the note/letter and give it to her. If that does not slow down the questions/comments/stories, I will speak with the teacher because I want to get as much out of this class as I can. Some feedback from students is good, but all the feedback coming from one student is very bad.

I'll post again and let everyone know how it works out.

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