Journal Entry “Seven And A Half”

~Professor’s Done It Again~

This is a continuation of my last journal entry, just because I’d like to fill you in on how Van Ornum’s midterm went.

Remember how I mentioned teaching to the test is not really his style? Well, apparently teaching us anything is not his style. The man gave us a study guide filled with topics and terms that actually had something to do with Measurement and Evaluation, even though he never went over any.

I thought, “What the heck. Let me study this thing, maybe i’ll learn something.” So I took my notes, my flash cards, and spend an hour looking them over. It felt nice, pretending I had a real instructor instead of the nutty professor I knew him to be.

I walked into class with confidence up my sleeve. No tricks, no BS, that’s what Van Ornum promised. Amanda is sitting next to me in the front of the class, she is just ready to get it over with. I see Erin to my right, vigorously checking over her notes. Van Ornum Is shuffling the tests in his hands, waiting for the clock to hit 9:30.

And so it does. He shuts the door and tells everyone to put away their notes. “As future teachers,” he begins, “you must be prepared for anything that comes your way.” Two feet in front of me, I see the slightest smirk on his face. I’m not sure why that is, until he passes out the tests.

The class goes silent. We stare at our papers in astonishment. The whole test is math, percentiles and devision. We never learned this. It wasn’t on our study guide, in our notes or in the text book. The girl next to me belches out, “Can we use a calculator??”

“Nope,” He shoots her a rotten smile, “If you are going to teach 4th graders, you should know 4th grade math.”

Then this girl stands up. She has been in three of my classes and talks with a very sharp tongue. She walked up to him after everyone was settled. “You never taught us this. Nothing that you had us study is on this test.”

“Don’t be Jimmy Carter and complain!” He starts, “As teachers you should be prepared for whatever, and you should know how to do this without a calculator.”

“I can learn this on my own time, or with another professor. You never taught us math.” The girl, whose name escapes me, is shut down. None of us said anything out loud, but we were all rooting for her on the inside. I could feel it. I look over at Amanda, She’s writing some numbers down, where she’s getting them from I couldn’t tell you. I just know the sour look on her face says it all.

So I come up with some numbers, why not? I don’t have anything to loose. And at the very bottom, I wrote him a little passive aggressive note. Nothing that will get me on his bad side. Just a small sentence about “content validity,” a term that we were suppose to study and know for our midterm. It means the teacher is teaching what will be on the test, that the teacher is teaching what he or she should be teaching.

I told him he doesn’t have any.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll think i’m ballsy and give me an A. Either way, I only have 8 more weeks left with the guy, and I’m counting down the seconds.



  1. Does he have office hours? I found that visiting a prof and asking for assistance often helped immensely. Sometimes these guys need to know you care. They are so burnt by students who don’t give a s*#t. Couldn’t hurt. Maybe you’ll get a little of the “inside skivvy.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Angela,
    Hang in there. It’s sad to see college professors are the same strange birds they’ve always been.

    Many moons ago I was taking a course in European History. On wednesdays I had to trek from the bottom floor south wing to 2nd floor north wing; back to back classes with 10 minutes between. No big deal except for me wearing crutches and leg braces. One wed. I got to class a bit out of breath and the professor said since its such a long walk, why not come just on Mon and Friday. So I took him up on his offer.
    When grades came out I received a “C” which surprised me since I had no grades below “B.” So I said: “Doc, what’s with the C? All my grades were above B. In his Romanian accent, he says, “But you never came to class on Wednesdays.” I said: “But, you told me not to.” In reply, he says:”Oh, I was just kidding.”
    You’re not alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel like your professor’s heart is in the right place, but his execution of the lessons he’s trying to pass along to you is not so great. When he says, “As future teachers, you must be prepared for anything that comes your way,” and then gives you a test covering material he never taught nor told you to study, that’s not really teaching you to be prepared as you don’t know what to prepare for. My feeling tells me that he’s attempting to be clever… and failing miserably. He should at least give you some real-world idea of what kinds of experiences you’d have to be prepared for as a teacher. I mean, if nurses had this same type of instruction, I’d stay the hell away from hospitals for fear of my life or what would be remaining of it.

    I’m so sorry he’s wasting your time with this nonsense. Good luck in the next 8 weeks. Hopefully, you’ll find a better professor in the future. At the very least, though, this professor is giving you a nice lesson in how not to teach. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is that even allowed? Can you be tested on content that hasn’t been taught or even mentioned in the class syllabus. Honestly, if it was me I would anonymously complain to the Dean. He isn’t teaching you anything by giving you an exam on material you haven’t covered, he just jeopardizing your academic achievements.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, either that guy is a total (pick your bad word here), or a complete genius. If, indeed, he’s trying to teach you about content validity and has given you a test about nothing related to what you’ve been covering in class, he may be giving you a very hard lesson in what it feels like as a student when the teacher fails to follow-through. I don’t know, I’m not sitting there and so maybe I’ve got the wrong end of it. Either way, good luck, it sounds like you’ve got your stuff together and will get through come what may.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve crossed that theory off our list a long time ago. You see, if he was playing a game with us, He should have ended with the first joke of an exam. But who knows? Maybe we’re on a TV show none of us are aware of. “When good professors go bad.”

      Liked by 2 people

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