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solid job?

14 November, 2007

I swear that my public administration professor has it in for me. His class only has 100 points total, because things are all weighted the same – 10 points. There are six papers, one debate, one presentation, class participation and a final. You must have 90 points to earn an A. So far, this is how my grade is shaping up:

  • Essay #1: 8
  • Debate: 9
  • Essay #2: 10
  • Presentation: 9

Now, before you tell me that I should relax (which is something HE told me), that I have a 90%, that it doesn’t matter in the scope of things, don’t. It does matter to me, and I may have a 90 now, but I am only 6 points away from NOT having an A. And there are six things that still need to be factored into my grade. All it would take is one flub-up, and I will have earned myself a B. I’ve only had 2 B’s in my degree, people. It would be one thing if he was really explicit in his directions for the assignments, but he’s not. It would be another thing if he was very good with giving you feedback instead of leaving no marks at all on your paper and just writing an 8.

He told us to never argue about our grades because our points will drop as a result. That’s fine. I’m not arguing. When I went to ask him about how I can improve after the first essay, he told me that I needed to take it to the next level. Okay, thanks. He later emailed me and told me that he wanted more insight and creativity from my paper and my debate. I told him I agreed on the first paper. I didn’t put much effort into it. But a debate isn’t creative. It’s facts driven. I told him that was a different way to look at things and I would keep that in mind and that I hoped that he would be impressed in the future. He told me that he already was.

So I did take it to the next level on my second essay. And I earned 10 points because of it. It felt great, until I found out that my debate that I spent hours researching and preparing for only earned me a 9. And a girl who sits next to me who pretty much debated off the cuff about the equality of men’s and women’s sports got a 10. Her argument was pretty much “we’re different, girls don’t like sports, so they should have to play them.” That’s pretty much it. I quoted Benjamin Franklin. I quoted court cases that I had to scour for information. WHAT THE HELL?

My presentation was on a part of a chapter about decision making and methods of analyzing your options. B-O-R-I-N-G. So I tried to jazz it up with a PowerPoint presentation. I got an email this morning that said this:

Subject: Presentation


Solid job.

[P.A. Professor]

Thanks. A solid job. If it was so solid, it would have been a 10. His grading feels so…arbitrary. I’m not whining. I just value my grades. My level of effort towards and passion for my education far exceeds that of anyone I know. I feel that my work is leaps and bounds ahead of some of my classmates (no, not all of them–nowhere near all of them). And he knows that my GPA is so important to me because of law school scholarships. Why does he have to mess with me like this? Why can’t he give me clear answers?

The only thing that I know is that his review at the end of the class is going to reflect how I feel. And I’m not the only one in the class who has expressed frustration at his methods.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Llama Momma permalink
    14 November, 2007 4:25 pm

    Does this guy just have a problem giving a good student the grade they deserve? I’ve got my bat…I’m on my way…

  2. 14 November, 2007 4:30 pm

    *chuckle* Thanks for the support, Llama.

  3. libby permalink
    14 November, 2007 7:08 pm

    i couldn’t even get through your whole post because I find this so amusing. he is the easiest teacher i have ever had! i did the most minimal effort ever (and you know for me that’s not alot) and i got an A. i really don’t think that you have anything to worry about. thats why he’s telling you not to worry about it.

  4. 15 November, 2007 12:23 am

    Hm. You may have liked his style, but I’m not a huge fan of it. I have the possibility of $35k riding on my grades right now, so there’s a bit of a pressure element there, too. It’s not so easy to just relax.

    But… I will try. Really, really try.

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