Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

I've had a couple of notable experiences at school the past few days. One good, one bad.

First, the good. You may remember a few blogs ago that I had a complaint about the computer course I'm required to take. Essentially, about half the material on the tests isn't touched upon at all in the course material. So, I e-mailed the instructor complaining about this. He e-mailed me back. "OK, here's the tests. Point out which questions aren't covered." Took me a whole afternoon, but I poured through the material, circled which questions weren't covered, and gave the tests back to him. And then, he was silent for a week.

Until Monday. He e-mailed me and said, "OK, Mark, thanks for making an honest effort to justify your concerns. Here's the deal. Yup, some of the questions you pointed out aren't covered in the course material. So, those questions have been strcken from the test, and the marks adjusted accordingly. And, starting next semester, this will no longer be a correspondence course taught over the Internet. It'll be a full-blown classroom lecture course again."

So, I changed the way the program is taught. Woo!

Then, the bad thing. I was in my course taught by a TV professor today. Now, I really don't care for the TV professors. They have more of an air of "Hollywood phoniness" about them. And today, we were marking our big final group project. We had to mark the other four members in our group. We could give are fellow group members a maximum mark out of 25. So, say for example, I thought everyone in my group deserved top marks. What's 25*4? If you said 100%, you're right! But, this class doesn't exist in the real world! It exists in TV land!

This professor only gives a maximum mark of 80%. According to his logic, to get more than 80% would imply that you did everything right, and because we're all just learning, there's NO WAY we can do everything right. So, we could give all our fellow group members a mark out of 25, but when added altogether, it had to be less than 80. I felt it was highly unfair.

But, I didn't feel much like mounting a protest then and there. So, in the comments section on our grading form, I just threw in a quote from "1984:" "Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4. Once that is granted, all else follows."

Next Issue...Thought Crime

No comments: