I got the question wrong (it was "the velocity of the current when the sediment settled to the bottom"). In fact, I got a lot of questions wrong! This is the first time that I've put 100% of the effort I can afford to put in to studying for a test and still gotten a marginal grade. Oh well. There's always the next exam.
In my biology class yesterday, the professor had us fill out a mid-term evaluation. We had to evaluate the lectures, homework, tests and material. At the end, there was a space for us to put our own participation level.
I hadn't considered how much time I put into my classes before. I go to every lecture, read every assigned chapter, and probably spend 1 to 2 hours a day doing homework/studying for each class I take. Total, I put about 32 hours a week into my biology and geology classes (3 hours of class, 3 hours of lab, 10 hours of homework for each class). Consequently, the lectures are very clear, the tests are relatively easy and the homework is not that difficult.
I got to peek at some of the evaluations being passed down to the front of the class. A lot of people had admitted that they didn't put much time into the class. Those were the same people who thought that the lectures moved too fast, the tests were too difficult and the homework was too time-consuming. And all the kids in the class are biology majors.
It made me think about my freshman year of college and how "the college experience" was so important to me. I wasn't going to school to learn; I was going to experience freedom. I knew that if I didn't go to college, I would have to get a job and start being responsible for myself. If I went to college, I would just have to do a little more school (I'd been doing it for 14 years, how hard could it be?) in exchange for a nearly responsibility-free life for 4 years.
I wonder if the kids in my bio class are doing the same thing - just going to school because it sounded cool/because they felt they had to. Or are they just adjusting to their first semesters in college, not realizing how much time and effort are required to do well? Perhaps they don't care how they perform academically. Or, maybe they do care, but they don't want to have to put in the effort. Did they do well in high school with minimal effort and are expecting the same thing in college?