December 01, 2007

Ugh and Double-Ugh

Oh boy, this paper is turning into a blood bath.

Example... I stood in front of the class and explained the importance of statistical testing. I stepped them through the tests we used and explained that without these tests, their data can't be interpreted and their whole experiment is utterly meaningless.

So far, only one of the papers I've graded has included so much as a mention of the statistical tests. In fact, most of them so far haven't even followed the formatting instructions they were given in writing. No section headings, no citations in the body of the text, unformatted tables and graphs... an utter and complete mess.

I don't like doing this one bit. I'm being as lenient as is reasonable in grading this stuff. Nonetheless, this is NOT going to be pretty. Then again, it looks like these papers were written in about an hour, so it's not like much was invested. Half of them don't even appear to have been spell-checked.

Blah. At this point, I'll be happy to see just a couple of papers where the student actually seems to have read the guidelines for the assignment.

For my part, I'm beginning to understand why so many professors seem so jaded. Imagine years of this. I mean, why bother to put all the effort into giving the instructions in the first place?

Maybe I just seem too nice. I should start off next semester by marching into the lab and doing a boot camp drill sergeant routine.

"Good morning, maggots! You are all going to FAIL!" Maybe if they think I'm a total bastard, the students will feel compelled to beat me at the game. I know that worked with a couple of the profs I had as an undergraduate, and maybe that's why they came off as such a-holes in the first place, eh?

Of course, explaining to the department chair why I thought it would be a good idea to call a classroom full of freshmen "maggots" might be a little tricky.

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