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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stick A Fork In Me - I'm Done!

Just handed in grades for the semester. As usual, there was a pretty broad range of performance, and many of the usual cast of characters (the names change every semester, but the acts never do):
  • The obviously extremely bright student who doesn't take proper care on his assignments and does them at the last minute. This results in a low score on 20% of the total grade, which along with his poor attendance (class participation is another 20% of the grade) makes it difficult to do well in the class. Then on the exam he gets one of the highest grades in the class (Final Grade: "B", when he was clearly capable of an "A").
  • The not-so bright kid who is more passionate about finance than any student I've seen in the last five years. He ends up getting one of the highest grades in the class on the exam (Final Grade: "A", when I thought at the start that he'd probably be lucky to get a "B-").
  • The charming one who tries to be my buddy, but doesn't do the hard work necessary to grasp the material on more than a surface level (Final Grade: "C"). Then he can't understand why he got such a poor grade (I guess math is also not his strong point).
  • The student who failed the class last semester and retakes it this semester. She "Gets Religion" and works her tail off this time around (Final Grade: "B-"
  • The student who failed the class last semester and retakes it this semester. He learns nothing from the experience and approaches it the same way he did last time, with the same results (Final Grade: "D+").
So, it was the usual mixed bag, with some surprising performances on both ends of the distribution. Either way, I can now put paid to this school year, and start on a couple of research projects that need my attention.

Now, all I have to do is get out of town before the emails and calls start coming in. I need to figure out how to put an autoresponse on my email that says "Dr. XXX is currently out of the office. He is recuperating from the stress of grading your papers on a dry (no alcohol permitted) campus. He will be back in a couple of weeks after recuperating and getting all the sand out of his swim trunks."

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