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Friday Five, 'cause Mahdi found a nice one. - Lograh — LiveJournal

Friday, 29.Aug.2003

10:14 - Friday Five, 'cause Mahdi found a nice one.

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1. Are you going to school this year?
Yup.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
well, I'll be attending classes at CSUS. And why is it assuming that if you are not going, it's becuase you graduated? Is there some stereotype that only people who graduated are the ones not going to school? I'll answer the second one also, I got my BA in 2000.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
Math, Philosophy, Psychology. In that order.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
I think Computer Science is taught mostly in a very boring manner, History is often taught with too much emphasis on dates instead of events/lessons, and the simple concept of being graded on Art is one of the silliest ideas I've ever come across. So, I really don't have any problem with any subjects, just the way they are traditionally taught.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
Oh yes.. Tons. For so many different reasons. Listening to other people talk about their school experiances, I have come to the conclusion that one of two things must be true: 1) I have been extrodinarilly blessed with superb teachers, or 2) I approach school in a drastically different way from most people (and hence I more readilly enjoy my teachers).
That said, here's a list of some that stand out more than others, and a short description of why each struck me so strongly:
I forgot his name, but my math teacher at Crittenden Middle School -- he was the first teacher to show me theoretical math, and started me on the journey to being a math major.
Again, I forgot the name, but my teacher for 5th grade -- he let me stay in the classroom during recess and lunch and worked with me in Chemistry, Biology, and Math. He gave me my first Periodic Table (laminated) and I memorized the first 30 (or so) elements on it (name, number, weight, electron structure, and some basic properties).
The teachers in the Corporate Academy at Hiram Johnson when I went there. They each had a profound impact on my educational growth and personal changes. Mr. Pugh (Math), even though I didn't ever take a class with him (my math was too far along for him to teach), taught me some more of the theoretical math. He and I would sit in his classroom during lunch sometimes, or after school sometimes talking about various patterns in math and working out little theories of our own. Mr. Radman (English) allowed me to explore the english language in my own way. He didn't often require me to join the group discussions or readings (as those books were below my level anyway) but when he did, he would prod me with questions about what the story was really trying to convey. Again, much out-of-class time was spent with him. Mrs. Puente was the first teacher I had that showed me just what it meant to be a teacher. Sure, the other teachers cared about my progress, but she was the first that cared about the progress of *ALL* of her students. She was the only teacher all through K-12 that I ever saw give out her home phone and address, and actually encouraged her students to come to her if they ever needed help with anything. She truly "went the extra mile" to try and form a personal bond with her students. Mrs. Manolis (Computer Science) actually went so far as to have various individuals she knew from outside school come on to the campus and teach me various topics after school. She also was one of the first to introduce me to the political aspect of the teaching institution by speaking on my behalf to the administration and teachers in other departments to let me skirt by some various requirements by meeting them in unconventional means.
Professor Meade, my Calculus teacher at Sac City College (she's gone now), was my first introduction to math at the college level. She spent many hours working with me trying to overcome my resistance to doing homework. She eventually got me to the point where I would at least glance at the homework problems each time they were assigned just to be sure I could do them easilly. She taught me that "everyone eventually hits a place where they will suddenly have to start working. Those who haven't prepared for this will not make the transition." (said in regards to my (at the time) deplorable study habits).
Professor Bruce, whose "Psychology of Death and Dying" class at City College (take it if you haven't yet -- no, seriously: take it) taught me a new way to live.
Dr. Hamilton, who in one independant-study course opened my eyes up to the joy that is Topology and helped me find the topic that will likely become my life study.
Dr. Shannon, who is likely one of the most gentle humans alive, demonstrated the boundless patience and understanding we think of when we idealise what a teacher should be. He had such concern for his students as individuals, and his class as a whole, that he has been able to take even the most math-phobic individuals and have them actually loving him and looking forward to his class. I keep an image of him in my mind whenever I'm tutoring anyone on any topic. I try to follow his example of patience and adaptability.
Dr. Long. His teaching style is also one that I remember fondly and try to mimic whenever applicable. He brought the Chinese Philosophy class I took to life by not just presenting the material, but showing the material in action. He would adjust his teaching style to the topic at hand for the day, and he encouraged class participation so much that we wound up learning almost as much from one another as we did from him. He also rejected outright the concept of "minimum words" for an essay. He helped teach me how to write a paper that said what needed to be said, and nothing more (it was also the only time that I managed to get away with turning in a 4 line traditional-style poem for a final essay, and it raised my grade almost an entire letter (went from B to A-)).
Dr. Gwynn. He was one of the few Computer Science teachers that honestly understood computer science. He never marked you down for doing something differently than the way he taught, he never forced you to write code in a particular style, or space. He was the only CS teacher I ever had (or spoke with) that would go on record in defense of the "goto" statement (explaination for non-techies: it's a bit of code that is commonly considered the downfall of modern computing, but can actually be it's savior if used properly). He simultaneously encouraged us to recognise "the box" and identify it's strengths (and use it when appropriate), yet also promoted "thinking outside" of it. He helped me to further develope a sense for approaching a problem from all angles, rather than getting caught up in one way of thinking.

Yeah, that's just a few off the top of my head, there are many others that I greatly enjoyed, and fondly remember learning under (Drs. Etter, Ebrahimzadeh, Pascall to name a few), but the above are probably the ones who had the most lasting impact on me as a person.

Comments:

From:serenica69
Date:12:09 29.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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What did you like about your "Psychology of Death and Dying" class? Was it the teacher's way of teaching or the course studies that made it so unique? Do you think it would be as effective if taken at another college or under a different instructor?
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From:lograh
Date:12:47 29.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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It was partially the subject matter, but mostly it was the way he in particular approached it and taught it. I've heard stories of people taking it from other professors at other colleges, but never with such good results as I had.

Take that class, from that instructor, at that college. He does it the best and that college recognises it and lets him.

I personally know at least 4 other people who have taken it from him and all of us had fantastic experiances in it.
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From:ktbee
Date:12:16 29.Aug.2003 (UTC)
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Professor Bruce also made such an impact on Sarah with that particular class that she changed her major from Communications to Pyschology. Of course, now she is getting a graduate degree in Transpersonal Pyshcology so we will never know if Professor Bruce used his powers for good or evil ;)
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