Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Worst classes

Recently I was thinking about the worst classes I ever had to take during my schooling, which encompassed age 3 to age 25. On deep reflection, these are the five worst classes I've ever taken:

1) Med school Biochemistry: I actually didn't hate all of biochem, but there were portions of it that I hated with my very soul. Like metabolism. I really don't like memorizing pointless stuff and metabolism was the epitome of that.

2) History: I guess I should be more specific and say something like "AP American History" (and I could, because I really did hate AP American History), but I can't really remember any history classes I ever took that I didn't hate. I find history boring, and if that means I'm doomed to repeat it, then so be it. The best semester of high school was when instead of history, I got to take economics. And in college, I avoided it entirely. But you know what? Despite hating history, I'm glad I was forced to take it. Because if I hadn't, I never would have learned that stuff on my own, and knowing, for example, that Benjamin Franklin wasn't ever a President is the kind of stuff that occasionally makes you sound intelligent.

3) Alexander the Great: When I was in college, I had to take a class about Alexander the Great. No, that would have been too broad... it was actually about the art depicting Alexander the Great. I never knew what the hell to write about for the essays, and the final exam involved memorizing 200 slides. It was the kind of thing that I forced my brain to do, knowing it would expel the information an hour after the final. Except then the final got interrupted by a homeless guy who claimed he had a bomb and was going to kill us all. This actually happened.

4) High school biology: I know you're thinking, how could someone who hated biology so much end up going to med school? That sounds like a mistake. And you'd be right. Granted, I hated the plant biology most of all and I didn't become a botanist. I think part of the issue was that I was trying too hard, so I'd spend like two hours on the homework every night, and my only reward would be a check plus. And then I bombed my biology project because I refused to bring fruit flies home with me over spring break. Actually, the only science class that I enjoyed through all of high school and college was chemistry.

5) Expository writing in college: I was forced to take this class during the first semester of college. We were supposed to write essays about short stories, and despite the fact that I liked the short stories, I discovered that I really, really suck at expository writing. It was a rude awakening, especially after high school, when all you need to do to write a good essay is read the book and have good grammar.

Honorable mention goes to physiology, immunology, pulmonary... well, half of med school, basically.

Classes I liked: MATH

I also liked high school level English, Art (drawing not art history), and computer science. How does that equal "doctor"?


  1. This is really funny.

    I also hate history, well, except for this one class I took in college on modern American history which was really fantastic, and my parents thought I was just trying to be different from them / rebelling since they LOOOOOVEEEEDDD history. Drove me CRAZY.

    I love econ, and most of the social sciences, mostly because I feel like they enhanced my understanding of the world. I liked biology for the same reason. I have to say I was lukewarm to cool on Gen Chem and Physics (though when I got As in them, it made me feel really smart). Ochem though, ochem I adored. Not sure why.

    My least favorite classes were: Italian, Latin, that humanities class freshman year of college where we read Kant and Aristotle, a Shakespeare class I took in high school, most history classes I was forced to take, oh, and this really really whiny class called "Sociology of Culture" where they tried to show us that microeconomics was wrong, and poor people were poor because of a giant conspiracy by "The Man."

  2. I find it easier to list the classes I've taken that I do like...My most recent Bio class (which I was sure I was going to hate, since I despised it in high school), high school phys/chem, a course on Domestic Violence, and a course to get my first responder cert. Oh, and gym/self defense. I always like that kinda stuff.

    Every thing else bores me to tears, almost literally. At least I have a good 'skip school' record...

  3. Loved all sciences (bio, chem and physics) just because as OMG said they taught me a lot about the world and somehow my brain "got" them. The same cannot be said for any language courses I took. My neurons simply don't like French. Oh and I hated gym (I know I'm like the *only* kid ever to say that). Something about being told to run around in circles for no reason made me think the gym teachers were insulting my intelligence. Also I have no hand-eye coordination and dislike any sport that involves balls (baseball? basketball? golf? - dislike; sailing? horseback riding? hiking? - love love love).

  4. I loved metabolic biochem...But when I say loved, I really mean that my friend and I made immature and inappropriate doodles in and around all the diagrams and spent hours giggling in the library.

    I also liked plant bio, I think because I absorbed the information really well so it didn't seem like a chore to study.

    I also loved AP European History. The teacher had a way of making lecture more like story-telling and thus, less boring. We didn't have to spend a whole semester on Alexander the Great, either. Ouch!

  5. This is almost identical to my list of hated/loved classes - except I was one of the rare few who loved biochemistry and chose to major in it. (Probably because I had so little of a life that I didn't mind being glued to a textbook memorizing irrelevant facts. I can still write out a good portion of glycolysis 14 years later.)

  6. Pretty much a solid match with me, too, with two exceptions. I did like high school biology (perhaps because I was homeschooled?), and there was not a single part of med school biochem that I liked.