Wednesday, May 2, 2018

End-of-Semester Questions

... and things are much as normal; i.e. No Time To Post. But here are the eternal end-of-semester questions:

1. Why do faculty (myself included) assign all their major papers to be due in the final two weeks of the semester when we KNOW from experience that this will cause us pain and distress?

2. Why does the time crunch seem to leave some faculty time for writing long, crazy missives (and even longer responses to said crazy missives) to faculty online discussion lists? How are they doing this? Are elves doing their grading?

3. Where can I get some grading elves?

4. Do students not know where my office is until the last three weeks of the semester? Does it disappear like Brigadoon for the rest of the semester?

5. Why do I assign so much written work?

6. How is it that I have already booked my summer solid with work obligations?

7. Seriously: Where does one pick up those elves? And do they have relatives that do things like shop for groceries and do laundry?

Please feel free to add your own questions to the list...


Anonymous said...

Preach it

Also: if a good portion of the take-home final is coming directly from the last problem set (and the questions in the last problem set have some of the answers)... why can't they get it right? Oh wait, I know, because they all decided to drop the last problem set which is why I put it on the take-home final in the first place.


Undine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sometimes those "crazy missives" are not as crazy as they seem. There is an entire backstory here. Not wise to take sides, GirlScholar.

Anonymous said...

Re: question 1, I would think certain kinds of assignments that are meant to be "summative" are very naturally due at the end of the term, for the simple reason that if those assignments were due earlier then the student wouldn't yet be able to draw on the entire semester's learning experience.

We could, of course, schedule the final exams 6 weeks before the end of the semester, but, if the final exam included questions covered in the last 6 weeks of class, then this wouldn't necessarily make students' experiences less stressful.