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Things I need for marking

Rubber stamps reading:

  • Answer the question
  • Answer the question I asked this year, not the one I asked last year
  • Irrelevant
  • Waffling
  • Irrelevant and waffling
  • Reproduced without understanding
  • Did you attend my lectures?
  • Did you read any textbooks?

Ah well. Only another 150 scripts to wade through.

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HAving beenm lsitening to various academics moaning for the last few years, I suggest you should also have the following:



So what?

And this is supposed to mean...?

Wikipedia is not a citeable source

When plagiarising a foreign text, Babelfish is not your friend

One of the students on my first year "Mathematics for Economists" module has handed in relatively few of the weekly assignments, attended roughly half of the lectures and (mandatory) support classes - and those he did attend he was usually late for, sauntering in after we'd started (on one occasion, 50 minutes late for a 55 minute lecture) with a big grin on his face, as if it was all a big joke.

He once asked for a deadline extension on the grounds that he'd been ill - normally not a problem if some sort of doctor's note is provided, but such was conspicuously absent in this case. He explained (unable to keep a straight face) that he'd had 'flu a couple of days earlier "like you did earlier in the term" - I'd had to cancel a couple of lectures back in January because I'd been languishing at home with proper 'flu, drifting in and out of consciousness with aching limbs and a high temperature. I suggested to him that if this were true then we wouldn't be having this conversation because he'd still be lying at home, semiconscious. He admitted that perhaps he hadn't been that ill after all, now that he thought about it, but could he have another couple of days anyway? He couldn't, as it happened.

I'm rather looking forward to marking his exam script.

(Deleted comment)
He's clearly too good to have to actually study
His homework marks don't support this hypothesis, but I'm constantly amazed by the levels of denial some students are capable of, so it's possible he does think this.

He's already paid for his degree after all
He's paying for the opportunity to try to get a degree, which is subtly different - although I'm not entirely convinced he quite understands this detail either.

The thing is, I'm generally a fairly sympathetic person, and if an otherwise hardworking student hands something in a day late once, then I'm fairly likely to bend the rules and just let it go. But if the student keeps doing it, and can't even be bothered to put a modicum of effort into sounding convincing, or keeping a straight face, then he's getting zero for that assignment.

Believe me, several of my---ugh---"peers" did think in exactly that way.

Doctors hate unnecessary sick notes. Nobody over the age of 12 needs a note to say they were sick. If you actually send a student to their GP for a note, they are likely to send the student straight back to you, with a request for a fat cheque (insurance companies will pay for a sick note, why shouldn't you?). If you don't believe the student was sick, accuse them of lying directly rather than waste the time of someone who has real work to do. If you do believe them you don't need a note.

This is standard departmental policy in both the departments (Mathematics and Economics) that I teach in: requests for deadline extensions, or other special treatment must be accompanied by some form of documentary evidence, such as a medical note (the University medical centre has a procedure whereby students can self-certify for minor illness, thus avoiding bothering the doctors unnecessarily), evidence of hospital appointment, death certificate, etc.

In this case, I was damned sure that the student was just trying it on because he'd not bothered doing the work in time - it wasn't the first or the last time this had happened.

In the event that the student was charged for a sick note (which policy isn't applied by the University medical centre) then I imagine we'd expect the student to cover the cost themselves.

You seem bothered that doctors not have their time wasted - this is entirely valid, and I sympathise entirely. But similarly, it's not fair for an idle student (happily, they tend to be in the minority here) to waste my time either.

The reasoning behind the policy is that if they were ill enough to have missed an assessed homework deadline then it was with something that they should have been to see the doctor about, in which case they can easily get (or may already have been given) a standard note to confirm this; if it wasn't serious enough for them to see a doctor, then it wasn't serious enough to stop them handing their homework in on time, and I don't see why it's anything to do with me.

Scheme needed one for "a two-element list is not a pair; see notes for lecture X". At least ISTR that being the one I ended up writing out fifty-odd times.

Also, "use structural recursion". You'd think the coursework explicitly stating the range of lecture notes it tests understanding of would be a hint to check up on what those notes cover.

Among my various work-related stamps, I have these two beauties:


If you market them, I'll buy a set!

Truth be told, my students would probably assume that waffling is good as one can eat waffles...

Open hours: Thursday noon-4pm
Highlights Tour of Visible Storage Collection (30 min.): 1 p.m.
Babbage Demo (less than 30 min.): 2 pm

Allow 25-30 minutes to travel from museum to SFO.

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