HERE'S WHAT YOU SAID
No contest - it was "Junior Comp" as English majors fondly referred to [I think] English 211. A paper a week, plus a heavy reading load and intense classes as Dr. Fred Silva demolished our papers one at a time. And all of this for 2 credit hours! My reward was one of my few undergraduate Cs, which, at this remove, I believe was a fair grade although I am certain I did not feel that way at the time. Still, if brutal, the course has been rewarding in the long term. On the other hand, I cannot look at a copy of The Great Gatsby without shuddering. Fitzgerald was the author we used as the critical subject and we read TGG at least six times that semester, mining even the semi-colons for every nuance. Michael George King ‘73
My most difficult course was Statistics, but I don't know why because I was
a math minor and member of Kappa Mu Epsilon. Robert Niles '61
The most difficult course that I had to take at the University of Albany was without a doubt statistics!!! I had to take the course more than once, and although the professors were very friendly and tried to help in every way possible, it simply did not click! What's terrible to say is that although I did take the course and finally passed it with a B or something to that effect, I can't recall all that I learned in that course!!! It's time for a refresher! I guess I'm not as bad as some others, my girlfriend is still pursuing her bachelors degree and can't seem to get past Organic Chemistry to save her life... (this is the 3rd or 4th time taking it... wow!) Oh well! Nohelani Etienne '02
Easily for me it was microeconomics. This class, like many others such as statistics and accounting, requires students to keep up with the readings and assignments timely, since each lecture builds upon previous sessions. By falling behind you are continually trying to catch up and become caught in a difficult cycle. Paul Schaffer ‘86
Okay - I'm ancient - a 1982 grad - but I still remember taking a graduate level Test and Measures class. We were all psych majors and math was not our strong suit. The professor was great, he understood our limitations and made the class material relevant to our needs. Unfortunately he either became ill or passed away during the semester. The replacement teacher was a true math geek and it never occurred to him that we might not be...after a couple of classes, I drew the short straw and had to ask him to slow down - he had lost the entire class. He taught the materials as if we were in the movie “Good Will Hunting.” All I wanted to do was counsel students, not compete with John Nash. Of course we all survived, but I still get queasy thinking about T & M. Gail Mance-Rios ‘82
Probably Chem 121 and 122. Gen Chem for science majors. Amalia Oster ‘01
The toughest course I took at Albany was in my senior year (1953). Nura Turner was my professor and the course was Trigonometry. In order to get the course points to graduate then we had to have a major, a minor, a third subject, and a fourth subject. I was NEVER good at math (I think there is dislectia in math as well as reading). But with a little help from my Advisor, Josiah T. Phinney, Ms. Turner passed me. He said she owed him a favor. He made me promise I would never teach math anywhere. Years later when I decided to teach first grade I had to teach the New Math. It was so easy and I realized I had had a very poor background in math. Katherine Brumfield Pickett ’53, ’54 NYSCT
Statistics Roberta Steinhorn ‘75
The most difficult class (and worst for me) was an English course "Structure and Function of the Speech Mechanism". With the help of friends, I survived it the second time.
That would have to have been Accounting 101 in the Fall of 1967, my freshman year. The podium was still very much under construction, and the finish work in many classrooms was, well, unfinished! In our Accounting classroom, both the carpeting, and the acoustic soundproofing for the scalloped ceiling, were not yet installed. You can imagine what Accounting-speak to a Freshman student, new to that arcane terminology, sounds like when it's reverberating and echoing down what was essentially a concrete subway tunnel! Challenging as that may have been on its own steam, the powers that were at the time also decided to install a professor whose heavily Hindi-accented speech rendered terms such as “debits,” “credits”' and “accounts receivable” akin to the contents of an indecipherable exotic codebook. And, to jack the “degree of difficulty” up to a full “10,” an experimental accounting textbook, which was canned after that year .... long after I accepted the college's most gracious invitation to “withdraw without penalty!” Ken Turow ‘72
Organic Chemistry I. The material is overwhelmingly too much and the professor (who I shall not name), was not good at instructing. He would talk to the wall instead of the class. Additionally, I think the material could be lessened in volume and this would increase comprehension, hence learning, very much.
I went on to get an MS in Molecular Biology from Florida State so I am not just a big cry baby. On my own time Orgo looks interesting, but within the confines of that class it was like a cage.
auf weidershein! Kenneth Mann ‘94
Biochemistry. 200 students in one classroom, the eptiomy of non personal. Brian Levin ‘76
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