Every Tuesday and Thursday, I could post a rant about how bad the lecture in Uncertain Inference was or how hard the homework was. I haven't been doing this because it would be pointless, it would basically be the same thing every day. But now that I think of it, lack of content never stops anyone else from writing something online, does it. I mean, the very concept of a weblog (not counting all the group blogs that are communities of their own, I'm just talking about the blogs that are the equivalent of diaries posted online like, well, this one) strikes me as a harmless-but-pointless idea. Sure, I find it fun or I wouldn't be doing it, but the idea of it... my friends know most of what I post here, I could put the links and articles in my AIM profile, and I very much doubt that strangers care how I like my classes. Of course, now that I'm writing about this I've looked through a few at random and found one or two I think are interesting. Maybe I'll follow everyone's example and make mine more interesting. Well, that would involve either lying or drastic lifestyle changes. On second thought, maybe I'll just post more. But I waste enough time as it is. Sigh...
ANYhoo... I don't write about Uncertain Inference and professor Kyburg unless I have something interesting to add. But this time I do. Okay, picture it: you're in a class. The homework is being handed back. The teacher spends some time at the beginning of the lecture reviewing the homework (something that never happens). He said he's doing this because no one got the homework problems right. He wouldn't normally have done this, because now we've fallen behind a little bit more on the syllabus. Now, what does a normal person, a thoughtful being, or a good-or-even-just-halfway-decent teacher say to this? "Sorry, I guess I should have explained it better." Or "Gee, you'd better understand this before we move on."
What did Professor Kyburg say? "Okay. I think you all could have done the work, so consider this [lecture] punishment for not having done it."
Punishment! He wrote the textbook with a typo on every page. He gave the lecture that rushed through the subject the first time, trying to catch up with his arbitrarily-defined schedule. What is he punishing us for???
If I didn't dislike this teacher so much that I'd have a hard time speaking up spontaneously around him (and, of course, if it was the kind of class where people spoke up easily, and if I was the kind of person, and I didn't fear him taking offense, and so on...) I would have responded with something like "I don't consider it a punishment, personally, because it would be nice to have this stuff explained a little better." As it is... grrr.