Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

That Does not Compute

My patience has run out. I cannot tolerate one more instance of a math text being wrong. You’d think something like A MATH TEXT BOOK would be free of error. HA! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent working and reworking calculations to get an answer that matches the software’s expectation, only to find out: the textbook is WRONG. 

A couple of times I’ve used the “let us know if you find an error” feature. But no more. It took over 6 weeks for a response to the last notice. My prof had one case that took the better part of a year to get resolved.

It’s hard enough learning new concepts. Add to that a layer of technology to master – an online textbook, with new add-ons for Excel, and the virtual BlackBoard and a statistics software package that we or may not need. I’m going with not. The $233.00 price tag is a tad beyond my means for a course that I will NEVER NEED TO USE ONCE I’M DONE!

An aside: the work itself is challenging enough without having to contend with hardware problems. When every key stroke counts and bandwidth matters, it does not help that your internet connection is suddenly not so connected anymore. (Don’t get me started on dealing with Rogers. The nice man helped me out today. Just like the nice man did yesterday. But the man of the house thinks that they are both full of kaka.  ARGH!)

Not the least of my gripes (thanks for listening, if you are still here, by the way) is the fact that I started the course more than a week late. All because the online textbook people thought it would be OK to migrate to a new server without advising their clients.  It was not a transparent move, as it turned out. Stuff got missed. Stuff like my math class information.

It’s big business this education thing. Put butts in seats, virtual or otherwise, collect the tuition and move on. Teacher’s who give a damn would love nothing more than to teach material that is engaging, current, and, my god, do I have to say it? CORRECT!  Last semester, my math prof said that he was shot down when he requested more meaningful material.  Schools simply do not have the resources.  Money or time.

I suspect that not one of the teachers in the math department has considered the course material from the student’s point of view. Sure, they have an understanding of the layout and they know how to navigate the software. But that’s from the comfort of their side of the equation, so to speak. I’m in the student’s seat, learning new material, trying to meet deadlines, and fending off computer gremlins.

It is not my job to edit the dang-blang textbook!

Rant over. Lunch break over.  Time to get back to the assignment.

Categories: Continuing Education

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. I am filled with genuine admiration. Maths for goodness sake! And stats, to boot. Getting to the stats component was enough to make me drop psych.


  2. You’re beautiful even when you’re ranting.

    And, now, I believe I’ve spammed you enough — I mean {cough} left you enough love — for the day.

    I’m off to zone out on the season finale of Sleepy Hollow.




  1. Decisions, decisions | The Zombies Ate My Brains

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