Monday, April 7, 2008

Undergrad Smackdown

In the past, I’ve had the great fortune to flaunt almost god-like power in the form of a university statistics teacher in return for reduced tuition and money enough for all the beer you could drink in a weekend. I also got an office that I shared with a normal girl and an uber-PhD candidate who was so brilliant I just knew he’d come in with an assault rifle one day and kill us all for being so stupid. We didn’t talk to him much because he’d turn a conversation about Krispy Kreme into a set theory exhortation.

Hey M…just needed to know if you wanted the sprinkle doughnut.

Statistics turned out to be a required class for kids majoring in Physical Education which is filled with kids who play on the school’s various teams. I’m not knocking PE as a major, but it also seemed to attract a caliber of student more suited to occupations with paper hats.

The sports folk were VERY conscientious of their grades because anything less than a ‘C’ meant they couldn’t play. My two most charming football players cornered me before the final:

Big Football Guy: “Ms. Thing …I gotta get a
‘C’…I can get you tickets to the Carolina/Clemson game.”

Me: (thinking seriously about how much money I
could get for those tickets)
“How about you just study for the final?”


As part of the class, there were labs where the kids did experiments and then used statistics to analyze and write up a report.

BoyChild could have written a better report than the garbage I used to grade. GirlChild could have done a better job rearranging Scrabble tiles. Sentence fragments were popular. Spelling and subject/verb agreement… HAHAHAHAAA… I give myself leeway on this blog, but you can bet your sweet ass, that if I’m writing up a report it will be flawless. (OK…mostly flawless)

Because all grad students taught the same material, we were all given a grading rubric for a big statistics report the undergrads were writing. And yes, I handed back a paper with a 47 on it. 47 was generous.

Doofus: “Ms. Thing…I don’t think I deserve a 47.”

Me: “Here is a paper that I gave a 99. Why don’t you
compare your paper to this one.”

Doofus: “Ms. Thing…I still think I deserve something
higher.”

Me: “In this section, you wrote the following “sentence” –
the averige devtion wing span 4.2 kilmeters. Your report is half a page long.
It’s hand-written with a corner missing from the top on a piece of paper that’s
been ripped out of a note book and there’s a coffee circle on it.

Doofus: (silence)

Me: “Tell you what…I’ll give your paper to another student
to grade.”

Other student grades paper using rubric and gives it a 42.

Me: “So…you wanna keep my 47 or take the 42?”

My other favorite doofus was the guy who showed up for three classes never to be seen again. I gave him an "F". AND THEN HE SHOWED UP TO DISPUTE THE FREAKIN' "F" !! WHAT IN THE HELL!?!?!?!

I actually had to take time out from my busy schedule of walking to the vending machines for a meeting between myself, the student and the head of the department for the grade dispute.

And soooo….the head of the department and I are sitting in his office watching the minutes tick by on the clock BECAUSE THIS LITTLE SHIT HASN’T COME TO THE DISPUTE. I almost wanted to punch something when the professor asked ME where the kid was. Like I know or care. We finally came up with a phone number for him and when we called, his roommate answered and said he was still in bed asleep. HAHAHAHA…..
Prof: “Do you still want to give him an “F”?

Me: (Are you serious?) “Yes”

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5 Comments :

Shieldmaiden96 said...

My aunt was an art history professor and for a short time she was living at my grandmother's while she was waiting for settlement on a new house. We used to sit around the kitchen table at Mom-Mom's while she was grading papers, pass them around to read, and mock them. I think there are some children which should have been left behind.

Theresa said...

My husband is a university professor, and when grading time comes around we get the biggest laughs out of what people write. That is, when we can actually figure out what they've written.

Alice said...

I have to agree with both of you - those papers sure were good for a laugh! I was amazed that some of those kids escaped high school.

damon said...

Sometimes money won't buy a C.
But Carolina/Clemson tickets might get a D plus!

Alice said...

They cracked me up. And they both got legitimate 'B's - I was watching them like a hawk.

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