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Finals Week: Only One Final for Me!

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Yes, it’s that time of year once again, when essays are due, last-minute assignments are given, and students evaluate their professors. But, does it really mean that school is actually over and that vacation is coming? Not in my case…


My finals week is next week, and I’ll just have one formal final to do on Tuesday for my Land Use class. The other class I’m doing, Research Methods, does not have a final exam at all; instead, a last project is given wherein I pair up with someone and do a comprehensive survey of San Francisco in terms of relating three topics of interest using ArcGIS. My chosen topics include transit (obviously), employment numbers, and median family income, and my question that I pose for that project is this: how does median family income and transit ridership affect the overall employment in the areas I’ve chosen to study?

This week also, I’ve evaluated both my professors, in which I will not release my results on Rate My Professor; instead, I will just give an overview of my evaluations for them. My Research Methods professor, although he speaks fast, knows his topics very well, especially dealing with ArcGIS, a mapping tool, and SPSS, a statistics program used for Social Studies majors (Urban Studies being considered part of the Social Studies realm). And his method of teaching never ceases to impress me: his wonderful topic delivery, along with being helpful in dealing with individual assignments, makes me want him to be one of my long-term professors at San Francisco State. My Land Use professor, on the other hand, seems to be quite a hard character to deal with: not only he demands a lot from his students, his teaching style makes me feel bored and sleepy because he just talks on and on without giving a break for us to breathe and let his lessons into our minds. Despite the fact that he’s quite approachable, he has a very certain bias on bicycling and does not focus much on how the rest of the road users actually impact the overall network of land use and planning because it seems like the cyclists have been mandating more bike lanes at the expense of other motorists having narrower lanes to pass through.

It’s good to only have one final for me to work with, but, it’s quite hard what I’ve gone through this week: I presented a case study on the North Bay and rushed home to make a new essay to replace what I did on the presentation (in a record of two days!), in which I felt really tired and exhausted because I needed to grab both existing and new references to make the essay workable and look well for the professor to read. I mean, it’s quite tough to present one aspect of land use in a presentation then switch to another aspect when writing the essay, and oh man, I really worked my way through today to accomplish such task of a 10-page paper, plus about 12 pages worth of tables, maps, and a bibliography. It’s really tough, but, it works that way when you go deeper into university.

Fortunately, I survived another semester without any major issues with my professors. It was quite a ride dealing with brand new concepts and learned a lot on surveying, cartography, livability, and climate change in just one semester. I believe that the Land Use professor can do better by spreading out the lessons further and allow students to communicate in groups more often so that the class can be truly interactive, while my Research Methods professor can talk a bit slower so that more students can understand him better. This Spring, I believe that it has been a so-so semester, nothing spectacular nor disastrous, it’s just that the lessons have gone harder as I delve deeper into Urban Studies. But, I think that I can do better if I actually have a different teacher teaching a similar subject because it will help me get motivated to learn more about the subject if the teacher has genuine interest in discussing it.

I don’t want to say “Have a Good Summer” just yet because later, I will tell you what I’ll be doing during the summer vacation.

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