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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I'm actually writing from the library at school now, becuase of something which is... upsetting... me, which I cannot at present yell at anyone about. I just got back a paper I wrote for my constitutional history class. The grade? A B-. This would normally not be a problem, since I put all of an hour into writing the seven and a half page paper, as well as forgetting to include any citations or a bibliography ("Oops!") but the reasons given for taking off so many points were asinine. They are, in order:

1. The outrageous claim that the prevailing belief the founders held as a justification for government was popular sovereignty. Now, I realize that saying a nation which excluded so many people from voting loooooved them populist notions is maybe a stretch - but in the PAGE AND A HALF preceeding it, where I argue how this is, to their minds, as good as it gets (I was arguing for referendums, which only their conception of voter would be able to decide on, obviously) the ONLY comment was "good." Now, I don't know about you, but if I am reading a paper and see a very major chunk of it devoted to something wrong, I think it's fair to expect that he might note where it goes wrong, rather than just asserting it. Now, I know some of you are thinking "maybe he just doesn't write a lot in papers" but no... which leads me to:

2. Using words which were unsuitably big. This seems like it may be a good reason, but realize the words we're talking about are things like "propegated" and "familial." I had both of these crossed off with suggested word replacements. The ones he suggested were "based" and "faint". Oh no! Multiple syllables?!?! It's ALMOST like we're in college!

3. That I expressed too much of "my own opinion" about the matter. This is also a valid complaint, in many cases. After all, there was certainly nothing in the topic from which to infer he wanted anything but historical perspective - it is, you see, a history class. What was the prompt, you ask? "What method do you think should be used..."

I'm not exactly sure what to do about this. I'll inevitably send an overly sarcastic and ascerbic (oh, wait, can't use that second one, he might think I'm being pretentious) e-mail telling him that if he doesn't want student opinions, issuing an assignment asking for student opinions is, nine times out of ten, the absolute wrong thing to do. When announcing grades (there were only two grades higher than mine) he even said, "I may have worded one of the prompts in such a way as to be misleading, but a couple people saw through it and did the assignment anyway." Now, maybe it's just me, but do classes generally revolve around trying to trick your students, and then grading them based on NOT following the assignment? This strikes me as a faulty policy.

In other news, the only thing which apparently generated more responses than my "I have an adolescent crush" post was the removal of said post. I'm not 100% sure why. It was written when I was dead tired and not really thinking clearly, the post had no substantive value, and when I read it the next day I thought to myself, "Self... what you been doing?" and I said to myself, "Self... I don't know." Also, the interesting phenomena came about where people assumed one of two very distinct things - either that I was talking directly about them, or that it was specifically aimed at telling them that it was not them. The irony of course being that the person who it was referring to doesn't even read this page, as far as I know.

What else... oh yea, APDA drafts. It's funny to see who people are picking in these things. It's possible that people are deciding who to draft on some principle I can't guess, but far more likely, the people participating in all of them haven't got the slightest clue how the south works. Granted, I don't really know how the north works, but at the same time, I can't really see how certain people get picked at all, let alone in reasonably early rounds, while others go completely untapped. It's just odd.

Finally, this weekend is our tournament. That's clearly not something I really care that much about - I am definitely not going to be doing much for it, as I was explicitly not elected as TD - but still something which prevents me from sleeping in my bed on friday night. Annoying.

cranked out at 11:14 AM | |

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