Thursday, September 4, 2008

Laziness Discovered

I decided to get a CS minor because as a Bioinformatics major you are only lacking 3 credits. The thing is, after taking CS142, CS235, CS236, and CS240 (all programming classes), you have the option of what those last three credits can be. Your options range from CS100 - Fundamentals of Computing, to some much more difficult classes. Last summer I was faced with the dilemma of choosing between the easy way out, or learning for the intrinsic value of learning. I chose the easy way out and took CS100.

I was already feeling a little guilty talking a 100 number (not just 100 level, but actually a 100 course) class in a subject I feel rather proficient in, especially as a senior. I felt more guilty when I walked into the class and noticed that there were actually girls in the class. Girls! In CS class? I felt out of place.

But to top if all off, I finally noticed who my teacher is. It just happens to be the same teacher I had for CS236, by far my most difficult CS class to date. So I slouched down in the back row, hoping the teacher wouldn't recognize me.

I'm not sure exactly what scares me. I think it might be this though... All through High School and College I felt like I have been playing the educational game. I've crammed for almost every test I have taken, often in the halls of the testing center itself. I've switched class sections to another teacher after showing up for the first day if the workload seems unnecessary. I've emailed teachers and asked them to recalculate my grade if by my calculations I deserved a higher letter grade on my report card (and it worked). I guess I just feel like I've learned to work the system to get good grades. Maybe this is all normal and everyone does it. But I feel like this decision to take CS100, not to learn but to fulfill a requirement in the easiest way, is a very visible decision. I guess I am nervous that a teacher is going to see through my actions and call me on it. And maybe something seems inherently wrong about selling out and taking the cake class when I should be here to learn.

Oh well. I'll enjoy making my Excel files, editing sound files, tinkering in Photoshop, and making a website about my family. I've got bigger fish to fry this semester.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

I completely identify. I've become great at working the system, and so I've tried to remind myself that I'm really here to learn, not to get by with the least amount of effort possible. I don't blame you at all for taking CS100, mostly because I have no room to talk, but also because you're probably taking much more difficult classes that you'll have to worry about. Work the system with this one, but learn all you can in the others to allay your guilt. :) It is possible to work the system and learn a lot at the same time...