Friday, July 10, 2009

I was SO mad... How Mad was I? Read on.

This is an email I sent to the communication department at the end of my worthless public speaking class. I don't really know why I am putting it out here but I am. So there.

By the way, I ended up with an A in the class.

Dean of the Communication Department,

I have just finished Com St 102, Section ** with Gail Miller as the instructor. I have some concerns I would like to voice regarding this class. We were scheduled to meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:25 to 2:40. Class regularly was released by 2:10. Normally this is not something to complain about however there was no teaching during the time we were in class.

Ms. Miller would have the students who were present sign in for attendance and then assign an impromptu speech topic. Each student would give their short speech on topics such as "convince us why you should get the winning lotto ticket we all found in here" or "using descriptive words, tell us about an experience at a job you have had" and she would give us feedback. The feedback was generally one of 3 or 4 suggestions like "more eye contact" or "don't move around so much".
While I can understand how these assignments would tie in to a good lesson plan, I do not think they can convey the material without a lecture. Our schedule would say we were to discuss certain subjects but without fail our class time would be spent performing inane impromptu speeches with no real benefit to learning.

In our syllabus we were assigned chapters of the book to read and given five quizzes throughout the semester. At the beginning of the schedule in the syllabus we are warned that "we will not cover all material in class, but you are responsible for having read it/ asking questions if any". I fail to see where there was any material covered in class which I'm quite sure is not a true reflection of the meaning of that statement.

Speaking of our syllabus, Ms. Miller does not know what is in it. I had the flu and was ordered by my doctor to stay out of school and any other public place as much as possible for the week. This led to my missing a scheduled quiz. I emailed Ms. Miller at the beginning of the week to let her know what was going on and asked when I should make up the quiz. She informed me that as per the syllabus, I could not make up the quiz. When I pointed out to her that the syllabus says "Generally, makeup quizzes will not be given" and argued that this should fall into that exception, she was genuinely surprised to hear about this 'loop hole'.

Our class took the final exam today, as scheduled. The material on the test was material none of us had ever heard of. It was in the reading we were assigned but never was it even uttered in class. Things about Monroe's motivated sequence... I had to ask my husband, who was a TA at Spokane Community College for a speech class, what it was as I had never heard of it. I fully resent being tested in such a hypocritical fashion; I would think it only fair to test students according to the teaching which has occurred.

My biggest complaint is that I paid so much money for this class and learned absolutely nothing. I do not feel that I have improved in my abilities as a public speaker in any amount. I think the most that I learned is that I can very comfortably get up and speak in front of the students which made up that section. I am not a student who is failing this class and looking to shift the blame; I expect to receive an A-, at the very lowest, from this class.

In order to save future students from this situation again, I would hope these issues might be brought to the appropriate people's attention and dealt with. If any further information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much for your time,


  1. Wow! Sounds like it was time someone said something. Did you ever get a response?

  2. I did get a response but since her name is in it, I don't think I'm going to fully announce the end result. They DID forward the email to higher ups and conversations were had. Beyond that, I'm quiet.

    Oooo, does that mean they bought me out? They bought my silence with a reply email? hmm.. May have to rethink this silence.


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