davehaas at prodigy.net
Sat Sep 11 18:53:24 EST 1999
The following was taken from a novel "Cosm" written by a Physics
professor at a major institution in Calinfornia. I'm sorry I didn't get
his name but he writes science fiction. Some of you may know him.
Anyway... it remined me so much of my experiences with students that I
thought I would pass it on. How many have had similar experiences or can
A physics professor describing her students after final exams:
Students would call and whine.
"I'm looking for a break here, one said. I really need a "B" in this
course for med school". Another pleaded "If I don't get at least a "C"
from you I will loose my sholarship". Since mostly biology students
took the course and most bio majors were thinly disguised med school
candidates she got a lot of "my life is over unless I can get a full
letter grade increase."
Still they weren't as bad as the sad eyed types who showed up at her
office door. "Professor I was in your class amd got a "B" and wondered
is there anything i can do to raise it"? The grade seekers all shared
a dislike for definitive statements of grades that wouldn budge like
fulcrum moments which once pivoted about were forever gone, instead they
believed that the esteem building smiley faces of grade school carried
over to the university. Artful begging should bring a higher grade,
right! Final grades done and posted simply announced a last chance to
whine for more. Just asking should count for something shouldn't it?
Points could be added to a score like freebie burgers or t-shirts. Ater
all, out in the big world fame and wealth often went to those with no
love for knowledge at all. Why should the world of academia be
different. They wanted to do extra credit after the course was over or
partial credit instead of taking the exams. Getting a right answer was
after all only part of the learning process. But bridges fell down if
you calculated the stresses wrong, people died on the operating table if
a med school graduate miscalculated a dosage. Such possibilities did not
affect their quaint feeling that they should be doing better, so
something was wrong with the system. Only about ten percent of the class
acted this way but they roused her ire. They wanted to be judged on their
potential and wondered why the world didn't see it that way.
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