Monday, February 28, 2011

"Rory got a D!"

Rory, for those of you who are not acquainted with my Gilmore Girls obsession, is a brilliant student who never received a grade lower than an "A". Low and behold, she was accepted to a highly competitive school. Her first assignment was returned to her with a big fat "D" on the front page. She was devastated.

I did not receive a "D", but I did get an 88 on a test that I could have gotten a 100 on. It was for a history class, and it was a take-home test. When I received my test back I was, of course, furious. How dare the professor criticize my writing? I am an A student! He's dumb! Blah blah blah. I worked myself up to a wonderful harangue, and started using imaginative language. Then the Orclette started repeating some of what I was saying, and I calmed myself down.

The reason I had so many points taken off is that I used quotations from the book and from the lesson. I think I should get extra points for remembering what the professor said in class, to the letter. The professor does not like his students using quotes, however. He wants his students to read the information, absorb it, then spit it back out in their own words. For the most part, that's what I did. I just added a few pertinent quotes. Other students, however, were apparently copying and pasting their answers. I think my grade was significantly higher than theirs.

So, today in class, we received a very no-bones lecture about how our tests were to be written. I find myself wondering why he didn't spell it out like that before the test. I reviewed my notes, wondering if he had and I had forgotten, but I have nothing. I do have instructions on how to cite my answers, which had led me to believe I could use quotes. Bah.

My biggest complaint is that different professors want different things. Every other semester my professors have loved my inclusion of quotations. They have loved the way I thought through everything. They didn't really pay attention to grammar, because they weren't English teachers. That bit me in the butt, too. My grammar was ripped apart. My personal experience, which I had included because other professors had proclaimed personal experiences made a paper special, was roundly rejected, crossed through, and had the word "Irrelevant" written across it. That kind of hurt.

What is funny is that I had been complaining that my papers never received anything but positive feedback. They came back with "Good!" and "Excellent!" scrawled across the top. Now I have a teacher who gets quite annoyed by grammatical errors, and I was not prepared. I should've kept my mouth shut.

I think I'll be ok though. An 88 is a high B, and now that I know what he wants I won't score that low again. I'm 88% confident that I will leave this class with an overall grade of "A". If I don't ... but that does not bear thinking upon.

Nerds must maintain their reputations, you know.

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