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View Full Version : Grades given, grades earned. What a concept!



Carole
02-13-2010, 08:28 PM
Making the grade (http://euler.slu.edu/%7Emarks/Pedagogy/Wiesenfeld_essay.html)

robeiae
02-13-2010, 08:35 PM
*gives Carole a B+ for the thread*

Hey, you gotta fight...for your right...to be an obnoxious, self-absorbed little weasel.

Carole
02-13-2010, 08:40 PM
You're giving me a B+, or did I earn the B+? Subtleties, Robieaeaea.

And yes. You are right! Haggling for grades. Whoda thunk.

Susie
02-13-2010, 09:15 PM
I give 'um A for effort 'n :Cake:! :D

Carole
02-13-2010, 09:23 PM
Cake is always a welcome gift!

Maryn
02-13-2010, 10:06 PM
This reminds me of a funny story from back when Mr. Maryn was Professor Maryn. He'd posted grades and a student came to see if there was any way his grade might be elevated.

The offer of money was so overt, no subtlety whatsoever, that Mr. Maryn took it for a joke. "Well, I'd never be able to work in a university setting again, so you'd have to match my annual salary, plus bump it up for raises and all that I'd get over the years, and add something to cover the increased insurance costs of group rates to private, for my wife and I both, and any children we might have in the future."

The student stood there, awkwardly, for a long moment, and said, "I can't go any higher than a half a million without talking to my father."

Holy crap, huh?

Maryn, whose husband did not change the grade

robeiae
02-13-2010, 10:30 PM
Was the student George Bush?

Yeshanu
02-13-2010, 10:41 PM
This reminds me of a funny story from back when Mr. Maryn was Professor Maryn. He'd posted grades and a student came to see if there was any way his grade might be elevated.

The offer of money was so overt, no subtlety whatsoever, that Mr. Maryn took it for a joke. "Well, I'd never be able to work in a university setting again, so you'd have to match my annual salary, plus bump it up for raises and all that I'd get over the years, and add something to cover the increased insurance costs of group rates to private, for my wife and I both, and any children we might have in the future."

The student stood there, awkwardly, for a long moment, and said, "I can't go any higher than a half a million without talking to my father."

Holy crap, huh?

Maryn, whose husband did not change the grade

O


M


G...


Every single student entering university or college ought to read this essay.

Thanks, Carole. Definitely an A for finding this and posting.

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 12:29 AM
:Shrug: It is what it is. If it can be done, or thought of being done, someone has already done it or tried to do it.


No shock here.

As for college itself, sometimes I think it plays the role of a long-running, bad joke. Especially, when it is used as a barrier or rite of passage rather than a place to gain real knowledge.

I've certainly paid good money for the bits of gold-embossed parchment I received from local junior colleges and, finally, the university. Still, I don't have any blinders on when it comes to the whole affair and know there's more than just a tiny bit of bullsh*t in the system.

What kind of person you are, your intelligence, and your success depend on your efforts/merits (as well as, sadly, connections and dumb luck). My goal in life is to never stop learning and to relentlessly pursue information.

I would feel that way with or without a bit of parchment and fake gold on my shelf.

So, I'm kind of ambivalent to the plight of both the students and the professor mentioned. Sounds like the same ol' same ol'...

I give the rant a C- for a general lack of originality. :D

I guess I could try to feign indignation, shake my head mournfully about "kids these days"....

Nah...I'm not feeling it. Back to shrugging... :)

robeiae
02-14-2010, 12:45 AM
I don't really think it is the same ol', same ol'. I think the expansion of college enrollment has changed things, significantly. On balance, I certainly think it's a good thing that more people have access to college, to more education. But that greater egalitarianism creates different dynamics. One of these--I think--is a shift in the student-professor relationship. And again, there are positives in such a change, as well.

But bottom line, I think higher education has become more of an expectation/entitlement, than a pursuit, if you will. The degree is, indeed, more important than the knowledge for a much larger percentage of people that go to college, than it was twenty, forty, sixty years ago.

Meh.

Cranky
02-14-2010, 12:54 AM
I honestly don't think they ought to be calling it higher education in a lot of cases. It's not about learning, it's about checking the boxes you need ticked off in order to get that degree.

I know I feel like I'm trodding already learned territory a lot of the time, and I keep thinking, "I'm paying for this?!" *shrug*

Still and all, bargaining for a grade seems rather disgusting to me. If you didn't earn it (no matter how dumb the class), you shouldn't get it.

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 12:56 AM
I don't really think it is the same ol', same ol'. I think the expansion of college enrollment has changed things, significantly. On balance, I certainly think it's a good thing that more people have access to college, to more education. But that greater egalitarianism creates different dynamics. One of these--I think--is a shift in the student-professor relationship. And again, there are positives in such a change, as well.

But bottom line, I think higher education has become more of an expectation/entitlement, than a pursuit, if you will. The degree is, indeed, more important than the knowledge for a much larger percentage of people that go to college, than it was twenty, forty, sixty years ago.

Meh.

Eh, maybe we hear more about it because there are more people and therefore the incidence of everything goes up... but, I can't even begin to imagine this is so shockingly and entirely new. The article itself seems to hail from 96'.

:Shrug:

Most of the students mentioned have probably had their degree in hand, working in their fields for a good decade by now.

Meh, indeed. To be perfectly honest, I put more stock in the folks who do pursue knowledge (even if their only access to it comes from the local library), try to treat others decently, and can apply what they learn in some practical way. In short, a person with a good head on their shoulders.

Unfortunately, no college loan or trust fund in the world can be used to supply one of those.

Carole
02-14-2010, 01:06 AM
I think it's sickening that a student with good enough haggling skills and a professor with low enough ethics could Easy-Bake-Oven a grade that matches one that I bust my ass for. Commonplace or not, it's really pathetic.

But that's just me.

Maryn, Bravo to Mr. Professor Maryn. ;)

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 01:08 AM
Still and all, bargaining for a grade seems rather disgusting to me. If you didn't earn it (no matter how dumb the class), you shouldn't get it.

No, of course that's wrong. If a person needed to withdraw with an incomplete that should have been attended to prior to grade posting (probably prior to finals or even midterms). People do need incompletes sometimes for health or other valid reasons.

Most professors will work with a person if they are having a genuine problem that goes beyond the classroom.

Of course, then you have the arseholes, that don't care if you're on crutches with a broken leg, park in the cheap lot a mile out, are working, and have a 2 year old to drop off before class at 7am...who dock you half a grade point every time you come to class at 7:05...thereby taking your hard-earned "A" and turning it into a "D" just because they've taken a dislike to you for some arbitrary reason.

Between the underwater basketweaving classes mandated by the college for "global awareness" and the sometimes fickle faculty... college takes survival skills. I'm definitely one to say the effort is worth it in the end. But, again, it's not without a fair amount of BS on the part of both students and teachers.

So... meh...

If you want to learn in this life, you have to want it and seek it out yourself. Period.

Carole
02-14-2010, 01:10 AM
O


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G...


Every single student entering university or college ought to read this essay.

Thanks, Carole. Definitely an A for finding this and posting.

This reading, and then a paper about our thoughts, was our first assignment in Business Law this semester. I think Judge Cotton got his point across bright and early to any potential offenders.

Cranky
02-14-2010, 01:10 AM
No, of course that's wrong. If a person needed to withdraw with an incomplete that should have been attended to prior to grade posting (probably prior to finals or even midterms). People do need incompletes sometimes for health or other valid reasons.

Most professors will work with a person if they are having a genuine problem that goes beyond the classroom.

Of course, then you have the arseholes, that don't care if you're on crutches with a broken leg, park in the cheap lot a mile out, are working, and have a 2 year old to drop off before class at 7am...who dock you half a grade point every time you come to class at 7:05...thereby taking your hard-earned "A" and turning it into a "D" just because they've taken a dislike to you for some arbitrary reason.

Between the underwater basketweaving classes mandated by the college for "global awareness" and the sometimes fickle faculty... college takes survival skills. I'm definitely one to say the effort is worth it in the end. But, again, it's not without a fair amount of BS on the part of both students and teachers.

So... meh...

If you want to learn in this life, you have to want it and seek it out yourself. Period.

Well, that was a rather black and white remark I made, yeah. Of course there are exceptions, I believe that. But I guess Maryn's anecdote was sticking with me. That was jaw-dropping.

Carole
02-14-2010, 01:15 AM
It might have been a black and white remark, but really--school is about more than learning the subject matter. It's also, at least in my opinion, about learning how to behave like an adult in the real world. And yes, that often does require some serious dancing skills.

But as for super-strict rules within a particular class, I thought some of the rules in my law courses were ridiculous. A late paper--even one day late--earns a zero? Are you kidding?! But in the real world, a legal document filed with the court even 5 minutes late is often worthless, no matter how noble the cause of the case and no matter what the reason for lateness happens to be.

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 01:17 AM
I think it's sickening that a student with good enough haggling skills and a professor with low enough ethics could Easy-Bake-Oven a grade that matches one that I bust my ass for. Commonplace or not, it's really pathetic.

But that's just me.

Maryn, Bravo to Mr. Professor Maryn. ;)

Of course it's wrong. I just can't get too upset. This seems to be the way the world works. People haggle and weasel out of responsibilities all the time. It isn't right, but there's really no changing human nature.

Some people are really slimy bustards, and they get rich... Other nice people never see a penny of what they're actually worth...

I feel the same way about grades. Sometimes the whole process seems just painfully unfair.

If I knew a why or a way to fix it, I'd start my own religion and/or political movement. Since I don't...this is all I can do...

:Shrug:meh......

Carole
02-14-2010, 01:18 AM
Some people are really slimy bustards, and they get rich... Other nice people never see a penny of what they're actually worth...



Wow. No truer words ever spoke. I even tell my kids all the time that it's all about connections these days. A person with perfect qualifications doesn't stand a chance against the Good Ol Boy network when finding a job.

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 01:26 AM
It might have been a black and white remark, but really--school is about more than learning the subject matter. It's also, at least in my opinion, about learning how to behave like an adult in the real world. And yes, that often does require some serious dancing skills.

But as for super-strict rules within a particular class, I thought some of the rules in my law courses were ridiculous. A late paper--even one day late--earns a zero? Are you kidding?! But in the real world, a legal document filed with the court even 5 minutes late is often worthless, no matter how noble the cause of the case and no matter what the reason for lateness happens to be.

Having seen the way most adults act in the real world, I would say haggling for grades is probably a pretty fair approximation of what happens in "reality". Again, this is not to condone, just to point out that the real world and the classroom are not a common source of fairness in general.

Yes, strict guidelines can have a purpose, but sometimes they occur less with a purpose and more out of the sadistic nature of some instructors. Especially, with the rules are applied unevenly.

As for learning the subject matter, or gaining a better understanding about the way the world works... if that isn't paramount then, frankly, to hell with any learning institution. What's the point?

ETA: Not to be overly snarky or cynical, but the term "adults" should always come with quotation marks (I don't care what Strunk or White think about that, either). The main differences I've noticed between children and adults in behavior is 1) the depth of depravity 2) the scale of the offense. :D

Carole
02-14-2010, 01:32 AM
LOL!!!!

I feel like breaking into song with I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing. Oh, I am ever the world saver. At least I want to be.

I do have one teacher this semester that drives me nuts, but to be fair to her it's her first teaching gig. She's trying so very hard. Her rules don't gel with real classroom life. But, yes. We all still prepare those outlines. And we all know before she does that none of it will make sense when we go over them in class because we just don't have all the material yet. But by golly, she made that syllabus over the holidays, and I'll give HER an A for effort for sticking to it! :D

Cranky
02-14-2010, 01:35 AM
It might have been a black and white remark, but really--school is about more than learning the subject matter. It's also, at least in my opinion, about learning how to behave like an adult in the real world. And yes, that often does require some serious dancing skills.

But as for super-strict rules within a particular class, I thought some of the rules in my law courses were ridiculous. A late paper--even one day late--earns a zero? Are you kidding?! But in the real world, a legal document filed with the court even 5 minutes late is often worthless, no matter how noble the cause of the case and no matter what the reason for lateness happens to be.

Ah, yes, the world is an arbitrary place much of the time, and the classroom is no different in that respect. However, a zero for being one day late (unless we're talking a final) seems sort of stupid to me. How the hell do you find out if you learned the material that way? I think docking 10% or whatever for every late day is probably a more than reasonable consequence. Hell, even if you're late for work, you sometimes get your pay docked accordingly, depending on where you work.

I don't have a problem with preparing students for the real world. But allowing students to haggle for a grade seems to be taking it too far, imo. LOL And just as there are asshole profs, there are asshole bosses, too. You adapt to the way they do business, or suffer the consequences, sure. I still think it wouldn't hurt for people to be flexible in extraordinary circumstances, and some people won't budge, no matter what.

And now I have no idea what I'm saying anymore, lol.

ad_lucem
02-14-2010, 01:43 AM
Ah, yes, the world is an arbitrary place much of the time, and the classroom is no different in that respect. However, a zero for being one day late (unless we're talking a final) seems sort of stupid to me. How the hell do you find out if you learned the material that way? I think docking 10% or whatever for every late day is probably a more than reasonable consequence. Hell, even if you're late for work, you sometimes get your pay docked accordingly, depending on where you work.

I don't have a problem with preparing students for the real world. But allowing students to haggle for a grade seems to be taking it too far, imo. LOL And just as there are asshole profs, there are asshole bosses, too. You adapt to the way they do business, or suffer the consequences, sure. I still think it wouldn't hurt for people to be flexible in extraordinary circumstances, and some people won't budge, no matter what.

And now I have no idea what I'm saying anymore, lol.

I think what you're saying is...

:Shrug:

I'll second that...

:Shrug:

and raise you a....

:flag:

:D

Cranky
02-14-2010, 01:45 AM
:roll: