The University of Texas El Paso
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The University of Texas El Paso - Comments and Student Experiences |
But that's how the administration works, and this mentality of "they're gonna try to screw me" is best when dealing with them (it's a lot like going to the DMV). Professors and departments are a whole other animal, though. For my part, I can say that the mechanical engineering department, while not of the highest quality in terms of equipment or professors, took very good care of me and others I knew. And the emphasis was not so much on simply knowing everything, but rather on learning to *understand* things, knowing where to find information, and learning to question data like your life depends on it (because in engineering it sometimes does). It's an excruciatingly difficult program; don't go into it with the attitude that you're going to be okay just because you took calculus in high school and had a great GPA and SAT scores. Instead, go into it as if you're going to be fighting a grizzly bear, knowing that you may lose this fight now and again. Don't you dare think that "Oh, this was HIS experience. I'm pretty smart, so I can adapt!" There are smarter students in my program than me, but not many, so trust me, and just try to survive. Granted, now you're screwed with the 6-drop limit, so ask around about professors. I kid you not, the difference between an A and an F, between understanding everything and understanding nothing, is in which professor you choose to learn from and which textbook they choose to read from.
Nightmare professors include Bronson, Dowdy, and Hawkins (although you can get used to each of their death grips if you work like hell): These nightmare professors are the ones you'll learn the most from, but you may not like your grade if you take courses with them.
Professors who can't teach worth a darn include Vargas, Kumar, and Gomez. Vargas is too vague and indirect, Kumar just doesn't teach well, and Gomez will first do an awful job of teaching before raining hellfire on you with her quizzes. Of the three, opt for Kumar. He's bad at teaching, but of the three he's the only one who really, truly knows his stuff.Everett and Choudhuri are challenging without being bloodthirsty, and their grading can be pretty flexible. You'll live.
Here's my experience:
I got into UTEP and was unprepared for the course work, and self discipline required to finish a college degree. The only lousy department on campus was the English Department. they had too many part-time and graduate student instructors who - frankly - just sucked.
I started in the music department and it was extremely demanding. After two years of part-time attendance I realized I had little talent to make it as a professional musician.
I discovered the political science and history departments and my life changed. Now I must admit that I was a bit world-wise as I grew up with a father int he Army and witnessed Vietnam tear apart our country, so although I was not an academic, I was worldly wise.
I was on my own at an early age so I had to work two jobs at a time. I lived in Sunset Heights most of the time and was chums with many international students - mostly Africans who were athletes and engineering students.
I majored in political science and history with a minor in Soviet Studies. I still keep in touch wiht my mentors from both departments Doctors, Webking, Kruwsewski, Hackett, Barnes, and many others. The PS an History Departments are full of teachers who want their students to succeed.
They talk me how to aks empirical questions in life; how to research and most importantly how to write. I got a job as a newspaper reporter in Corpus Christi before I graduated. I opened a publishing company. I have served as a Special Operations soldier. I built Blockbuster Video's first web servers. I have managed thousands of PC and PC servers in multiple cities at a time. I served as a contractor for two years in Iraq. I have built and killed several companies as a contractor. I have three grown children form my engineering student wife - who I met at UTEP. Each of my kids were home-schooled and each received full-ride scholarships from major Universities: University of Chicago, UT, SMU and Rice for a PhD. I have two Master's Degrees.
Whne I was going to school at UTEP in the 1980s Mexican Nationals were just starting to attend and they were the same shallow, small-minded, preppy-dressed scared little children that they are today. But keep in mind they are the richest and most spoiled children of Juarez. they are treated as something special across the border - when they are not getting shot at.
We do not have an "official" class system in America. Those kids are more afraid of looking bad, than they are of looking down on you.
There was also a big controversy that some retired NFL player confessed that UTEP graduated him and he never learned how to read. So the argument was that UTEP should have failed someone who was being protected by his coach. That still happens today. have you seen an NBA player try to complete a logical sentence on TV nowadays?
Life is a bitch everywhere in this world. I know I have been on most continents, but if you are attending UTEP, be a proud Minor. My goal was to leave El Paso in a fashion that I would never have to go back. Getting a degree helped me do just that.
None of none of my experiences would have happened without the caring, direct, and honest guidance of my political science and history professors at UTEP.
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