Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Upcoming Moment of Silence

I just emailed myself a backup copy of a paper that is due tomorrow evening. I haven’t yet slapped my name or a title on it, but I think it’s done. I’ll read through it again in the morning, and it’s very likely that I’ll make minor adjustments to it, but mostly these will be insignificant changes—a word change here, a change in punctuation there. Once this paper is turned in, I will be officially done with the semester. Then, 11 days of bliss. No homework. No classes. Nothing.

OK, I’m exaggerating, but it will be close enough to nothing to feel incredibly good. I will have minor things. I meet with a professor on Monday for what might as well be called my annual review. In a manner of speaking, this professor will sponsor me at the annual faculty meeting wherein they decide whether or not you deserve to keep your funding, etc. I first meet with the professor, then he meets with the faculty en masse and tells them what’s right and wrong with me. I guess that’s the idea. I also need to meet with a fellow grad student who will be teaching his own summer course and for whom I will be a TA. That’s how I’ll be spending six or seven weeks of my summer vacation. It should be good. It will be interesting being a TA for another grad student, but the guy seems pretty cool from what little I’ve talked to him. I was a TA for another grad student last year, and it seems a bit more relaxed. It should be nice.

There are other things I could mention about the end of the semester, but they’re all over and done now and it seems rather pointless. I took what will likely be the last traditional exam I ever take. That’s exciting. I felt really good about it, but I’ve yet to see the results. We’ll see. I have also spent quite a bit of time recently responding to desperate emails from students wondering why they lost points simply for not doing things, or asking if I can bump them up a grade because they’re oh so close. I’ve learned that every student is, from his or her own perspective, oh so close to getting a higher grade than they did. I’ve also learned that being oh so close to the next higher grade simply means that the student received the grade that comes before that one. By default, getting a B makes you oh so close to getting a B+. That kind of thing. Funny, I could have used that information when I was an undergrad.



  1. I didn't finish as much schooling as I would have liked, but someday I will. Someday, when the time is right. Anyway, I was kind of on the path to do nursing and I had a nursing class that completely turned me off to it. I shouldn't have let it bother me, but the class seemed to be full of girls who were continually asking the teaching for extra credit or simply just a better grade on a test or a lab because they were "oh so close." I was always thinking that we weren't in high school anymore, not that I would have ever asked for that in high school, other people did. I found it sooo strange, but apparently lots of people in any class, even in college, must have the same request. Weird.

  2. What a different perspective we get here about college life. It sounds like it's not easier for you to teach than for them to be taught, except maybe if they used their brains more they would get along better. And then so would you. Wow, what a wonderful idea....

    P S Thanks for sharing, Ben.

  3. Sometimes I think I'm not a very smart person... then I hang around or hear about people and know I'm wrong!