---I am venting and I took a deep breath first, you've been warned
I am at a school that I am told is well regarded and has a great reputation. I keep hearing this from faculty, and when prospective faculty come and interview, etc. But I am not sure I believe the hype.
1. Most students don't even read for class
2. The number one goal is to get a B "pay the fee, get a B, get the degree"
3. Some of our professors I am surprised that they are professors at a graduate school- I'd say more but I don't want to identify anyone or the school.
4. Research skills seem lackluster. Know enough to confuse themselves and others.
Obviously, I am having buyers remorse, but it's too late, I am almost finished.
Unsolicited advice to the uninitiated: If you are a GRA or GTA, do not have a class with that professor, and especially do not have two classes with that professor.
Our seminar group was "slow boiled" this semester into a full fledge original research project and it is the blind leading the blind, come to find out at the end the proff. seems to have planned to publish the results, but does not like our analysis and wants us to do it again and is threatening to give us an incomplete! From 20 page term paper to original research, the target keeps getting moved and we are all clueless. Now we understand why the proff kept butting in the research. But my experience is usually that a proff who is using the class to do research with intent to publish is up front about their intentions and they are the PI and manage the project, as you are all students and need guidance. And again this was a seminar class, not a frigg'n research methods class.
On top of all this, I still don't know what I've learned other than 1001 ways to split hairs, a little GIS, and that commercial is red.
I am told that the MCRP does not do anything other than credential you for a job, and how it is all more sane and quite easy after grad school in the "real world". But then if the degree is just a credential, then what are we paying all this money for, if we "learn on the job" after we graduate. Is this some sort of Ponzi scheme? Not to mention for gone salary. I am almost middle aged, I have had social theory before (undergrad in sociology and minor in philosophy, and honestly some of this "theory" from planning seems rehashed from the social sciences), and am tired of hearing about the plight of the poor by some upper-middle class Prius driving professor who read it in a book somewhere!
Honestly I'd love to be a professor! But not the way some of these folks do it. The cliche of disorganized, the cannibalistic nature of eating the young, the abusive right of passage attitudes, the peculiar nature of the seemingly psychotic and over sexed humored as some sort of in group out group balance of power.
I'd love to be a professor and advocate for students and those in the community one would be serving. And if professors insist on these parochial and arcane traditions I'd like lead a revolt against them. I think they are part of the problem. After all, we students are the customers here!!! We pay taxes and a truck load of money to get these degrees. I think we deserve better than we are getting.
Yes i know its what you make of it. Benn there done that so many times. But should not have to,and it is debatable that at my school there is much to make of anything.
A positive note: I have met some really great fellow students I consider friends, and we all have the feelings I have laid out. We discuss these issues on a regular basis and there are about 6 of us. I am not the only one at this school who feels this way