Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mentality of BYU Staff

I'm taking this sociology class right now titled, "Research in Sociology." Basically it teaches you how to do surveys, how to interpret statistics, and other amazingly boring things. My instructor is big on doing surveys for the university here. He's been contracted (for some unknown amount of money) to contact thousands of students by phone and subject them to a 15-30 minute interview. So how does he creatively decide on how to effectively get this done? Why, requiring his students to do it for him. It's worth 20% of our grades. As he explains in an oh-so-convincing-way to us students, "Folks, I want you to get a feel for how phone interviews are done. One interview is not enough. You need to do ten to earn credit for it. Don't worry, the call-center will be open from 7-10 every night for the rest of the night, and I've even heard of a student who managed to get all ten calls done in just one shift!" Yes, we need to learn. This is the kind of mentality at BYU that rubs me the wrong way. I wonder if he believes that we actually bought that idea, that we're going to be learning from it. And you know how it works? You sit at a desk and read questions off the computer and mark their answer. Wow, what a great learning method. It's like at the MTC, where the missionaries, "do service," by scrubbing bathrooms once a week, or something else to maintain the grounds or facilities. Where I come from, that's considered work, and you pay people to do it. Here at BYU, just slap a different description on it and you don't have to cash out.

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