A sad state of affairs

This is a discussion on A sad state of affairs within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I was helping a friend of mine with his C homework (sledman2k2). I was at his house looking over the ...

  1. #1
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    A sad state of affairs

    I was helping a friend of mine with his C homework (sledman2k2). I was at his house looking over the source, and i wasn't able to figure out what was wrong with it. I looked at his assignment then looked at the example the teacher had given. I finally figured out the problem when i tried to compile it. He had told me there was some weird error, but i hadn't seen it yet. It turns out the teacher had used a function call in her example source, and never defined it anywhere in her prog. When students had asked her about it she even went to the extreme of saying it was declard in stdlib.h....baloney. So i helped my friend write a definition for the function and everything worked fine. She was supposed be be teaching them functions, and my friend didn't even catch what the error meant when he came across it, he didn't even know what it meant to return something (return 0, etc). so i spent about 5 hours at his house teaching him the in's and out's. He rewrote his program that night with all the new things i had taught him.
    I found out the next day that his teacher thought he was cheating because of the drastic change in his source...so i drove to his college to meet his teacher, and I gave her the reeming of her life. I taught him more in a day than she did in weeks, and she didn't even do a good job on what she did taught. So she apologized to him, and took some suggestions from me on what she should do when teaching.
    What is it coming to when a teacher has to take lessons on teaching from a student? I feel very bad for other students in that class.

    anyone else ever run into a situation like this?
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  2. #2
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >anyone else ever run into a situation like this?
    All too often. In fact, I run fairly regular tutoring with some local students and I've seriously toyed with applying as an instructor at that school.

    -Prelude
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  3. #3
    Code Monkey Davros's Avatar
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    That reminds of several occasions in my past.

    One was a physics practical were we had to 'design' an electronic circuit & build it on a bread board. So I designed, built it, and got it working.

    When the teacher came round, he said, 'No that's wrong'.

    'What do you mean it's wrong? It works.'

    'I doesn't matter if it works, you designed it wrong', he said. I tried to explain that there isn't necessarily a right or wrong design, but many & I had solved the problem. But to no avail. 'Well, your design isn't the design you were expected to come up with. So you're not going to get any marks for it', was his bottom line.

    In the end, I had to go through the pointless exercise of unplugging everything and simply copy the guy next to me, who had, apparently, the correct design.

    I didn't learn much about electronics that day, but I did learn that it is usually pointless trying enlighten such people. Just give 'em what they expect. They simply don't think like we do & can't understand.

    I also had an electronics teacher at school who used to say things like:

    'So what book did you design that from?'

    and,

    'There's no point in you trying to design something. Everything that could be designed has already been designed by someone else. So just find a book with the circuit you want to build.'

    It's to the C teacher's credit that she apologised and accepted that she was wrong. Let's hope she doesn't take it out on your friend when marking his exams.
    Last edited by Davros; 11-01-2002 at 10:36 AM.

  4. #4
    RoD
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    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
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    Well in relevance some of you read my topic on the shortend operators that my teacher told me were wrong.

    She said

    variable += number;

    was a bad practice and i should use

    variable = variable + number;

    ....Funny, today i went into class aiming to discuss this with her, and she was using them in our next program! I asked her about this after class and she admitted i was correct (firrrrrrst!).

    A student commented

    "I tried to compile a few lessons from our text at home but it kept giving me errors."

    She said he must have been doing something wrong, so i jumped on it.

    "You know, i bet you didn't install the custom header files off the texts website did you? You see this book uses functions/names that are defined in its header files and are nowhere near standerd C++ function names. For example, when checking the length of a string, you would not use CheckStringLength() unless you are using the texts header files. This is why you should learn how to build your own header files."

    He thanked me and life went on, she told me she was suprised i knew that. I told her i was suprised she didn't lol.

  5. #5
    Peace
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    I think its horrible to be taught to do something only one way. If you're not adaptable, you aren't very useful. Especially in the world of programming, we sometimes need to be able to approach simular situations in very different ways. Requirements and previous code may restrict or alter your ability to do many things in the "standard" manner. I think that its best to master basics and concepts, and learn to implement your solutions uniquely adapted to your problem.

    Somewhere around here I saw a signature stating: "There's always another way" ... Wish I could remember where... Smart guy...
    "There's always another way"
    -lightatdawn (lightatdawn.cprogramming.com)

  6. #6
    RoD
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    >>Somewhere around here I saw a signature stating: "There's always another way" ... Wish I could remember where... Smart guy...

    I was bout to post "its l@d" then i realized u posted that :P

  7. #7
    Refugee face_master's Avatar
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    >> anyone else ever run into a situation like this?

    Its the story of my life. Thats why I read everything about programming/computing from books and learn it from toying around with different things. Then I get full marks in all the tests and my teacher's like "what the hell..?" thinking to himself that he never even taught it let alone understand it.
    Please direct all complaints regarding this post to the nearest brick wall Have a nice day.

  8. #8
    Cgangster
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    Re: A sad state of affairs

    Originally posted by Waldo2k2
    I was helping a friend of mine with his C homework (sledman2k2). I was at his house looking over the source, and i wasn't able to figure out what was wrong with it. I looked at his assignment then looked at the example the teacher had given. I finally figured out the problem when i tried to compile it. He had told me there was some weird error, but i hadn't seen it yet. It turns out the teacher had used a function call in her example source, and never defined it anywhere in her prog. When students had asked her about it she even went to the extreme of saying it was declard in stdlib.h....baloney. So i helped my friend write a definition for the function and everything worked fine. She was supposed be be teaching them functions, and my friend didn't even catch what the error meant when he came across it, he didn't even know what it meant to return something (return 0, etc). so i spent about 5 hours at his house teaching him the in's and out's. He rewrote his program that night with all the new things i had taught him.
    I found out the next day that his teacher thought he was cheating because of the drastic change in his source...so i drove to his college to meet his teacher, and I gave her the reeming of her life. I taught him more in a day than she did in weeks, and she didn't even do a good job on what she did taught. So she apologized to him, and took some suggestions from me on what she should do when teaching.
    What is it coming to when a teacher has to take lessons on teaching from a student? I feel very bad for other students in that class.

    anyone else ever run into a situation like this?
    This is kinda common in the school system these day. I took a C/C++ class last year, and my teacher dont know shiet much about the language. He don't master enough the basic programming concepts and principle. He got stuck many times
    when students raised a question. He just say I will explain to you tomorrow or some other time later. I really dont learn any thing from him at all even I got an A on his class because mostly I self-study from over internet and from friends.
    That's why I have no wonder your friend's case.

    Cgangster

  9. #9
    Blank
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    It's worse when you can have the opposite.
    One of my professors is always like
    "What you really can't see this!".
    My math professor last semester was reduced to just letting us name the variables.

  10. #10
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    Re: Re: A sad state of affairs

    Originally posted by Cgangster
    This is kinda common in the school system these day. I took a C/C++ class last year, and my teacher dont know shiet much about the language. He don't master enough the basic programming concepts and principle. He got stuck many times
    when students raised a question. He just say I will explain to you tomorrow or some other time later. I really dont learn any thing from him at all even I got an A on his class because mostly I self-study from over internet and from friends.
    That's why I have no wonder your friend's case.

    Cgangster
    You may know C/C++, but might want to work on your English
    Truth is a malleable commodity - Dick Cheney

  11. #11
    Rambling Man
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    You may know C/C++, but might want to work on your English
    English could very well not be his/her primary language, so if that case is true, give him/her some credit.

  12. #12
    Refugee face_master's Avatar
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    This is kinda common in the school system these day. I took a C/C++ class last year, and my teacher dont know shiet much about the language. He don't master enough the basic programming concepts and principle. He got stuck many times
    when students raised a question. He just say I will explain to you tomorrow or some other time later. I really dont learn any thing from him at all even I got an A on his class because mostly I self-study from over internet and from friends.
    That's why I have no wonder your friend's case.
    Yeah same with my retarted "computer studies" teacher. When I ask him a question that is past the knowledge of 'PC's for dummies', his answer is always "uh, we'll get to that later..."

    retard...
    Please direct all complaints regarding this post to the nearest brick wall Have a nice day.

  13. #13
    Cgangster
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    Cool Re: A sad state of affairs

    Originally posted by salvelinus
    You may know C/C++, but might want to work on your English
    Would you like to be my English teacher? I will teach you back
    Spanish, French and Chinese or something else.

  14. #14
    Unleashed
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    > A sad state of affairs
    It's like the old saying goes, "You're on your own, kid."
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

  15. #15
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    another thing i've noticed is that the assignments they use to teach are so FRIGGIN retarded it's not even funny! Some of the things they have to do are just so clunky, and they really don't see how to use what they're learning. To clarify, sledman was working on one program that took in variables for rainfall in a month, for 12 months of the year (was clunky to write, even worse to optimize with arrays). Sure, i can show him some code in a for loop to step through the array, he may understand it, but all he sees is that he can use an array in that particular manner. He doesn't see all the extra stuff like using for loops and arrays to solve mathmatical problems or do quick calculations. He has trouble grasping the difference between:
    int integerArray[5];
    and
    integerArray[4]=3;
    That's what the exercise should have taught him if anything, and it didn't. Things like that need to be learned in two steps. The first: a simple example, bare bones code to show how the technique can be used properly (no errors) doing something simple like printing to the screen. Then, send em off on their own at the end of the week. Tell them over the weekend to write a program that does anything they want, but incorporates somehow what they've learned over the week. Now i realize that some students do need direction, so make a list of suggestions, but don't tell a programmer to write a program that calculates tax returns for crying out loud. They will never ever see the power or value of the language doing arbitrary stuff like that, I know i wouldn't have.
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