December 13, 2008 2:35 PM

EEP 100 + Commuting

EnvEcon 100 is over (except my final on Tuesday), so I thought I'd give it an evaluation.

This class has been one of the most difficult I've taken so far. It had more math than I anticipated. Also I noticed that my math skill has been getting rusty each semester. I would have preferred essays, but I'm not expecting it from any econ class. 50% of the grade comes from 10 problem sets, a 20% midterm, and a 30% final. Midterms and finals are curved, but not the problem sets.

Problem sets can give good grade boost since we usually had at least a week to work on it. However, commuting has finally took a toll on my academic performance. Most study groups happen at night and I have to leave campus by 8pm most of the time; I tried doing some problems sets on my own, but they were too hard and failed.

I am quite lucky that my study group has been doing great on problems sets, which I am grateful of because I would probably fail this class without them. I remember the problem sets from my intro EEP class, those were "solo-able". This time is completely different though. The lectures, discussion sections, and books didn't provide clear step-by-step instruction how to solve them. But I guess this isn't high school anymore where everything was spoon-fed. The professor even told us he wants to develop our thinking skills.

I do have one main complain on this course though--GSIs and the professor do not really discuss the answers to the problems sets. They don't even post the answers on bspace--unlike my intro econ class. I once asked my GSI why they never showed how to get the actual answers, she just said the professor told them not to. Personally, I HATE this. I learn best by going over what I did wrong, but if I can't find the correct answers and how to get them.. then I guess I'll be stuck with wrong knowledge.

My GSI also told me they don't want to post the solutions because they don't want future students to get a hold of it. I do not know how often students check answers from previous semester's problem sets, but I am guessing a good majority don't. I understand their point that they don't want the problem sets to become too easy (by copying answers from last year's problem sets), but isn't that why professors make new kinds of questions?

John Cortez | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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