The situation is, that I have a B.S. from computer science and I was awarded for my final thesis. Because of this I was offered a position in research, where I'm working for the 3rd month now.
My colleagues told me, that the best way is to study another subject, more concentrated on theoretical mathematics. So I changed my field and this year I'm beginning my major degree in mathematics. I must say, I'm not happy with this choice at all, because courses which I wanted are not opened this year, so I'm stuck with bunch of courses I didn't want to study at all.
But, the real problem came today. We had a class of Complex number computing and the lecturer knew about me being new in the class. He called me to the front of the class and I was supposed to solve some task. I'm not very experienced in this field and I was very nervous, so I made a mistake (even if I knew the correct solution, I guess a panic overtook me).
And then he started to humiliate me in front of all my colleagues. He told me that this field is "not for everybody" and that in math classes there are "only very clever people" apparently targeting the fact I came from other field where the math was only in applied form and the main subject was programming and algorithms. I was feeling like an idiot standing there and listening to his abusive speech. The other classmates were laughing at me and I was just standing there and waiting for it to stop.
Then he told me to complete the solution. I wanted to solve the task step-by-step to prevent doing any more silly mistakes, but he didn't let me. After I wrote one step (completely correct), the lecturer told me he wants me to do it faster, not in so many steps and he added some more "funny" notes. Finally, I solved the task and made a little mistake in notation of result. He pointed it out very loudly, so everybody could hear it.
This experience destroyed the lesson for me completely. I couldn't pay attention for the rest of the class and I was ashamed to talk with anybody.
Now I'm terribly afraid of this lecturer, but it's not possible "to change" him, he's the only one for this subject, which is compulsory.
So, what would you advise me to do to prevent this situation next time?
I'm trying my best to adapt in the new field, but there are a lot of things I'm missing, so it takes a lot of time to learn it and with the research duties it's not really easy, so "just get better" advise would be great, but not achievable in short amount of time.
I thank you all for your support and recommendations!
I'll just add some details:
- The problem of my courses is, that the branch of study I wanted to attend is not opened this year because of some changes in subjects etc. So I had to choose between two similar fields and this is one of them.
- So, if I wanted to change the branch, I would lose the whole year.
- I'm studying in the Czech Republic - universities are free for Czech citizens and I was accepted without admission exams, because of my previous results.
- I haven't offended the lecturer in any way, I literally had no chance to do it, because I've never saw him before the lesson.
- I noticed, that my classmates are pretty hostile even toward each other sometimes. I'm quite disappointed by this, because my previous classmates were usually friendly, but, I must simply deal with it.
- I understand, that I must improve in this field (and not only this one). As I wrote in the last paragraph of my question, I'm really trying my best, so I can only hope that it'll be enough. The problem is, that I have pretty much duties in research too, but I really don't want to abandon it, to be honest, it's the only thing which cheers me up this year in the university :-)
Edit 2 - Advice & Encouragement
I've worked as much as possible during the term. Still, I was just surviving the course. Finally I made a choice and arranged several consultations (with other professors than the one mentioned in the question).
I strongly suggest this for everybody in the similar situation! Professors really didn't think I'm stupid or, at least, didn't tell it :-) After that I understood most of the topic pretty well and it cheered me up, so I was much more self-confident (still very nervous, but not desperate like before) and I had the best score from the final test.
I got even my satisfaction in the end - after the exam I met with the rude professor. To my surprise he told me, that I've surprised him very much with my score from final test and that I was "fighting bravely".
So, he probably really wanted to see if a "non-math" person will be able to withstand the pressure and pass his course.
My only and best advice is consult with professors as much as possible! It can help you tremendously and you'll get a lot more self-confident in the topic if you can see, that you aren't too stupid to get it.