Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lessons Not Yet Learned

  1. My honors students forget that while they're smarter than most of the people who go to school here and that while my class is easy if you show up to class and pay attention, my class is not a total cakewalk. Even if you've always been good at math, you won't necessarily be able to do these problems that you've never seen before when you get to my exam. If you haven't been coming to class (or if you've been sleeping in the classroom during the few classes you've come to), I can predict that you're going to get back a paper with one of the lowest grades that you've ever received on a math test.

  2. Don't blame me. The class average -- despite a few spectacularly low scores -- was still an A. When the class average is an A, you can't justify your poor performance by thinking about that story about the physics class where an 11% was an A. (I took that physics class.) Just about everyone (except you) scored in the high 90s.

  3. I speak from experience when I say that when you come to class and not pay attention that you are not likely to learn very much. Just being present in the classroom isn't all that productive -- and is probably less useful than skipping class and then spending time giving a very careful reading of the notes or the text.

  4. Yes, I did grade the exam during computer science class today. What did he talk about? No freakin' clue. No worries: I still have nine days to figure everything out.