O Tempora

Yesterday I had the most 2017 experience ever.** After taking a college computer science class, I filled out the course evaluation. There, at the end of the short evaluation, it asked,

“What barriers to learning did you experience?”

What barriers to learning?  What the fuck? Are we therapists or are we evaluating a college course that is, well, a thing we paid for with money and we hope to get a specific outcome from?

There was no, Was your text book useful? How about the lectures? How was the classroom? The facilities? Are you happy you were learning Java or do you wish you’d started with another language?

Just this one hokey question.

It was so touchy-feely that even I, a hippie who knows where her shakras are, was filled with rage at its disingenous uselessness. The language sounds like it’s something useful — who doesn’t want to talk about “barriers to learning?” — but it’s actually the opposite. This is because, instead of a bunch of open-ended questions about the different parts of the classroom experience, there is only one question, and that question is itself so limiting and non-exploratory that it almost serves to shut down complaint rather than prompt it. So I didn’t put much down that was helpful.

It was only later that I remembered — oh yes, the layout in the classroom made things hard to see; the last assignment was too hard for the time allotted; I didn’t like learning GUI stuff I’ll never need again…but in order to remember that, I would have needed a more old-school form with, you know, “questions.”

As I said, I consider myself so left of center as to be practically tipping the scales for the entire state of Idaho. When something’s too workshop-approved for Me, it must be pretty damn bad.

** Outside of politics, of course. The real winner for “most 2017 experience ever” is trying every day to wake up from a nightmare dreamscape where Trump is President and teen magazines have helpful articles about how to survive nuclear fallout .

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