Q&A: What was your hardest class at S&T?

Maybe it was beneficial and you use the knowledge you gained daily or maybe you’re just glad you survived. Either way, we asked about your hardest class or your toughest professor. Here’s what you told us:

I still tell the story to this day of the impact that my freshman chemistry class had on my degree choice and career path. Not that freshman chemistry should be the hardest class at Rolla, but for me it was a bear. As a result of pulling out a C in the class, I sat back and contemplated my future and a commitment to a degree major. Like any intelligent 19-year-old would do, I made the decision based on which major required no more chemistry classes and more importantly, which major would keep me physically the farthest from the chemistry building. The answer became clear — the electrical engineering curriculum required no additional chemistry and the EE Building was the farthest away on campus (circa 1981). Best decision I ever made.

Craig M. Koenig, EE’86, Kansas City, Mo.

Definitely Philosophy. Only C of my campus career, and lucky to get that.

– Tom Zenge, CE’69, Cincinnati

My hardest class was Physical Chemistry, taught in the chemical engineering department. On the first test of two, the only thing I got right was my name at the top of the paper, and after the test, I am not sure I got that right. I did manage to pass both semesters of the required course but would not want to go there again.

– Charlie Campbell, MetE’64 Broken Arrow, Okla.

Organic Chemistry was a tough subject even for most chemical engineering students. Problem was our professor was focused on the organic structure of molecules that made dye. Few if any of us were ever going into the dye industry. So I felt it was a waste of my time and had the misfortune of voicing that opinion. Not a good move. A word to the wise: Go with the flow, it helps your grades. Just realize professors have their own bias. Bottom line is, I did get a good job and worked for the same company for 38 years, achieving a high level of management in a Fortune 500 company. All thanks to a poor boy being blessed with an education from what was then the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.

– Herbert Miller, ChE’57, Celina, Texas

My toughest class was Nuclear Physics in 1963. I just earned a grade high enough to graduate without repeating the class. There was a rumor going around that the physics department made the course extra tough just to create a national name for itself, who knows. I was happy to finish the class and graduate in January 1964. I only used my nuclear metallurgical training for a year after graduating and then changed fields and never looked back. That led to a very rewarding career and finally retirement, which I’m enjoying immensely in East Tennessee.

– William Malone, MetE’64 Loudon, Tenn.

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