The End of the Semester gripe thread

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by christopher d, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. christopher d

    christopher d New Member

    Jun 11, 2002
    Weehawken, NJ
    I hate the "End of the Semester". Granted, it only comes twice a year, which is better than the four or five times a year I had during my undergrad and first year of grad school. But still... First big paper due yesterday. Yesterday! That pushes my "End of the Semester" push all the way back to a week before Thanksgiving! 35pg group (of 2) project. Bleah. One class down though, and one to go. 2 3pg case writeups, a 10pg blithering "what did you learn this semester paper", a 45 minute presentation on my group consulting project and (hopefully) one of my two incompletes from when I was ill at the end of last semester, which is another 10 pager, but this one is an actual research paper. Argh. Almost makes me wish I took classes that gave out finals rather than big papers.

    OK, whether you are on the writing or the grading end of this equation (or if you're a grad assistant, who has both :eek: ), you have gripes, complaints and a need to whine. Let's hear them.
     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I'm grading 30 papers in an intro to lit class, and at least 3 of the 15 I've looked at so far are clearly plagiarized (I've tracked down the sources of two of them, and the third shouldn't be too hard). That's irritating. On the other hand, that's 3 fewer final exams I'm going to have to grade, since they automatically fail the course now. But I mean, come on. If on all your other assignments you can't even show mastery of the English language, you shouldn't turn in papers with sentences you can't understand (someone whose first two papers are riddled with agreement errors and vague pronoun references won't come up with a sentence like "Hardy's poem interrogates the rhetorical structure of the image by inverting the vehicle/tenor relationship in the ensuing metaphor, leading to...". **************.

    Anyway, that's my end of the semester gripe: People who insult my intelligence by assuming I can't tell the difference between the product of their semi-literacy and the product of someone else's hyper-literacy.
     
  3. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard
    It always made me wonder what TAs or professors thought of the couple papers I wrote for my cluefvck stoners across the hall. Not that I ever approached such rhetorical flourishes, of course, but my papers, written in an hour or so, were vastly better than the crap they exuded in their wasted state. Although, I'm guessing the papers' effectiveness was limited by the fact that I usually hadn't read the book under discussion.
     
  4. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I think I had one of those kinds of papers earlier this year, but it didn't help the guy's grade at all. First of all, it appeared that the actual writer of the paper didn't read the books in question either, but the real telling point that someone else might of written it: the student's name was misspelled on the title page, and it was misspelled differently on top of each page within the paper. Alas, it was already an "f" by the time I noticed that, and I didn't feel like petitioning the college for permission to assign a letter not usually used in our grading scale (I think the paper was probably an "H-" or thereabouts). So, while he probably didn't write it, if he paid for it, he was adequately ripped off. The "F" got his head out of his ass, though, and he showed me two rough drafts on this one, so if he's getting someone else to write it, he's doing a much more thorough job.
     
  5. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard
    I like to think my arts of ****************ting were far superior. At least I hope so, since I never got any complains. :D Still, ten minutes of research online is usually enough to write a C level paper on a book you've never read. So long as you go into some deep socially related thought.
    You know - how the Puppy symbolizes industrialization, and stuff. ;)
     
  6. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    Club:
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good stuff. :D
     
  7. minorthreat

    minorthreat Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    NYC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    My favorite paper that I wrote on a book that I hadn't read was on Dostoyevsky's Demons. I threw in a quote, a vague reference to Turgenyev, and spent the remainder of the paper talking about 19th century Russian politics.

    B+. :D
     
  8. TeamUSA

    TeamUSA Member

    Nov 24, 1999
    Tianjin, China
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Interesting reading from the professor's perspective. As a student in high shcool I never really gave two shakes about the mental frame of the person reading and grading the paper. In college I cared more, but didn't have the time to shrink the mind of the professor and give them everything they wanted.

    Ohh no gripes here for the end of the semester.
     
  9. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    I once was talking to a girl about her rough draft of an essay on the film, "The Perfect Storm," when I came across a line calling George Clooney an "Ahab figure." I said, "Hm, what's that word mean? What's an Ahab figure?"

    To which she responded, "Oh..yeah, that's dumb. I was going to take that out." And she reached over and started just scratching it out.

    I started to giggle, but I caught myself. "Ok, but what did you mean by it? Is that even a word? Ahab? What's an Ahab?"

    She just stared at me blankly for a few long seconds.

    Finally I put her out of her misery.
     
  10. AmoebaCulture

    AmoebaCulture Member+

    Nov 25, 2001
    Andromeda
    Let me ask you a personal question: Assuming that he's doing his own work, do you feel great about the kid who shows sign of some more personal dignity and improvement?
     
  11. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Absolutely. I have a guy in my freshman comp class who got a gentleman's D on the first paper, and was pissed off, mostly at me, but for some reason he decided that, rather than just blame me for "giving" him a bad grade, he might make an effort or something. He'll probably get an A for the course, and since midterms, he's been participating in discussions, etc., and actually seems to be enjoying college more. And it makes me think I'm not wasting time, mine or theirs.

    I like Dr. Jones act of mercy. I had a prof who told me about someone who plagiarized a paper for a philosophy of religion class. Five pages, lifted straight from a book, a book written by an author my prof wrote a dissertation on... Soren Kierkegaard. Oh, and more tales of stupid plagiarism before I get back to work: a management prof here busted someone yesterday for turning in 10 pages lifted whole hog from one source... which the prof had placed on reserve for the whole class.

    So, in short, when I think of people like the first guy I wrote about, I'm happy and pleased to be working where I do...when I think about people like that last guy... I think I should put quotation marks around the word "college" wherever it appears... on my coffee cup, sweathirts, polo shirts, letterhead, envelopes, etc.
     
  12. nekounam

    nekounam New Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    on your mom
    Two more weeks of school left for me, and there's plenty I haven't gotten to. I've got finals for the following classes: a graduate stat class I'm taking as an elective, an upper level math course (topology), a neuroscience course, and a physical chemistry course. As for math and p-chem, I could literally not take the final and get a B. In other words, showing up is enough to secure an A in both classes. The stat class exams are easy, but the problem sets are time consuming (I'm sitting at an A-, I think). I need to have in two large problem sets (10-20 pages in printouts using some obscure statistical software package) before next week's end. I also have a neuroscience seminar class I'm taking. Although it's pass/fail, we need to have 5 one-page reports handed in before finals week to pass. I haven't handed in a single one yet. As for the neuroscience course itself, I'm not sure how graduate classes are curved. I got a 91 on the first exam (I'm the only undergraduate student in the class), and the exam average was a 68. I got my second exam back this week and I got a 79 (the class average was a 55). I really want an A in this class for my med school apps, but I'm not sure where I stand as of now. All the finals are comprehensive (usually I'll have one final each semester that isn't), and I haven't started studying. I also need to have my honors project proposal in and approved before semester's end if I want funding- I still don't know what my research topic is going to be. I made a checklist (about a page long) of all the things I need to get done before we hit break. That was last week, and I've yet to cross anything off.
     
  13. needs

    needs Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Brooklyn
    If I had one wish right now it would be to never read the phrase "Throughout history" in another student paper. Especially as the first words.


    Back to grading.
     
  14. rokstedy

    rokstedy Member+

    I love commieball
    Apr 20, 2001
    Northwest Orange County
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Big take home exam for one class & final for another on Monday! After that, I can relax, but I'm stressing here. Why I am here posting? Cuz I need a frickin' break! GACK!
     
  15. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Your students are little Ernest Hemingways compared to some of mine this semester, who would go with something like "All throughout the entire history of humanity on earth."
     
  16. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    Club:
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, they're cutting out the space exploration part of history. That narrows it down some. :D
     
  17. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The most ridiculous bit of plagiarism I witnessed happened back in my Anthro 101 TA-ing days. Prof. 1 was teaching the course. Student turned in a paper that had a page and half taken verbatim from the best selling Anthro 101 text by Prof 2, who happened to work in the same department and had taught the course the previous semester. When confronted about it she brought in a note from her mother, who claimed to be simultaneously taking an intro anthro course at a smaller school 20 miles away, which was using the Prof 2 text. Mom claimed that she had copied the pages from Prof 2's book into her class notebook and that it was from this and not the book itself that her daughter had copied the offending passage. Rather than call both her and her mother liars, it was explained to the student that had she copied directly from the book that would be considered plagiarism and she would have received a failing grade on the paper. However, since she had copied from her mother's notebook, it would be [drum roll, please] considered plagiarism and she would receive a failing grade on the paper. She took it to Honor Court, which added a required course in Ethics to the failing grade on the paper.
     
  18. Danks81

    Danks81 Member

    May 18, 2003
    Philadelphia
    I gotta take a damn blood test next week before I get my prescription to adderall.

    I NEED MY SPEED NOW GODDAMNIT!
     
  19. soccergal_6_2000

    soccergal_6_2000 New Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Pennsylvania
    Finally the semester is over!!!!!!!!! i only have 2 exams (Bio and history)

    Didnt think i was goin to make it
     
  20. HeadHunter

    HeadHunter Member

    May 28, 2003
    All this plagerism stuff y'all are talking about makes me very glad I went where I went- single sanction expulsion for that kind of nonsense. Didn't mean plagerism didn't hapen but you usually weeded out the boneheads in the first year.

    As for gripes, I take my first law school exam tommorrow-Civil Procedure

    If I ever have to think about minimum contacts, Eire choice of state law or preclusionary effects again it will be too soon.
     
  21. needs

    needs Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Brooklyn
    "Of course there are no answers that can be given as absolutes in efficient causality as the question here is acutely complex, especially in the realm of economics."


    Argh.
     
  22. nekounam

    nekounam New Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    on your mom
    I've got my math final in 6 hours time...I'm gonna beat it like a red-headed step-child.
     
  23. rokstedy

    rokstedy Member+

    I love commieball
    Apr 20, 2001
    Northwest Orange County
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Got done with my take-home exam, which kicked my butt. I've e-mailed it to my professor. Now I just have to study for one more final exam. Man, can't wait for this to be over.
     
  24. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    The truly amazing thing is that examples of these kinds of opening sentences were in papers on poems by either George Herbert or Thomas Hardy. Talk about starting with the general and moving to the particular.

    But after reading your post, I wonder if the assignment had covered more recent poets if I would've had a sentence covering the dawn of time to the moon landing as a way of starting to talk about James Wright's "Autumn Begins in Martin's Ferry, Ohio."
     
  25. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard
    They're teaching Irish law these days? Ouch.

    I'm eternally glad that I went to the only law school in the country that does not make jusrisdiction a required component of the curriculum. Now if only we'd gone the Yale way and done that for property, I'd have been ecstatic.
     

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