Honestly, I do not know how anyone manages to graduate from Thammasat University. I am told the other departments do not run as haphazardly as the legal department. But really, I don’t know how any of the students keep track of anything. My entire finals experience has been nothing but chaos!
I am taking 5 classes. Allow me to briefly summarize my experiences:
Class 1: The professor announces that any student who wishes to write a paper instead of taking the final may do so. I tell him I want to write a paper; we select a topic; I do initial research. A month before the final, I check in to ask if he wants an outline or draft before I turn in my final work. He looks surprised and informs me he did not realize I was writing a paper; no one is writing a paper; I should just take the final instead. I protest. He insists. I end up taking the final.
Class 2: The professor gives out a syllabus at the beginning of class and another one a few weeks later when she makes some scheduling changes. Both clearly state: midterm = 50% of the grade, paper = 40%, final = 10%. As I review for the upcoming final, it occurs to me we never did write a paper. I ask my classmate. She says the final is worth 30% of our grade. I ask what happened to the remaining 20%. She sort of shrugs and after digging through my notes I see we had an in-class presentation. Apparently that was worth 20%.
Class 3: The professor strolls into class and inquires how the take-home final is going. We all stare at him blankly. Take-home final? Now he looks surprised. Did the office not send out the final like he asked? No, no the office did not. Oh, well, if one student will provide their e-mail, he will send the final to that student and the student can distribute it to everyone else. Except guess whose e-mail that student does not have? Mine. I managed to get a grainy picture of the final from someone who took a shot of it from their phone. Exactly how we turn in the final once we finish remains unclear. Apparently the office will contact us.
Class 4: The office sends out a list of in-class finals with rooms and times. I ask my classmate how she is studying for it since we’ve had at least 6 different professors for this class. She says only one professor is testing us and it is a take-home exam. I say it is not a take-home exam; the office clearly put it on the list of in-class finals. She says the professor changed his mind. I flip through my notes. Sure enough, he told us a take-home. I ask where we get the take-home. She says he hasn’t given it to us yet. I ask when we should expect it. She doesn’t know. I ask another classmate. She thinks we might receive it Monday. Maybe Tuesday. It will be due in June. When in June? Uncertain.
Class 5: I don’t know how to study for this final. Because the office kept scheduling another class at the same time, I only attended about half the courses we are being tested on. The professor responded to my e-mail for more information brusquely and basically told me her portion of teaching is done. I assume this means I can expect no further clarification. If I had a friend in this class, I could ask for notes. But far from being friendly, the students did their best to ostracize me. [And if you think I am being paranoid, allow me to inform you they actually switched their conversations from English to Thai when I walked by trying to find a discussion group to join because my group members all bailed. The professor saw and yelled at them and they designated one person to converse with me in English while they continued their conversation in Thai. My designated conversation partner spent the entire time looking miserable.]
In summary, I am a law student who might fail a freshman level course because I cannot figure out how any of this works.