It took me two days to calm down from it. That’s usually not a good sign. Two days, a pizza with cheesebread, a 6-pack of ciders, rearranging my office and a few other calming things later, I can now mention my first final without wanting to shoot flames.
My first final was my Operating Systems class (CPE336 for those UAHers). I’ve never had a worse final in my life. I’ve never felt like I had more wasted study time before either. I spent all day Wednesday (except for a three hour break for dinner) studying for that exam. I spent about 3 hours before the exam studying on Thursday, too. I understood all of the concepts that had been covered in the homeworks. I understood the few things that weren’t covered in homework but that he emphasized in class. I felt confident walking into that final at 3pm on Thursday. At 3:05 when he handed out the final and I read through it, my confidence crashed into oblivion. I had to sit for a couple minutes and just breathe and gain back a semi-relaxed state to start the exam. There was one question that I was able to reference the book for. The rest of them, my book and my notes didn’t help. There were 6 total questions. One of them was a design problem that was harder if not twice as hard as the one he’d given us on the midterm. He’d promised to us, to the whole class, that he wouldn’t give us a design problem and if he did, it would be much easier than the problem he gave on the midterm.
I think that’s the part that hurt most. I don’t even think I minded the fact that most of the test couldn’t be referenced to in our book (and subsequently our notes, since the slides came from the author of the book). What I minded most was that my teacher, a man that I trust to tell us the truth so that we can learn as much as possible from his class, lied to us outright in class. We didn’t even prompt him not to give us a design problem. It was his suggestion from the beginning. Well, I learned something all right. I learned that I can’t necessarily trust any of my teachers much less anything that they say. That’s sad, too, because on the whole, my teachers this term have been decent. Even Dr. Seo who I thought was a bit harsh on us earlier this term is a decent teacher. When I went to her with my problems, she helped me out. She was very lenient on my last program grade when I explained to her my workload. She’s always been honest about what to expect on a test and even though she doesn’t give us everything we need to do an assignment, she doesn’t lie to us and tell us something incorrect. Dr. Kulick did. The only reason I mention his name is so that if there is anyone who ever reads this post and has the opportunity to take him, I hope that this warns you away from him. Computer Engineering majors have no choice. He’s the only prof that teaches Operating Systems and that class is a requirement for CPEs.
Hopefully, on Wednesday when a group of us go to the chair to complain, that will change. Who knows. I know it’s impossible to get him kicked out. He’s tenure. But, I do hope that we can change things enough so that you are not required to go through UAH in the CPE department without having to take at least one class from him. As it is, I’m currently looking at my options so that I don’t have to take Real Time and Embedded Systems from him in the fall. I want to take the class, but I don’t know if I’m willing to take it from him and deal with him for another semester. I get burned once, I learn.
For now, though, I am putting that class and him behind me. For now, I have three more exams to take. Three more exams to prepare for. It’s time for me to get back to work. It’s time to breathe and move on with my life.