I give my students an essay to write on the first day. It's an assessment, to find out strengths/weaknesses in their writing. The results tell me where I need to begin.
What's the assignment about? Perhaps you need to do the reading, and then the assignment will make sense. Not sure what to say about that, without knowing more details about it.
what does he do for the hour that you are in class? is he talking about the subject? that is called lecturing...it is college you take your own notes.
Some professors are just lazy and want the students to do all of the work. You now know not to take this professor in the future. (Nice thing about college is you can pick your teachers). As for this semester, just do your best. Maybe creating a study group will help.
It sound like you're in Comp 101, a basic freshman class at colleges/universities everywhere. Since you should know how to write an essay, what would you like him to tell you exactly until you've written anything for him? The point of that class when I took it was to improve your writing skills through practice over the semester, so the smart students just wrote an OK essay at first then made them better as the class progressed, so there would definitely be "improvement". I don't recall learning a single thing in that class myself, either, so don't expect much! What the heck was the quiz on if there's nothing to be taught, though?? I'm surprised this is the only class you notice you'll be entirely on your own for, as that's what college is like-classes of 200 and lousy professors too busy publishing to teach. Most of my professors never taught anything that was on the tests in all my years of college, they're not really there to teach it seemed to me so I stopped gong to classes and just read the books...which we never even had for Comp 101, you're lucky you have that much! I'd just save your best writing until later in the semester and do your best to keep up. Hopefully he'll grade on a curve so it doesn't matter if he's lousy as that's how they get away with it! I've had classes where the curve was so low a 50 was an A! He could be just trying to weed out the lesser students, too, or trying to get an idea of how you all write before giving any real instruction. See if you can find a sophmore who took it last year with him and ask them about it and how to handle the work, that should give you an idea of what to expect...do that with all of your classes if possible to not get caught off guard. Bad professors are a dime a dozen though...
Sounds okay to me.
Like others have already said...this is COLLEGE. It's time to knuckle down and get busy, and realize that you may well be in a "wash out" class, which means you'll need to work extra hard in order to do well.
Best of luck!
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