Better Late, etc.

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I just received official notification that I’m on the Dean’s List  for Spring 2011 from my department head.

This is not a complaint.  I’m actually amused that a body which is not connected with the University in any way (the Maine Senate) beat him to it by nearly four months.  On the other hand, Dr. Dunning is busy running the School of Engineering Technology, while the Senate is just there to hamper the House and that probably leaves them with a lot of free time in the summer, so…

Ah, well, I doubt either of them will have the opportunity to congratulate me for perfect performance this semester.  Last night was the first exam in Physics I and I was hard-pressed to score an 80.  Mind you, I’ll have a chance to take it again.  In fact, technically speaking I’ll have at least four, possibly as many as eight, chances to take it again.  But still, not a spectacular start.  The instructor uses a computerized testing tool that reminds me unpleasantly of the way that astronomy lab I did so poorly in was run.  It wants a number, and it doesn’t care how you got it or where your calculations may have gone wrong.

Remember when we were kids and we felt a deep-rooted dread of the phrase "show your work" on math tests?  Turns out there’s actually a really good reason for doing that…

Ah, well.  Early days yet.

  1. September 21, 2011 at 10:40

    …wow, I think I would have failed every physics class I took without partial credit, and I was a physics major. What a crappy way to run a physics exam.

    • Ben
      September 21, 2011 at 14:36

      Yeah, when you’re doing a vector addition for a hanging-body problem there are about a million places where something might have gone wrong – and since you don’t find out you were wrong until the end of the test, at which point your only option is to re-take the ENTIRE THING (with the accompanying danger that the RNG that makes up the test will pick a bunch of harder questions than the ones you already got right), you find yourself just taking the 80, because you know if you don’t you might spend an hour generating a 60 that you then have to keep because you’re out of time. It’s like playing blackjack. I’ve got 17, do I stand or hit? It’s a bit maddening.

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