Thursday, 25 February 2010

school rant

It's a common misconception that the British love to queue up for stuff. And on the face of it, there is a great deal of empirical evidence that would support this hypothesis.

This idea is, of course, bunk.

The act of queuing is merely a means to an end. We like to queue because we like to complain. Queuing in supermarkets is the best. We can look at all the other queues moving quicker than ours and complain about that; we can complain about the person in front of us that has filled their basket exclusively with items that don't scan; we can complain about the fact that they only ever open up a new till after we've been queuing for a million years and it's finally our turn to be served; or we can complain about the old boy at the head of the queue that wants to pay for his shopping with a mixture of coupons, buttons and bits of fluff. We don't like queuing; we like grumbling.

Grumbling is our national pastime.

So please bear with me while I indulge in our national pastime and get my grump on. Here's a blow-by-blow/module-by-module account of how school has been giving me The Rage of late.

  • Dynamics, Noise & Vibration.
Dr VC cannot teach. Fact. There's no doubt that he knows his stuff, and I'm sure that in his head it all makes perfect sense, but he is completely incapable of communicating it to anyone else. For most other subjects this isn't a problem; I can just go by the notes instead. But unfortunately Dr VC's notes are just the same deranged stream of consciousness... dig this;

"As indicated above, if the methods of theoretical modal analysis are applied to linear systems, all the methods used for 1-DOF systems can be applied, vis: (complex) algebraic or phasor (Argand) diagrams to obtain the Particular Integral (steady behaviour) for sinusoidal excitation, the foregoing (for sinusoidal) or "common sense" algebraic methods (for non-sinusoidal excitation) plus superposition of complementary function ("transient") and application of initial conditions can be used to obtain the complete the solution; alternatively the Duhamel integral (called the "convolution integral" by many American authors)."

Fuck you, Dr VC.

  • Thermofluid Systems.
Okay, so there's three hours of Thermo each week. The first hour and a half is with Dr TM, teaching one topic. The next hour and a half is with RLF, teaching something else entirely. Then the following week, there's an hour and a half of computational fluid dynamics theory with CT, followed by an hour and a half of actual computation fluid dynamics. And then the next week it's back to the start again, and we all have to try and remember whatever it was Dr TM was banging on about a fortnight ago before our heads were filled with a bazillion different kinds of Thermo. WHY, IF YOU WANT TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THERMOFLUID SYSTEMS, WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT LIKE THIS?!

  • Operations and Quality Management.
This module is essentially one big group project.

(from - thanks Charlie Cat)

Group projects suck balls.

  • Group Design.
Way back at the start of the year, a bundle of us came back from a year on industrial placements to discover that one of the bastard modules from the second year had been re-named and moved to the third year; which was a problem, since university rules prevent students from earning credits on the same module twice. So the module is cancelled, and the Group Design module is the half-arsed attempt to fill the gap.

And yes, it's another group project.

  • Individual Project.
As the title suggests, this is an Individual Project. As such, everything that's going wrong with it is entirely my own doing. This does not make me feel any better at all, as it happens.

  • Mechanics of Materials.
Seems to be going okay. I can only assume that some dreadful calamity will occur later in the year.

And yet despite all this, I find myself feeling somewhat slightly chipper of late. There must be something very wrong with me...


Matt said...

I passed the dynamics module, and what you've written there makes no sense.

Willard said...

Well, it's clear as day to me. You just need to re-phrenologise yourself.