Thursday, 6 March 2008


I'm a student, and hence have very little to report or talk about during midterm week besides midterms.

1) Calculus - technically not a midterm, but a quiz, the score of which shall be combined with the score of the first quiz. I DID NOT FAIL! But I should have. Forty-nine percent or less is a fail. I got fifty. Twenty-five out of fifty marks. Except that the prof had originally written twenty-three, rather than twenty-five, then gave me two more marks (as far as we can tell, because he wanted me to pass).

I'm a good student. Last calc class, my final grade was A, and this semester was also going well. Until this test. It's not that I didn't study - I learned all those equations no problem. I just didn't know what equations to use to solve the problems. It's partly my fault, definitely. But at the same time, I didn't expect it to be so difficult. I have never had a problem with math before.

This year, however, the tutorials are in a completely different format from calc class last year, and I do not benefit from them. Therefore, if I wish to do well in this course, I shall have to take it upon myself to basically teach myself, using the few examples from the lecture, questions from the textbook, and sessions with Dad.

50%. As far as university is concerned, my first ever bombed test.

2) Ethics - I wrote it. With a pen, even though I like using pencils better. The prof wanted us to use a pen. Don't have the results for that yet. I think it went ok.

3) Psych 369 - Hasn't happened yet.

4) History - No midterm!!! (It's a full-year course. The Christmas exam was the midterm.)

5) Psych 203 - This was an interesting exam. Before beginning the test, the prof gave us evaluation sheets to fill out, so he could see what sort of things we wanted him to fix, and what things we liked. Fair enough, although I would have liked to fill it out after the exam, because then I could have mentioned a few more things...

Upon beginning the test, I was quite surprised to find a number of obvious and altogether ridiculous spelling mistakes on the test (and also punctuation errors). For example: "school" was spelled "shchoool". You'd think the prof would have turned on a spell-checker.

After hemming and hawing about a question for which none of the answers really seemed to fit (as far as I'm concerned, all four answer choices were wrong), I saw a classmate bring her test to the prof and ask if it was the right one. What do you know, it wasn't. Several other students handed their tests back, as well, while recovering from their panic attacks at not recognizing any of the material. I skimmed the rest of my test to see if it was the correct one. All the questions had to do with psychology, so I thought it was, but it wasn't. After several more minutes, the prof told everyone to stop and hand back their tests, because it turns out they were all wrong. The first page was from the right test, but every page after that was from a completely different class.

Apologizing, and stating that this had never happened during his ten years of teaching, the prof scampered off to copy out the correct exams, while we all had a ten minute break. Luckily it was only supposed to be a thirty-minute exam, so there was time to spare. The girl sitting next to me and I started chatting about coffee, the humour in the situation, and Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She brought up the question for which I hadn't seen any appropriate answer, and related her belief that none of the answers were right.

So I, and I assume she, when the exam started again, chose the answer that made the most sense, based solely on the information given in the question, and still wonder whether he made another typo and wrote "no" where he didn't mean to.

Otherwise, the test was easier than I had expected it to be.

That's all for now.

And speaking of Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Mr Prosser said, 'You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time, you know.'
'Appropriate time?' hooted Arthur. 'Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away, of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me.'
'But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.'
'Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.'
'But the plans were on display...'
'On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.'
'That's the display department.'
'With a torch.'
'Ah, well the lights had probably gone.'
'So had the stairs.'
'But look, you found the notice, didn't you?'
'Yes,' said Arthur, 'yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

1 comment:

art said...

Too bad about the calculus exam. I remember writing a physics exam in electrodynamics and I had to check the cover page because I did not recognize the questions. I thought I was either in the wrong class or the teacher handed out the wrong exam. Then to make matters worse, about ten minutes into the exam, people started to get up and hand in their papers and leave. I still hadn't even figured out how to approach answering any of the questions. I think it was the final exam too so it was an important one. It was a horrible test but I still passed the class.

I don't like it when the prof creates the test in the five minutes before class and doesn't have time to check it for errors. Oh well. Sounds like you are doing okay.