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how to operate a fragmentation granade

June 6, 2007 by Saar Drimer

I remembered a story from my undergraduate days… one of those things you recall and can’t imagine doing again. I took a mandatory “technical writing” class in my junior year. I absolutely hated the professor (Tara M.), who seemed to hate anyone of my gender and was not afraid to show it by preferential treatment. The first words out of her mouth in the first day of class were “I am god, and you will do as I say.” “Yeah, that’s going to go well,” I remember thinking.

Towards the end of the term we had to give a 5 minute presentation on any topic we chose. This is peace-lovin’, hippie, lovey-dovey Santa Cruz, remember. I decided to give a presentation on types of hand grenades, how to throw them, and what to do if a fragmentation kind comes flying your way. I’m sure she (and possibly others) didn’t like me any better after that, but I was satisfied ;) I got a ‘B’ for the class and some respect from gamers. But I think that I learned the most from writing a three page formal complaint to the head of the department about her skills as a teacher. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with her leaving UCSC a couple of years later; google doesn’t show her teaching elsewhere. I suppose that “god” retired from teaching.

Some of the readers of this weblog can vouch for the accuracy of this story (some proof-read my letter ;) Now I am going to see if I still have it and the presentation somewhere.


1 Comment »

  1. max says:

    I wish I had been there for that presentation, alas. But the letter was well-penned and objective, I was happy to back it. I too had a run-in with the same professor and actually received an ‘F’ on one assignment because I used a SANS-SERIF font instead of a SERIF font on a sample resume. I dropped that class and waited until someone else taught it.

    Amazingly enough I was later able to get a job even with a SANS-SERIF font, and the help of Saar.

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