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Author Topic: What is the most insulting comment a professor has ever written on your work?  (Read 14254 times)

Malek

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I did a paper on math and when i got it back it said *Call me **** **** :)* i was a little creaped out...
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axerton

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when I first read that I thought you were just self censoring cuss words so I read that as "Call me shit cunt"
I was a little relieved when I figured out what you actually meant.
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Spike

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Perhaps the most insulting thing a professor ever done in regards to my work (teacher in this case, since it was senior year in High School) was not something written on my work, but announced to the whole class.

She stated to the whole class "This is the worst grade I have ever seen." and then proceeded to laugh.  At that point, it was almost as if I was suffering from head trauma.  I couldn't process this for a few seconds.

 Normally, I would have been able to ignore it, but this was during the last year of my grandfathers life (I live with my grandparents.)  He was bed ridden, his bladder had failed to function, he was also suffering from an infection that refused to die and he was also suffering from Parkinson's which had gotten a lot worse in a short span of time. In short, academics were not exactly easy at the time and it was just not the time to have to put up with that kind of bullshit from a teacher.

I thought it was a little out of character for this teacher, because we were normally on good terms. 
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RedLion

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when I first read that I thought you were just self censoring cuss words so I read that as "Call me shit cunt"
I was a little relieved when I figured out what you actually meant.

why would you take it as that, there is so many other expletive combinations
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Our uni only does one unit of Ancient History, so when I had that as one of my majors, the second semester I had to do it externally through another uni.  I went from being a straight HD student at USQ to just passing my first assignment by 1 mark at UNE.  Not only that, but they wrote me a 6 page essay (I am not even kidding) on how much I sucked at EVERYTHING.  I passed the next assignment by 3 marks!

Also in my first year of Vis Arts, my drawing lecturer was really encouraging and told me my work was good etc etc.  But when I signed up to do the drawing course for the second semester he told me 'not to bother coming back to this course',.  I was all WUT.  but then I did textiles instead, which became my favourite subject and the one I did until I graduated, so that's not all bad!
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I kind of feel bad now because I WAS that guy that slacked off in groups. Like, I went to sleep the day of our presentation and actually said "no, fuck you guys" when they kept telling me to come up to the front.

I was generally 20% (random statistic) higher than the rest of the class on an intellectual level, so I could actually talk to them about stuff and they'd understand the point I was making, but goddamn if I wasn't a slacker.

Here are some more random statistics:

60% of people reckon they are smarter than you
70% of people have been slack at some point
80% of people have been given grief from a person who slacked off in their group work.
90% of people think you sound kind of like a douchebag to go to school with.

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tania

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to be fair i really was a lot smarter than everyone else in my high school and kind of an asshole too. the fact that i made it to uni despite having over 150 missed classes by my senior year and having spent almost every day high pretty much says it right there.
we're just sharing stories, relax a bit.
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allison

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"Some of this appears 'lifted'"

I got that comment on an essay I wrote in grade 10. I put work into that paper, and it was reflected in the well-organized structure and strong argument - but because I could actually write a proper essay (whereas many of my classmates could not), I was being accused of plagiarism. I've never been so offended.
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Oh now if we're talking about stuff that teachers have SAID in class ...

Freshman year, my band director sat me down in front of the whole class and yelled at me that my 'face was obnoxious' and that it was 'making [him] sick.'

That was pretty bad.
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The papers I got bad grades and comments on, it was usually because I didn't start a 5-page paper until 3am the day it was due, so I was 15 minutes late to class and it was a page too short and had no conclusion and so on. I never really figured out how to do drafts, so the papers would start out fine because I was still awake, and just go downhill into the night, becoming less and less coherent..

Someone in the PhD program at my university got "So what?" as the only comment on their thesis proposal.
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Christophe

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Wow. I've been blessed to have some professors over the years who weren't total dickpigs with regards to their grading. Fuck, I made off easier than the lot of you!

Actually, any stupid comments I got on my papers were from my classmates during peer review. "This paper doesn't have a thesis, I looked all over the first page." Or worse yet, "There's too many big words in this paper!"

A college student SAID THAT. If a civil mind had not gotten the best of me, I would've slugged him with an unabridged dictionary. I've hated him ever since, on account that he is an honest-to-God retard.
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Heranje

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I haven't really had any insulting comments on my own papers (often I'm frustrated by the lack of comment), but there was one girl in my English class (note: we're Norwegian and are taking English as a second language) who got the comment "Are you dyslexic?" on her paper. She's not.

That same teacher tends to write things like "yes" and "hmm" all over my papers, often with some smiley faces thrown in. ._. She's odd.
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ThePQ4

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I have a professor who gives Map Quizzes on the areas we talk about in class --well, I'm in her Asian History course right now, and I didn't exactly study for the first one... So I basically just guessed on everything. I had a general idea of where things were, but apparently I was very, very wrong because on the side of my paper she wrote, "Sam, what happened?!"

...Obviously this professor doesn't know me well enough to know what a horrible slacker I am...
And yet, she still loves me as as student. I don't get it.

I've got some other good ones, but I'll have to find the papers.
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Barmymoo

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If we're talking peer review, I have never yet had a single peer review where the person reviewing hasn't gone "I don't know what half of these words mean". I spent most of my high school life trying to dumb myself down because I got quite badly disliked for being "stuck up", but now I go with the method of not dumbing down, but being careful not to sound condescending or arrogant.

I got quite upset in the first term of college when I had a review thing with my english teacher, who told me she had given me a 2 on class contribution because I "answered too many questions and didn't give the other students a chance". There were seven of us in the class, one of whom never spoke, and if I didn't answer we sat in silence for several minutes because the teacher never called on anyone. I didn't feel that the fact that no one else would answer was my fault, really.
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lprkn

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"surprisingly good"
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ThePQ4

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If we're talking peer review, I have never yet had a single peer review where the person reviewing hasn't gone "I don't know what half of these words mean".

Oh man, I spent like twenty minutes trying to convince some guys in a peer-review group I was in that "chattel" was a real word. They didn't believe me. I had to get the professor in on the argument, and she commended me on use of the word, and assured them that yes, it was a real word. And this was Freshman -Honors- English...meaning we were supposed to be too good to be in a 101 English course. ...Right.
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snalin

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the worst thing that's happened to me was when I delivered a paper that I'd not spent any time at all on really, just throwing something down on a paper. The thing was full of spelling mistakes (this was before the computers were introduced in school). My teacher wanted me to go have a dyslexia test. I've never been so angry in school (well, except the time I punched Ladybug's brother. But that's another story). I had the best text understanding and reading speed in my class, and annually went to writing-things in the summer.

And I just got back a paper on how we can see tracks of the antique theater in modern European theater. My teacher gave me a bad grade, because I did not write anything about how theater was formed in the antique Greece. She said that I hadn't understood the assignment. Seriously, what?
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Katherine

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lots of stuff about group projects

I agree with you.  I just graduated earlier this year after spending the last three years putting myself through night school to finish my degree.  I can, in all honesty, say that in all of the group projects that I was a part of, I voluntarily and without complaint did the lion's share of the work assigned simply because I didn't want to have to trust other people not to fuck me over.  But if it is obvious to the professor that one person isn't doing their fair share, as it was in the given example, I still maintain that it isn't fair to punish the rest of the people.  I would say that making people do group projects is punishment enough, period.

And if we're talking about things that have been said by professors/teachers... my eighth grade Earth Science teacher told me that he didn't want to recommend me for AP science for ninth grade because I was too much of a slacker.  I finished the class with an A, I aced my midterm and got a 96 on the final, despite not having done any of the homework assigned all year.  I was a slacker, of course, but obviously I wasn't being challenged by regular science classes.

And then in my senior year of high school, in AP English, we had writing assignments due weekly.  I was still not doing my homework, which was a habit that lasted until I had to pay my own way through college, so I got to class early the day the assignment was due and wrote a quick and pretty shitty poem about my friend Scott who had moved away.  My professor loved it, I got a 100 on it, and she made me read it in front of the rest of the class.  I was mortified and the jerks in my class made fun of me for a few weeks afterward.  And my best friend still gives me shit about it to this day, and we graduated high school over ten years ago.
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öde

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I really wish more people were like you, and expect to be held accountable, as opposed to the majority of students who seem genuinely shocked that not doing the assignments has a detrimental affect on their grade.

Yeah, me too. I'm not going to put in any effort if my teachers don't take an interest in me or my work, or even if I turn up or not, especially if I don't care too much about the work. I know that I have to write up about what I did to show I understand what I'm doing, but I don't give a shit about that as opposed to taking photos, or writing, or making films.
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0bsessions

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And this was Freshman -Honors- English...meaning we were supposed to be too good to be in a 101 English course. ...Right.

American High School honors courses have long since been a joke. I actually dropped Honors English my senior year because there were too many people in it. Parents bitch and moan when their children aren't regarded as special snowflakes and schools subsequently cave to their demands and put them in honors courses in an effort to appease them, and are then forced to dumb the class down to maintain some kind of grading curve. I dropped it after a week after realizing I wasn't going to actually learn shit in there and due to my absolute disgust at the presence of some of the individuals in the class (Some of the biggest idiots I have ever met in my life). I was righteously pissed off about the circumstance, as I had busted my ass to get into that class on my own merit and done a summer project as an entrance requirement which I figured would account for jack shit upon dropping. Luckily, the same teacher was teaching the standard level English class and graciously graded the summer assignment into my overall grade as extra credit.

The aforementioned honors class contained, as I recall, thirty-four students (Close to half of my graduating class of 84 people). The standard course I dropped into had seven students. We subsequently outpaced the honors class by a good margin due to the fact the honors class had to slow down to accommodate the large class size (And the fact most of the dumber, more well to do students were in the honors class) while we breezed through everything since teaching just over a half dozen students takes minimal effort, comparatively.
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Barmymoo

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I don't really understand the American grading system, can someone explain it to me? For comparison, here in the UK you do work all year round but it is preparing you for the summer exams and your grade is based on what percentage of marks you get in that exam. Occasionally you have coursework which means a big project that is marked externally by the examiners (as are the exams) and it makes up usually a third of your grade, but the actual teacher never has any input into your final grade except for teaching you stuff.

I gather that isn't the way in the US?
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Lila

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The way most American schools work is that the year is divided into segments (usually halves, thirds, or quarters) and you get a grade for each term based on the grades you got on papers/hw/tests/whatever, at the end of the year you have a final, and all of the grades are averaged for your final year grade. All of the grading is by the teachers (usually) and what you're graded on changes from teacher to teacher.
At least, that's how my school works, and the schools I've gone to before.
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KvP

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Not usually. Given the abundance of "bad test-takers" out here, most people seem to prefer the American way.

In Primary / Secondary / Undergrad education, this seems to be the norm, at least that I've found -

Final grade = 100%
10% = Homework
25% = Final Exam
25% = Midterm Exam
20% = Assorted in-class Quizzes
20% = Labs / Essays / Projects / the like

It varies, some classes have only exams and quizzes, some have no projects but lots of homework, etc. In high school homework was of far more importance (much to my personal detriment). But generally exams are a sizable chunk but not the entirety of your grade.
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KTkat

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Oh the days of frequent homework. I definitely don't miss that useless waste of time...

Fun teacher stories!:

My senior year of high school, our Honors Humanities class (which was actually good, because our teacher actually had a masters degree in literature and knew what he was talking about) required a major paper at the end of each semester. Obviously by the end of the year I didn't care...I got a C. His comment on the top of the front page: "What the hell happened here? This isn't you!!!"

Most insulting thing ever was also senior year of high school-- my Psychology professor basically telling me I'd be lucky to get into the University of Wisconsin- Madison (a good school, but NOT where I wanted to go) because I was too stupid to possibly test high enough on the SAT for anywhere out of state to accept me. Asshole.
« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2008, 15:26 by KTkat »
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JD

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Just to add on what you said:

The work(homework, quizzes, projects etc.) can be weighted differently.
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supersheep

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Not exactly on a paper or insulting, but relevantish?

I'd just handed in an assignment in English class - we were preparing for the Leaving Cert, and the teacher had given us the task of writing a magazine feature article. I'd decided to go a bit wild, and write a bit of 'gonzo' journalism. Something about a travel writer getting drunk with some Irish sterotypes. It turned out fine, I got an A- I think, but the teacher wasn't all that happy with it. He came up to my room in the evening (I was in boarding school), and called me out for writing something that I knew he'd like, and that I wouldn't write anything like it for the real exam. When I told him that I'd write exactly the same thing, he was impressed. Told me I was an idiot for risking running into a teacher who might hate it in such an important exam, but impressed.

Also, I think I've only ever started one paper more than three days in advance of the due date - in fact I don't think I turned in a philosophy essay on time in second or third year.
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JD

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This one I got from a soccer coach:

"You did better than I thought you would."

I just glared at him.
« Last Edit: 15 Nov 2008, 12:16 by Zombiedude »
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ruyi

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And this was Freshman -Honors- English...meaning we were supposed to be too good to be in a 101 English course. ...Right.

American High School honors courses have long since been a joke.

I am pretty sure she was talking about college? She used the terms 'professor' and '101'.
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ThePQ4

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Yes, I was.
But I think the statement that Honors classes are kind of a joke are is still valid.
I knew quite a few people that just tested well and got into the class, but they obviously didn't belong there when it came time to write a paper or read the literature.

...Mind you, I aced every paper and didn't read a damn thing for class --and all of her comments were flowery about my interesting ideas towards the literature and how well I understood certain passages... Mind you, I got all of that class discussion and Spark Notes summaries. Nice.
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tania

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my first year university english class completely lost their shit when they found out 10% of our final mark would be based on a ten-question grammar quiz. i'm pretty sure i was the only person silently rejoicing about my free 10%.
students in university still don't know the difference between your and you're? seriously?
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tommydski

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Dyslexia is a lot more common than most people realise and there are many different manifestations.
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tania

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maybe i am being overly cynical and generalizing here but i really think it was more because these were silly people who don't read books and never had any incentive to learn proper english cos of microsoft word and spellcheck and all that. it's a little implausible that almost an entire class of white, middle class, privileged kids failed a very simple grammar quiz because every single one of them had a learning disability.
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Knowing the difference between "your" and "you're" is really either poor grammar or just a lack of care when writing.
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jhocking

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In Primary / Secondary / Undergrad education, this seems to be the norm, at least that I've found -

Final grade = 100%
10% = Homework
25% = Final Exam
25% = Midterm Exam
20% = Assorted in-class Quizzes
20% = Labs / Essays / Projects / the like

It varies, some classes have only exams and quizzes, some have no projects but lots of homework, etc. In high school homework was of far more importance (much to my personal detriment). But generally exams are a sizable chunk but not the entirety of your grade.

This is the norm at most schools, but note that there are a few (including the school I'm teaching at now) that just plain don't have grades. Speaking from the perspective of a teacher, not having grades as a way of giving feedback on how people are doing isn't an easy adjustment to get used to.

tania

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apparently a lot of schools are doing this now as part of something called the self-esteem movement, which is based on the idea that kids who feel better about themselves end up being more successful in life, and because bad grades make kids feel shitty about themselves, grading systems should be eliminated. this movement also includes eliminating scoring systems in kids sports teams and giving everyone a trophy despite who actually wins or loses, and making kids in school give class presentations on how awesome they are, and a bunch of other crap. not surprisingly, this tends to have the opposite effect of making kids pretty stupid cos they don't learn from their mistakes and end up having no incentive to try at anything. i think it's ridiculous.
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8th grade
"You do absolutely no work in class, you fall asleep everyday, and you never even attempt to give me an excuse when you fail to turn in homework. Stop getting As on my tests."

It was true
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Kind of like how so many school systems in America are automatically passing students (classes can't be failed)...I had a thread related to this a month or so ago.
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CarrionMan

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There's classes you can't fail? Seriously? Where?
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English is apparently one of them.
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"Me fail English? That's unpossible."
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60% of people reckon they are smarter than you
70% of people have been slack at some point
80% of people have been given grief from a person who slacked off in their group work.
90% of people think you sound kind of like a douchebag to go to school with.

To be honest. I wasn't the smartest kid ever, but I went to a pretty shitty school. The teachers were glad when you showed up not on drugs and not pregnant.

And I was a douchebag to go to school with, I admit that. since I graduated I've become much less of a douche.
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008, 04:03 by PantsFTW »
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"Whose is this? You don't even study here"
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apparently a lot of schools are doing this now as part of something called the self-esteem movement

Well in all fairness to institutions like Brown or SAIC that don't have grades, it's a really different thing on a college level than a K-12 level. I mean, in college the expectation (although admittedly this is only rarely true) is that the students are independent-minded adults who set their own priorities.

I is Grammar

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I never really had problems with teachers or professors writing nasty things on papers.  I always had issues with the teachers / professors saying nasty things to me or my parents.   In 10th grade, during a parent / teacher conference (These were the bane of my existence.), the upper school head asked me what my major would be in college.  I told her that I was planning on majoring in marine biology.  She laughed, and told me (in front of my mother) that I wasn't smart enough to be a science major and that I should be a theater major instead, because that was the only thing I was good at.  After she said that, I was very concerned for her well-being, because I thought my mother was going to slug her.  Fortunately (for the head, not for me; I would have loved to see it) she didn't, but explicitly told the head that she had no idea what she was talking about and that she was obviously deranged and unfit to work with students.  Oddly enough, a year after I left the school, this head was fired for being an alcoholic and bringing her booze to work. 

I also had issues with teachers not believing me when I corrected something they said or wrote on the board.  At least once a week, I would correct my english teacher on a piece of grammar that was used incorrectly or a misspelling on the board.  And equally as often, I'd get kicked out of class for insubordination.  I was never rude or demeaning to the teacher, I just politely pointed out the mistake.  Either he / she would announce that I had to be wrong and I'd be forced to get a dictionary and prove that I was right, or I would just be told to "leave my damn room." 

Now, granted, I am a bit of a pedant when it comes to grammar or spelling.  However, I never saw the need to "show up" the teacher.  The mistakes (especially written on the board) would almost glow, and I couldn't focus on anything else until it was fixed.  Made me crazy. 


...maybe I am a little bit crazy.     
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Dimmukane

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Well, now I guess I understand your username.
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Alex C

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There's classes you can't fail? Seriously? Where?

I had the best Earth Science class ever once at community college. And by that, I mean worst. You see, a 60% grade or higher was an A and 30% was still passing. The grades were based completely on the multiple choice exams, of which there were 4 and your lowest score was thrown out. I didn't give a shit about my GPA at that point and was taking several genuinely hard classes that semester so the second I heard the grading criteria I resolved to never show up except for exams and never studied. You know the difference between a tree and a rock? Here's your C! Have a nice day and enjoy spring break! The only way you could really fail is if you were both a complete moron AND tremendously unlucky or just never showed up for the tests. That said, it was apparently a hard class to get an A in, since the teacher was genuinely terrible. Hurray 2 year colleges.  :roll:
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008, 09:01 by Alex C »
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Dimmukane

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My community college was pretty good.  Two spring semesters ago I had to write about 60 pages worth of papers and do 20-30 hours of Flash programming in about a month, on top of a 25-hour workweek.  I was more referring to high schools making passing mandatory, not colleges, although there are obviously some that also suffer from this.
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Barmymoo

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A friend of mine is having real trouble with last summer's computing grade, because one of the three modules that he took was totally messed up. It was coursework-based but they didn't mark the actual coursework (which they'd spent all year working). Instead, there was an exam in which you had to justify your programming choices and reference the relevant page of the work. There was one mark for each page reference and four or five marks for each long answer relating to those pages.

The problem is that my friend got most of the page numbers mixed up. I'm not sure why; it's either because he's dyslexic (he is quite severly dyslexic) or because he was in a rush when he wrote them on the project, I can't remember. That wouldn't be a problem except that the paper was marked in a way that meant you couldn't get the marks for the answers unless you had also got the mark for the page number. Therefore he lost about twenty marks based on three or four one-mark mistakes. The real bummer is that he was two marks off passing the paper,  and the exam board have now cancelled the syllabus so he can't retake it. It's dragged his overall grade down to a C, despite getting a high A on one paper and a high B on the other.

The college is going with a new exam board in future.
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There's this really handy "other thing" I'm going to write as a footnote to my abstract that I can probably explore these issues in. I think I'll call it my "dissertation."

BankHoldUp

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I can't think of a time when something insulting was written on a paper or project I turned in. However, much of my upper division work in college consisted of papers and dissertations that were dozens of pages long. The minimum requirement of pages was often (at least) twenty-five pages of original content, sometimes the minimum was forty to fifty pages.

Consistently, I would receive my paper back (that I'd labored on for weeks) with two thirds of the pages unread and an arbitrary number written on the cover page. It was pretty clear when a professor hadn't even read the paper completely, the area around the staple would be uncreased and the writing in the margins would cease after five pages or so. Sometimes, they wouldn't even bother to flip to the back and read the conclusion, or even glance at the footnotes or works cited.

Usually, a short discussion with professor would raise the grade if I wasn't happy with it but I never understood why they bothered assigning huge projects, expect us to pour hours and hours of work into them and then not even bother to even skim all the way through and have the audacity to give it a grade. I'd say that was more insulting than anything they could have written, especially since the paper was, more often than not, one of three things that your final grade was based on.
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008, 13:04 by BankHoldUp »
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McTaggart

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"You know I really don't think you will pass this subject" when I went to get my teacher to sign the form to do TEE English (the easiest one you need to get into the stream that leads more directly to university). I thought "That's a load of crap" at the time but in the end I failed it with about 37% after writing "this is pretty much bullshit" or something to that effect on my final exam paper and walking out. Maybe she was onto something (Incidently I was one of maybe three people in my class who could read fluently out loud, also now I am pretty much where I wanted to be so take that public highschool).
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One day ends and another begins and we're never none the wiser.
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