Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Irony in this Whole Placement Thing

So I've been spending the better part of the past few days explaining to undergraduates that they can't take calculus until they've passed algebra. Well, that's not true: I've also been unadvising them. One took calculus at community college and the transfer paperwork hasn't gone through yet. I told her she might save time and money by taking something other than math this semester -- since it's extremely likely that the calculus course will transfer.

Fortunately no one from the computer science department has asked me if I'm qualified for the programming course that I'm taking this fall. The answer is almost certainly no.

Just like the freshmen who want to take a higher-level course than they should, I am sure that I'll work hard. I'm smart and stubborn. I learn quickly. And I have a transcript showing that roughly 15 years ago I took courses (one of which is no longer offered!) with similar titles as most of the prereqs. I'll promise you that they were taught in C (not Pascal). I still have my beat up old copy of K&R.