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Do I drop the class? Deadline tomorrow...


laboheme
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Tomorrow is the last day to drop classes, and I'm facing one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I'm currently taking a course overload (6 classes, 19 credits) and there's this weekly seminar that I absolutely detest. We're supposed to write a 35 page paper, but there's no information on the topic that I chose -- or at least nothing I can obtain in the next few weeks. The professor is highly unhelpful, too. Even though she approved my topic, neither of us can see it going anywhere...and I know that if I make do with the limited information that I can get, the paper will lack substance and receive a bad grade.

 

However, a seminar like this is required for my major. I have 5 more semesters to take one, but an appropriate one isn't offered next semester. And if I go abroad next year, I won't be able to take it then...and the year after that I'll have to work on my senior honors thesis, so the seminar class will be hard to handle. (Intensive research on two major papers that can't be related...feasible, but not desirable.)

 

So my choices are: 1). Dropping the class, having it on my transcript as a dropped course, and taking it sometime later...or 2. Sticking with it and getting a bad grade that would blemish my record (I'm willing to work hard, I really am, but I'm severely limited by the available information). Which one would you guys recommend? Which one would look worse on my transcript?

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A bad grade will look worse on your transcript. I once dropped an entire semester just before midterms, and I still got funding for my masters. But if I had gotten C's in those courses, it would have killed my gpa and I don't think that would have been forgiven.

 

But don't you already have to pay for this course? Paying for a course that you drop is really painful.

 

You have a third option. Go to your prof and say that you are nervous about getting a low mark. Tell her that you are willing to put forth extra effort, but you need guidance. You can find a way. I wouldn't drop it.

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You have two options:

 

Either drop this course today

 

OR

 

Haul some you know what and get that paper done.

 

You DO NOT want a bad grade on your report card. My freshman year I failed two classes and were like bowling balls on my overall GPA for the rest of my college years. Even C's are really nasty on your overall GPA.

 

Good luck in whatever you decide.

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If you know you're going to get a bad grade, just drop it. You don't want to pull down your other grades wasting time in that class.

 

Oh yeah, kudos to your professor for approving a topic that she didn't see going anywhere! I'd be so mad if I were you...

 

Best wishes

 

-V

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Try your absolute hardest. I was in a situation last semester where I had to rewrite FIVE papers for an art history course in which I kept failing them all and everyone had such a hard time. I had almost no free time, and the decision to make on whether or not I should drop the course or risk failing, being behind on credits and just having to take it again.

 

What I ended up doing was hard work-- I met with this instructor for several hours total and met with art history tutors, and working with the instructors in the writing center on campus. And I failed the exams so I had to rely on my papers.

 

Just get as much help as you can, don't give up because you have the option to back out... best to get it over with now and try your best. Maybe you should pick a different topic or ask around to your colleagues on what they're writing about... you never know what the situation will be like later on, and you'll be behind that amount of credits. Who knows if it will conflict with another course, and all of that..

 

By the way, I got a C+ and I never have to worry about the course again!

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I'd drop the course. The time put forth into this course can be used for other courses and make the probability of getting better grades in those courses increase.

 

And 6 classes is way too much of a course load. Shoot for 3-4, no need to rush through school. You want good grades, you want to actually learn what you are studying vs. just getting through requirements, and you want to have some fun while you are in school and explore other facets of your life, maybe sports, clubs, other hobbies, etc.

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Thanks for the responses, guys...

 

It's really not a matter of being overloaded...I'm getting solid A's in the rest of my classes, there's only one that I'm a little concerned about. I'm not worried about the paper taking away from other courses and am perfectly willing to put in the effort...I'm just afraid that it might be for nothing in the end (meaning, a bad grade).

 

In case you're wondering, the paper is about Gustave Dore's vision of the Apocalypse and focuses on his six illustrations to the Book of Revelation. Problem is, the man does not seem to be making any kind of point...based on everything that I've read, he just went, "Ooh, I want to illustrate every great book ever written. It will sure make me famous..." And unless I miraculously come up with a brilliant and original thesis that proves otherwise...my butt is toast.

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I once had a computer programming course that ate me alive. I swear this class was just horrible. I wanted to drop it so bad because I mean everyone was really doing poorly except those that knew the language already. I never had took a computer programming course before and java isn't the easiest language to learn. I mention industrial engineers have to take it and this was a class for computer science majors! The name of teh class was Computer Programming for MAJORS! 70% of the class were computer engineers and computer science. But I mention that class to the group of students in my major and we all shudder. It was a very intense semester and that class really pulled down my grade. I usually make all A's or almost all A's and that semester I got 2 B's, an A and a C. I got the C in java but I was just really happy to pass that class. That class sucked up literally all my free time and then some. The programs we had to write were frequent and difficult and we couldn't work in groups since he considered that cheating. The teacher was a jerk and always told us to see the TAs and blew us off...while the TAs had no clue what the teacher wanted and how to help us without "giving the answer away."

 

Despite struggling a lot, I actually had a high B thanks to writing programs almost perfectly (a good number of hours and latenighters went in to them and I was keeping on top of it all...I didn't procrastinate once...it was just an intense class). But the teacher screwed us all over by accusing half the class of cheating (I wasn't one of them thank goodness) and taking off programming assignment grades and giving them all zero. He had no proof of cheating...he just thought people were and wanted to punish them. The students happily took the dropped grades instead of risking academic misconduct. But the funny thing is...we all had the SAME program to write...of course they will look SIMILAR.

 

But how he screwed us over on teh exam...to start he lied to us in teh review and told us certain things we did not need to study and those things were all on the final. And then pulled things from the lecture that were not in teh book and he didn't talk about much. Yeah...unless you had had the language before or had done additional research, you struggled on that final. But 70% of the class were computer people so they did well. It was the rest of us that struggled...the MEs, IEs, and stuff. I ended up walking out on the final and thought I had failed. But when I got my grades and saw that I had a C, I was literally so happy I never had to take that class again.

 

I mean my grades are great overall so that little C says nothing other than I had a hard time in that one class. I'm sure future employers won't care. Though one thing I remember from the class is half way through the teacher tells us, "I was informed by the TAs that you are all undergraduates." He seriously thought we were all graduates in a 1000 level intro course.

 

I say stick with teh class and work harder (that's what I did in my java class). If you are struggling and usually a good student than most likely a lot of students are struggling as well. When you are done with school, your grades really don't matter unless you plan on doing graduate school and stuff.

 

And also just thought I'd say I am taking 7 courses this semester but it isn't that hard. Then again I should mention it is only 15 credit hours since 3 of the courses are 1 hour but they actually are harder because they used to be 3 hour courses and we are learning EVERYTHING in the 5 weeks we are in the class that we would have learned in an entire semester in a normal 16 week course. The only difference is that we don't go over concepts on why things are that way and how the formulas were derived. We just have the formulas and a little bit about how to use them (which was bad when my thermo teacher didn't teach us anything related to thermo...he had fun talking entire class periods about seat belts and proving creationism through entropy). I am in my fluid mechanics now and just finished with thermodynamics (that one SUCKED!!! but I got an A). And was done with Electrical Circuits 6 weeks ago (fairly easy).

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I forgot to even answer your question on what looks worse on a transcript. I think it depends on what you are wanting to do. If you want to get a degree and get a job then take the poor grade hit. It can always be replaced if you want to retake the course (at least here it is noted that you did poorly before but helps your overall GPA since it drops it from that). Dropping a course you are struggling in says that you quit when the going gets tough instead of trying harder.

 

Go talk to the professor and usually they will try to help you with your decision. But I've never dropped a course so...

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It doesn't make sense for you to drop the class. You're going abroad next year, so you can't do it then, and then your thesis.

 

My advice would be to choose another topic-- one that you can find lots of info on. Have you ever heard of link removed? I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but it's helped me so much with my papers. It has all these electronic books/journal articles/magazine articles that you can access. I'm finding it to be extremely useful for my graduate courses.

 

Take a day or two off from work (if you do work), and get a head start.

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