Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm guessing there's a reason you're not a math major

So I emailed one of my classes to let my students know that I'd finished grading their finals, that I'd curved it slightly, and that their grades for both the exam and the class were up on our course management server. I told my students that if they were truly on the razor's edge between two grades, they could assume that I'd rounded up if the grade were, say, a 79.5 or above, but not if it were a 79.4.*

And what do I get, within an hour of sending out that message? This email from a student:
Dr. Fescue I got the email about final grades my grade is 69.96 so does that mean you rounded my grade up to a C- or am I not close enough? Let me know please, I dont know whether I should laugh or cry.
No, my child: I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.


*That's the beauty of curving the final--it allows me to say, "I've already given everyone's grade a nice boost, so I'm disinclined to do any more." (And in case you're wondering, yes, I do tinker with the numbers, behind the scenes, when something seems out of whack for an individual student.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


(puts head down on desk and begins to sob)


ps The only barely charitable comment I have is that maybe that student has a calculator set to HEX instead of DEC.