Sunday, March 6, 2011
A Real Rip-Off or Not?
For some unfathomable reason, Spouse decided to take a course on basic air conditioning. It is offered - at a stiff fee - from an foundation located in northern Virginia and meets Tuesday evenings for four months. Classmates are from nearly every continent on earth, so English is not their primary language. Nevertheless, the course uses a huge text book, weighing around 8 pounds. That's a problem in itself because these guys have to travel to their evening classes from work or home -- mostly by public transportation. Still, that's not my biggest gripe with this program. Thumbing through the text book I was stunned by the complexity of information and high language skills necessary for these guys to get this information. I should think even graduate students would be challenged by the content! Traditionally, I thought that adult education texts were written at a 5th grade level. Coming from Somalia, Ethiopia, Iran, Ecuador and other countries, English is enough of a challenge without throwing in specialized, technical terms and American idioms! [If you've ever been asked to explain an American idiom, you know how hard it is!] I've spent hours trying to help Spouse study. He is determined to succeed in this class and spends several hours every morning before work and after work trying to absorb what he is expected to learn before the next class. I don't think it was simply my ADD that nearly sent me over the edge today. Spouse is task oriented to the extreme and is still going at it! I admire his determination, but I couldn't handle any more. I have a decent understanding of the English language and have written numerous proposals, reports, programs and curricula. The guys taking the class Spouse is in are being ripped-off because it is way over their heads! Oh -- and earlier last week, Spouse emailed and left a phone message for his instructor about an assignment -- still no response from him. Doesn't say much for his professionalism and I'm still wondering about his teaching credentials -- if he has any. AARGH!!