Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Perl Before Swine

Went to Perl class at Mission College and it was a crock. Instead of a classroom layout with computers at each seat like they had at my Java classes at Foothill, this was a Unix lab, with a long row of tables going from the front of the room to the back, with Sun workstations back to back. CRT monitors on them. The instructor is a very short Indian woman, and she could not be seen over the terminals from the back of the room where I sat. Or from three seats back, for that matter.

She was almost totally unprepared.

First of all, she did not know the login/password for the class accounts, so none of us could use the workstations. She also did not know how to get her email or set up the class on the Mission College web site, so she gave us the URL for her Foothill/DeAnza site. She wants us to print out our assignments and staple the pages together, and hand them in during class. No floppies, no CDs, no email, no ftp. Pretty disgusting for a computer class. She said she never uses Windows, and has no clue how to use Perl on a Windows machine. The lab only has Unix boxes. OLD ones.

She said the class will be 1 hour of lecture, followed by as much time on the workstations as we want. I'm feeling ripped off, because the catalog says there is a 3.5-hour lecture, plus another 3.5 hours of lab time. On the other hand we're getting 3 credits for a 1-credit class. As if that mattered to me at my advanced age.

I'm also feeling ripped off because the book which was listed for the class, which I bought online 2 weeks ago, is not the one she is using. While she said we could use any book we wanted to, it turns out her "lecture" is simply reading the book to us. So after class I went to the bookstore and got a copy.

Some good news is she is not taking attendance, and as long as we show up for the final and hand in our assignments, we're good as far as grades go.

The class starts at 7 pm. At that time, only 6 people were there. Four of them had not registered for class. By 8 pm, there were 25 people in the room, and only 8 had pre-registered. She was happy to add everyone who wanted in, because it means the class won't be canceled, and she also knows at least half these people will drop. I'm guessing we'll have at least 4 fewer next week as the Windows specialists go bye-bye.

As she was processing the adds, one of the students figured out the login and password from hints which were on the board from the previous class. I had already tried those, I thought, but it turns out my cAPSlOCKwas on at the time....

I can telnet in to that account from home, so I won't need to build a Unix machine, or mess with installing Perl on my Windows laptop.

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