Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fall 2012 - Shit My Teachers Taught Me

During this semester, the TA (teachers assistants) union went on strike repeatedly, stopped reporting grades, and caused general confusion and frustration. I have no particular stance on unions except that not getting my midterm mark until finals may have resulted in Hulk-like behaviour. (If we wanted to see our marks, students could put in a special written request to a union who does not represent us who would then consider for six to eight weeks until giving us the marks we need to graduate. Maybe.)

My classes were Intro to Sociology, Quantitative Research Methods, Qualitative Research Methods, and Prostitution.
Yes, I said prostitution. Yes, everyone makes me repeat that.

Intro to Sociology
I am so glad Crim is not a sub-set of Sociology anymore.

Final project was to "be creative" on a posterboard. Because apparently posterboard is still an acceptable means of reporting knowledge.

Moving on...

Quantitative Research Methods in Criminology
My prof liked to point out fancy words (like "bivariate regression" and "kurtosis") that we could use in casual conversation with our parents so they'd feel like we're actually learning stuff. I've already forgotten what those words mean but I plan to keep using them.

My tutorial was named "Raspberry”—as opposed to "Tutorial #4"—because we were awesome and sleep-deprived like that. Someone gave the TA a bottle of raspberry Smirnoff during the last tutorial. Isn't university great!

At the final exam, my nerves were making me queasy. Or maybe it my hang-over. Either way, the prof stopped and asked if I was okay because he had a girl faint once and it was real pain for him.

Qualitative Research Methods in Criminology
Every time my Jamaican TA said "faculty" it sounded like "fuc-ulty." That is all I learnt in this class.

Oh, and transcription's a bitch.

I also wrote a 20 page research project that consumed my life for a month. I was so relieved to hand it in, until I got it back and it was full of red marks correcting my "misuse" of commas. Except there was no misuse. I know my commas. Tsk, tsk, TA Marker.  

Prostitution in Canada
Fighting to get into this class was so worth it. The prof is one of the few Canadian experts on the subject, plus he’s super old, British, and swears constantly. His favourite “argument” was how without prostitution men would explode! He would act it out. Classic.

I loved that the class had such a specific topic. I feel like I understand the whole issue now, not just as the textbook or the professor sees it. I also wrote a 15 page paper on what I think Canadian prostitution law should be that took every fiber of my student-being to write but that I’m actually quite proud of now. And it got an A!

The prof laid out all the marked papers just outside the exam room and when I picked mine up, I noticed that the one beside it had “prostitution” misspelled in the title. The prof had circled it and written “ouch...”

Did you know that if you are discussing selling/buying sex with someone in your home and the curtains are open to the street that that is illegal? But if you shut the curtains, it’s not?

-          Prostitution is legal in Canada.
-          Prostitution law in Canada has no clear purpose and is horribly contradictory.
-          Prof’s second favourite “argument” was that women don’t buy prostitutes because they don’t want to pay for a lousy service. Heh.

And that’s what my teachers taught me!