Why are you in my major?

#1:  Dear students, YOUR ANSWER MAKES NO SENSE! Love and late drops, Dr. #1.
If you don’ t know the answer, you can at least follow the part of the instructions that says “Use complete sentences”.
BUT APPARENTLY NOT!
#2:  reading is hard
#1:  I guess so

godDAMN people.
word to all you people in lecture who were like “yeah yea we got this”: you don’t got it.
maybe y’all wanna get a little less sleepy in lecture from now on, eh?

…and if I worried that I didn’t change the exam enough for the course repeaters? They’re doing JUST as badly as before. No worries.

#2:  I remember in my one [high school] class the teacher gave the SAME exam complete with same multiple choice questions and same question order etc.
I got 100%…

#1:  yeah, you’d be surprised how many people STILL tank it

#2:  the second time and the THIRD time…
#1:  it’s like they don’t have basic skills to be in college!  </sarcastic voice>
#2:  and yet, the average was still like a C or a D
oh, and it was OPEN NOTES
I just don’t get some people.
why even bother with exams?

#1:  why bother going to college?

if you’re going to get EVERY opportunity to ace the exam and still don’t?

I can understand social/parental pressure I guess, but WHY ARE YOU IN MY MAJOR???
GO BOTHER [OTHER SOCIAL SCIENCE]!
#2:  my students this year who need to come to office hours aren’t.  They may not pass.
#1:
gandalf
#2:  they should, but they’re not putting the time in

#1:  should, but shan’t.  It’s sad when someone takes both my classes at once and can’t pass either

(though again, how did you get to be a senior in this major???)
WHO PASSED YOU?
Also, accidentally, I graded these exams in the school colors!
Festive!
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17 Responses to “Why are you in my major?”

  1. Leah Says:

    I just gave a wicked hard test. My highest score was 84%. To be fair, I did have some tough analytical questions. So, I figured having a range of scores was expected. But I had students who complained that their 34% was due to the hard test. What? You mean those questions straight from lecture slides were still too hard for you? I wanted to be all “um, it’s called listening and studying,” but I figured that was mean.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Sometimes I give a variation on that answer. But my highest scores are always in the 90s so I know it’s not TOO hard. Some people just flame out, though.

      • Leah Says:

        I did a 20% adjustment because I figured that even my best students had a hard time. But, guess what? The AP test is hard, and it’s not written in my words either. You’ve got to learn how to read their words/terms and struggle with that. I won’t do you any favors by giving you easy tests.

  2. Debbie M Says:

    One professor I typed for finally would hand out a study guide with loads of short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions plus many analytical thinking questions. (No answers, though.) Every single exam question came from from the study guide. People still failed. At that point, you know they’re just not putting in the time and can fail them guilt-free.

    He taught The Human Body, a science for non-majors class. People wanted to think they could blow off a class like this but it’s still a class.

    Those questions (which I typed, and sometimes made more clear) intrigued me so much that I finally had to audit his course. And I got to find out the fabulously surprising answer that you need less sleep as you age (not less and then more, like I feared–unless you get depression in old age of course).

    I love science for non-majors classes. In fact, all classes for non majors. They try to teach you everything they can because they know you may never take another class again.

    **

    Another guy would go on and on during the first week about how tough his course was and how hard you were going to have to work. (Also, he would drop anyone without the prereqs who hadn’t talked to him.) I got the feeling that his course was not much worse than average, but he got a lot of the loser-types to drop. Heh.

    **

    I’ve heard that even college faculty (not just public school teachers) get pressured to give out certain grades. Is that really true?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      There’s not THAT much pressure but there is some, particularly if you are contingent or pre-tenure. My study guides also include the potential essay question word-for-word (buried in amongst many other questions, none with answers). I guess people just don’t work hard? I also tried to scare off losers this year and it worked somewhat. I always drop people who don’t have the prereqs.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I imagine I might get into trouble if I started failing a lot of people and people who weren’t having trouble in the other technical classes. But I don’t have any pressure to keep any specific GPA and I’m allowed to fail people if they fail the material. My average is usually a high B (but my students work hard and do better than the other sections in later classes using the material), but some years it has been an A or a B- for the same classes and there hasn’t been any difficulty with that.

      • Debbie M Says:

        Glad to hear it!

  3. rented life Says:

    Man, I’ve been putting off grading tests, now I really don’t want to. I said I’d have them back this Friday. Even though I felt like it was easy enough if people slow down and read, they didn’t and half the class was done in 20 minutes. Unless you’re a speed reader, that’s not possible. Also…you’re not a speed reader with how hard it is for you to read mini scenarios in class.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I find that grading in marker is both fun and useful (it keeps you from writing too many comments). Perhaps you need festive colors?

    • Leah Says:

      I put off grading projects for, um, a few weeks. Doing that right now and will be glad to get it done. I far prefer in-class presentations when we do projects, because then I grade as students share. Grading is my least favorite teaching task.

  4. Dr. Koshary Says:

    “Also, accidentally, I graded these exams in the school colors!
    Festive!” LMAO!

    And yeah, it’s stunning to see people crash and burn when you give them every opportunity to excel. I’m even more of a softie than you two: I just gave a test last week for which I gave students a study guide containing every possible essay question, word for word. They knew they’d face three of those five essays, although not which ones. About half of them totally screwed the pooch on at least one essay. And yes, it’s a bloody scandal that I’m seeing this at a SLAC with pretensions of rising in the national rankings.

    • Leah Says:

      Absolutely ridiculous. And I’m totally going to pull out that old saw, even though I know it’s cliche: I didn’t do that in college. If a professor gave me a study guide, I went over every single question. If they didn’t give me a study guide, I wrote an example test. No joke. I actually used lectures, notes, assignments, etc to write my own tests. I often guessed which questions would be on there just by analyzing what we’d covered and for how much time. If a prof emphasizes something more than once, you should probably know that for a test.

      College, often, is more about putting in the hard work than it is about being brilliant. I’m intelligent, but I’m not mensa or anything. I do take good notes and study hard.

      I even explain this to my HS students, they all nod, and then they don’t do any of the above. When I handed back my hard AP test and went over answers, I actually had students exclaim “oh, you took this from the powerpoint? I didn’t study those!” Head, desk.

  5. see above Says:

    Accountability: define and use in a sentence.

    Yeah, most kids will fail that one. Shame that the teachers get blamed!

  6. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam) Says:

    I just like that you used the word shan’t.


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