Confessions of an Engineering Washout

Clutching the shredded tatters of my pride and dignity, I trudged to the office hours of my math instructor every week, seeking an explanation for the increasingly mysterious problems in the textbook. My instructor welcomed my presence as she would welcome the Angel of Death. Irritated? She was terrified. Explain…the problems? Articulate…the steps? Relate…the concepts? I would ask questions, and she would respond by completing yet another sample problem as fast as she possibly could, blushing nervously. I felt like I was on a Star Trek episode. “Captain, I think I understand…the creature communicates through multivariable calculus problems!”

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. She was as American as I am. Spoke perfect colloquial English. —Douglas KernConfessions of an Engineering Washout (Tech Central Station)

My first teaching job was in what was at the time called the Engineering Writing Centre at the University of Toronto.

Of course, pretty much any reference to Star Trek is blog-worthy to me, but I already decided to blog this when I saw a different excerpt on Joanne Jacobs.

Her points don’t directly apply to Seton Hill, since we don’t have teaching assistants and we don’t have an engineering school, but I still found the subject interesting.