The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Late Start



I allowed myself the luxury of staying in bed until 7:00am this morning.  It was somewhat of a foolish decision, as I have many plans and goals for the day, but it felt right at the time.  With my walking, gym, and jogging on the track, plus a quick shower and shave (neck), I am just starting out the day in my office and lab at the U. 

Grade marinating is a thing I do that I think helps me as an instructor be better and more fair to the students.  BBC asked me if profs get pressure from the administrators to pass everyone.  Unfortunately, yes we do.  But, just as fortunately, most professors (at least those with tenure, like I have) say, "to hell with that".  I give the grade to each of my students that they have earned in their time with me.   I do, unfortunately, have a hefty percentage of students who fail... but that is not *MY* fault, but their own.  The student who fails my class has chosen to do so, usually by either a) not attending class regularly, b) being lackadaisical if they do attend class, c) not studying the materials I guide them on, c) and usually they choose to NOT THINK, and  most importantly, they do not use LOGIC.  When a student gets and "F" from me, THEY have earned it, unfortunately, by their actions. 

Marinating of grades is my euphemism for process of deciding upon what, if any sort of curve I might give to each class I have.  It depends upon a variety of factors.  I take into account a) how attentive the class was on average, b) how meticulously they try to perform their duties and obtain skills in the lab, c) and take into account any ambiguities I find in some of the "higher-level-thinking" questions I pose in my examinations.  The higher-level-thinking questions I pose FORCE students to move beyond simple memorization and regurgitation of what they memorize and FORCE students to move into deeper understanding using analysis, aggregation of different concepts, and creation of new knowledge.  These are the most fun questions, in my opinion, but they do not always have an absolute "right-or-wrong" answer.  Sometimes I find that students may use a different approach to trying to solve some of these questions than I would have anticipated, and may on occasion get generally good answers that may warrant some consideration.  My potential curve tries to take into account these potential ambiguities.

Well, I am bound and determined to get my grades off my desk and in before I leave today.  So I am off, to do the last of the decision-making.

One of the things that I learned from my failure with my pipes and pipe tobacco on Saturday is that when I get a temptation to go "off the wagon" in regards to my goals and choices, I need to keep at the front of my mind how damn irritable and disappointed I get in myself when I do not do what I say I will do.  If I would have been thinking more about that on Saturday, I think it would have simply told myself, no.  The ephemeral pleasures of the pipe and pipe tobacco would be LOST and would not in any real sense occur for me because I would be angry and disappointed as it was not a time I had selected for the "special occasion".

It looks like I may not be visiting my in-laws today or tomorrow because they both have a bunch of doctor's appointments that will occupy their time.  If I am lucky, however, perhaps I will be able to have a visit (and a special occasion pipe smoking session) on Friday. 

PipeTobacco

Today's (Monday's) Goal =0 bowls
Yesterday's (Sunday's) Goal = 0 bowls

Actual consumption (Sunday) = 0 bowls

3 Comments:

Blogger BBC said...

It's okay to let students fail, many of them shouldn't be wasting time in college anyway, but going to trade schools and such. Or making my fucking hamburgers.

Wish I could sleep in, I usually get up around 3:AM.

You're doing good, keep it up.

Monday, 17 December, 2012  
Blogger BBC said...

Terry's four daughters went to college, mostly at taxpayers expense. As kids they were all sharp girls and one has a high IQ.

One made use of her college education and has become a nurse. The lost one is a cook at the cafe, one is a cocktail waitress, the genius is a bartender that makes insane amounts of money in tips. What the hell, with her looks and body why not.

None of them have gotten married, just shack up with guys, I guess that's how life works these days.

Monday, 17 December, 2012  
Blogger BBC said...

Where is our Tuesday morning post?

Tuesday, 18 December, 2012  

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