How important is your choice of professor
Fun in Physics
Dr Riban is not a basketball star, a movie star or a political figure. He is an ordinary individual who has contributed greatly to my Academic experience and life. That individual is Dr David Riban, my physics instructor in junior college. He thought me more than just E = mc ^2, but opened my eyes to the world physics.
First of all, Dr Riban didn’t look like your typical role model figure. He probably weighed somewhere close to 290 lbs. and was a chain smoker until he one day decided to quit. Dr Riban is your typical scientist, seemingly in a world of his own and doesn’t bother too much about little things like greetings and such. He had four different Doctorate degrees in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and another degree I can’t quite recall. However Dr Riban completely transforms when he enters the classroom. He is phenomenal. Every class is a journey into the world of science. I remember that even after completing University physics I and II, I went to one of his classes just to sit and listen to him talk. He was that good. Dr Riban’s Physics class was probably the only class is my entire academic experience that I somewhat enjoyed.
Second of all you have to consider me. I am not Albert Einstein. I was your typical, average college student, trying to make his grade so he could graduate from junior college and I was not overly fond of physics or the other sciences for that matter. Dr Riban made university physics I & II as easy and enjoyable as it could possibly get. Think of it as university physics for dummies. These where some of the breaks Dr Riban gave us in his physics class.
1) Almost unlimited office hours
2) 50% or better was a passing grade
This might not seem like much but when you bombed the first test as badly as I did it becomes a lifesaver. Dr Riban encouraged me not to drop the class but to keep trying. Keep in mind that this was at a junior college and not at a major university. Sometimes dropping the class is your best bet ( although I’ve never dropped a class) especially at a big university. However I stuck in there and had the most enjoyable learning experience I ever had. Don’t get me wrong, there was work too, we had assignments to turn in at every class, I had to pre-read every class just to stay above water (somewhat) and physics lab was a 3 hour nightmare, but overall the entire experience was very enrichening.
The last thing I really liked about Dr Riban and his physics class was the actual class itself. As I said earlier Dr Riban knew a lot more than just physics, so each class was sort of a physics/history/calculus and even sometimes-poetic experience. Dr Riban had a mind like a steel trap and he was hilarious. Only Dr Riban can make talking about quarks and other sub-atomic particles funny. In the space of a year we covered every thing from statics to dynamics to energy to radioisotopes and each class was a riot. I remember one class where he started off by reciting a poem and continued on for the next 10 or 15 minutes into the class then I think he used most of the rest of the class to talk about the history of physics and physicists over the last century. Some of those classes where absolutely spellbinding.
It would almost take an entire book to describe my entire University I & II experience with Dr Riban but it will always be on of the high lights of my academic experience even I am a computer scientist. The energy, wit and knowledge he brought into his class made it an absolutely enjoyable year. I’ve had lots of good instructors in college but none quite like Dr David Riban.
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