Monday, November 29, 2004

Almost there ... stay on target ... stay on target ...

[The geeks among you will recognize where the title comes from. If you don't recognize it, frankly, you're not missing much =)]
Two more weeks until the end of the semester. In an attempt to limit the amount of pain that professors can inflict, MIT has the rule that courses that have final exams aren't allowed to have homework that's due during the last week of classes. The idea is to give students at least a week to prepare for finals. So, of course, some professors follow the letter but not the spirit of the law by assigning not one, but two sets of homework to be handed in the last-but-one week of class [ie this week]. It just continues to make me wonder whether the educational philosophy of the Institute has more to it than a bedrock of pain, suffering and bloodshed. Interestingly enough, I've found that the people who share my issues with the way MIT conducts business tend to be other people who've been out in the real world and have some work experience. I think us old fogies realize that unless you're at NASA trying to figure out how to get Apollo 13 back to earth before the oxygen runs out, there's generally no reason to do as much engineering in as short a time as is doled out here. I don't think people who come here straight out of undergrad realize that, so they just take their beating with not much more than a whimper.

So, in two weeks I get to sit back and think about what actually happened in the last 3.5 months =)


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