Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Am done! With the grading, with the exam-giving, with it all! My first semester as an instructor is pretty much done for.

Except, you know, the fallout from the grades. Teacher Lady wrote about the "morning after" phenomenon recently, and I must admit I have the same dread. As soon as I hit the submit button, I knew I'd get emails. So far only one, though there are a couple of usual suspects, as well as student who has dropped off the face of the earth.

But I have to wonder (like how I'm channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw?) why do students believe in things such as the finals fairy? You know, the finals fairy, the mythical being who helps all those who fuck around for the other 3 grade-carrying components of the class, comes in the middle of the night, much like Santy Claus, and bestows upon them the chance to score a perfect 100 on the final. Which will impress me so greatly that I will say, yes, I believe this little darling deserves the A! For the Final Grade! No, let's just give him/her an A on the next semester's component, too, and not waste all of our time.

I have to say, I was often surprised by the final grades I earned in college. But I went to art school, and my surprising (good, bad and otherwise) grades were always in studio classes. In studios, at least in my school, you often didn't know how you were doing until you were finished, at the final crit. But my students know what they got for the two other exams, and for their semester-long project. And they should know that if they left three quarters of the exam blank, the finals fairy must have skipped over their dorm room the night before. These kids today!


Teacher lady said...

The finals fairy. I might have to borrow that one. Personally? I think it's because students like to believe we're fairly subjective, which means they can influence their grades with their charming personalities rather than hard work. Last year, I helped out with a "freshman orientation" fair. Student volunteers gave college scenarios and helped the incoming freshmen figure out the best response. I was HORRIFIED when an education major explained this scenario she wrote herself, "You've gotten As on all your quizzes in your political science class as well as As on all exams and papers. However, you know your professor doesn't like you because you disagree on politics and often prove him wrong in class. When you see your grade posted, the professor has given you a C-, while according to your calculations, your average was a 94, which is an A-. What do you do?" I mean - COME ON!!!! This is the age of e-mail and the fast track to the Dean's office. Do students REALLY think an instructor - ANY instructor would be so stupid?

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