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Having an issue with my bio teacher.

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Lippert7

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Hello, I just wanted to see if anyone else has had any horror stories with biology teachers. I personally have had quite a time with my foundations of biology one teacher. She has difficulties using proper grammar in her lecture ie.) What is does the role of NAD+ in cellular respiration.
Also, my personal favorite is having questions on an exam that have a wrong/skewed answer
ie.) What is the starting point for glycolysis?
A.) Fructose
B.) Glucose
C.) Any 6 Carbon molecule that can be converted into glucose
D.) G3P
E.) Sucrose
One would assume it would be glucose because it IS the only way to start glycolysis. However, in her opinion it was any 6 carbon molecule that can be converted into glucose. The funny thing is, it has to be converted to glucose for glycolysis to start. There are about five or six other examples but I am just too lazy to find them all with finals coming up. The point of this post is just to make sure I'm not going insane.
Thank you.
 

Bacchus

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Sure...although glucose would be the best answer because its directly at the start of glycolysis, any 6 carbon molecule, especially other sugars, can be converted via reactions into glucose.


Now, to get the point of your thread. When you do evaluations of your teacher, explain the problem with vagueness and any other problems you have. Be specific, concise, and genuine. Don't be rude. Maybe it will help remediate the problem.
 

StIGMA

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Just make do this semester and ask previous students if you have a choice of professors for future classes.

And you do make your point with that question. Science questions should not stem from ambiguous wordings like "starting point." But the answer is glucose, and if that was a question on the MCAT, it would be glucose (ie: galactose>glucose, and that enzyme pathway, is not considered part of glycolysis).
 

GoldShadow

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IIRC, you don't even have to start with glucose; really, it's any 6-carbon sugar that can be converted to fructose-6-phosphate (including glucose and mannose).
 

FlowLimited

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I would have to agree with the OP, the answer should have been glucose. It's true that there are 6-carbon molecules that can be converted to glucose, but these reactions are not part of the glycolysis pathway. Yes, they may be components that lead to the starting material or even intermediates of the glycolysis pathway, but it's not actually glycolysis until you get to glycolysis.

The point is, it's a poorly worded question. Unfortunately, poorly worded questions happen.
 

Lippert7

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Sure...although glucose would be the best answer because its directly at the start of glycolysis, any 6 carbon molecule, especially other sugars, can be converted via reactions into glucose.


Now, to get the point of your thread. When you do evaluations of your teacher, explain the problem with vagueness and any other problems you have. Be specific, concise, and genuine. Don't be rude. Maybe it will help remediate the problem.

I did leave her a good evaluation of my teacher because she has the intent to help students. I just personally believe by her attempting to make biology a class to weed out prospective med students she makes confusing questions like that. I have pulled information from the textbook on other questions trying to prove her answer wrong and she generally just says the book is wrong which I find very very difficult to believe. Oh well, I should have expected these intro classes to give me this much hassle.
 

fusionx22

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Hello, I just wanted to see if anyone else has had any horror stories with biology teachers. I personally have had quite a time with my foundations of biology one teacher. She has difficulties using proper grammar in her lecture ie.) What is does the role of NAD+ in cellular respiration.
Also, my personal favorite is having questions on an exam that have a wrong/skewed answer
ie.) What is the starting point for glycolysis?
A.) Fructose
B.) Glucose
C.) Any 6 Carbon molecule that can be converted into glucose
D.) G3P
E.) Sucrose
One would assume it would be glucose because it IS the only way to start glycolysis. However, in her opinion it was any 6 carbon molecule that can be converted into glucose. The funny thing is, it has to be converted to glucose for glycolysis to start. There are about five or six other examples but I am just too lazy to find them all with finals coming up. The point of this post is just to make sure I'm not going insane.
Thank you.

lols. The most appropriate question should have been "What's the first committed step of glycolysis?"
 

WannaBePreMed

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I would have said C, sorry. I guess that proves your point, though.

You need glucose for the glycolysis. Any 6 carbon chain that can be converted into glucose wouldn't go through glycoysis unless it was converted first. Conversion of the 6 carbon chain is not apart of glycolysis, therefore you must need glucose and not any 6 carbon chain for glycoysis. That's just my 2 cents :]

Frustration is apart of life, it's all good.
 
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Bacchus

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You need glucose for the glycolysis. Any 6 carbon chain that can be converted into glucose wouldn't go through glycoysis unless it was converted first. Conversion of the 6 carbon chain is not apart of glycolysis, therefore you must need glucose and not any 6 carbon chain for glycoysis. That's just my 2 cents :]

Frustration is apart of life, it's all good.
Thanks...if you would have read on further I explained him my reasoning.

Sure...although glucose would be the best answer because its directly at the start of glycolysis, any 6 carbon molecule, especially other sugars, can be converted via reactions into glucose.


Now, to get the point of your thread. When you do evaluations of your teacher, explain the problem with vagueness and any other problems you have. Be specific, concise, and genuine. Don't be rude. Maybe it will help remediate the problem.
 
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jtimmer1

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IIRC, you don't even have to start with glucose; really, it's any 6-carbon sugar that can be converted to fructose-6-phosphate (including glucose and mannose).

True, I missed this one on my exam, also. You really can't think of Biology, with a boxed-in mentality; especially in metabolic pathways. There are very many things that can act in the same manner as other things, keep this in mind when solving tricky problems.

Also, I'm sure you aren't the only one with a difficult general biology professor. At least at my university ~1/3 dropped and ~1/3 of the ones still in it are making Ds or failing. Big "weed out" class here.

Hope that helps.
 

NoMoreAMCAS

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You just have one of those worthless teachers who is more interested in tricking students than testing their knowledge.

Of course you know Glucose is the starting point of glycolysis, but she doesn't care about that. She wants you to get it wrong so she can feel like she outsmarted you.

She could have very easily made glucose the answer, marked everyone wrong for choosing the "6-carbon precursor" answer and explained that glycolysis doesn't begin until you have a molecule of glucose. It's just plain shady.

(I'm not some bitter student, i've never received less than an A in a science course. I've just been through teachers like this and know how frustrating it can be.)
 
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Aren't poorly worded, ambiguous multiple choice questions the norm in most bio classes?
 

funkydrmonkey

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When I first saw this thread, I misread, and I thought you were having an affair with your bio teacher:eek:
 

zenlike

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When I first saw this thread, I misread, and I thought you were having an affair with your bio teacher:eek:

That's a way better idea for a thread. You should see what you can do about fixing this, OP.
 

Wylde

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C.



True, Glucose starts glycolysis. But other 6 carbon molecules can also be converted into glucose and then start glycolysis.

So the most complete answer is C.

EDIT: nvm, i misread the question. I didnt realize it asked for the specific starting point of glycolysis.
 

mmmcdowe

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Bio teachers are famous for subjective questions like this. By definition, however, Glycolysis is the conversion of glucose. I think the answer should have been CO2, because CO2 can be converted to any five or six ring sugar, which can be converted into glucose, and thus is the start of glycolysis. Or better yet, the big bang is the start of glycolysis, because that's when carbon came into existance. :laugh:
 

wepio

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You just have one of those worthless teachers who is more interested in tricking students than testing their knowledge.

Of course you know Glucose is the starting point of glycolysis, but she doesn't care about that. She wants you to get it wrong so she can feel like she outsmarted you.

She could have very easily made glucose the answer, marked everyone wrong for choosing the "6-carbon precursor" answer and explained that glycolysis doesn't begin until you have a molecule of glucose. It's just plain shady.

(I'm not some bitter student, i've never received less than an A in a science course. I've just been through teachers like this and know how frustrating it can be.)

Agreed. The quesiton is poorly written and her attempts to be tricky only succeeded in confusing the class. Personally, I would have narrowed it downt to either B or C based on the wording of the question, but only committed to an answer after calling out the "BS" nature of the question and asking the prof to further clarify.

I'm not a bitter student either, may in my UG days, but not as a post-bacc. I've learned that there will times when you and instructor just aren't clicking. Put on a smile, discuss it with them, and stay on their good side. Engaging yourself in her class, and challenging these types of questions and conversing with her shows them your understanding of the material and can do more than just regurgitate memorized material. They might really like you and you might get an good LoR out of it. the alternative is that they'll be totally annoyed by you, in which case move on. There are plenty of crappy instructors.
 

whatever5656

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Agreed. The quesiton is poorly written and her attempts to be tricky only succeeded in confusing the class. Personally, I would have narrowed it downt to either B or C based on the wording of the question, but only committed to an answer after calling out the "BS" nature of the question and asking the prof to further clarify.

I'm not a bitter student either, may in my UG days, but not as a post-bacc. I've learned that there will times when you and instructor just aren't clicking. Put on a smile, discuss it with them, and stay on their good side. Engaging yourself in her class, and challenging these types of questions and conversing with her shows them your understanding of the material and can do more than just regurgitate memorized material. They might really like you and you might get an good LoR out of it. the alternative is that they'll be totally annoyed by you, in which case move on. There are plenty of crappy instructors.

I had two professors like this. My only advice is to take what you got out of this class for what a bad professor is and if you ever teach you should know what a bad teacher looks like.
 

chemnerd89

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Try this one:

What is the ultimate outcome of epinephrine binding to its receptor in the epinephrine signaling pathway?

the answer was glucose being released, but there were a lot of options downstream of that.
 

FlowLimited

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Or better yet, the big bang is the start of glycolysis, because that's when carbon came into existance. :laugh:

Probably off topic, but no significant quantity of carbon was created during the Big Bang. I mean, hydrogen wasn't even formed until about 250,000 years afterwards. You need some pretty serious concentrations of helium, heat, and pressure to form heavier elements like carbon, and so the expansive cooling of the Big Bang is a rather massive inhibitor.
 

katarina90

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Bio teachers are famous for subjective questions like this. By definition, however, Glycolysis is the conversion of glucose. I think the answer should have been CO2, because CO2 can be converted to any five or six ring sugar, which can be converted into glucose, and thus is the start of glycolysis. Or better yet, the big bang is the start of glycolysis, because that's when carbon came into existance. :laugh:

:laugh:

So true about bio teachers though. Which is why I always do better in the math-based sciences.

OP: I can sympathize. Your example question unearthed some long-buried memories of my principles of bio I class... Just be thankful its almost over : )
 
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