Sunday, October 22, 2006

Students and Grading

This weekend has been largely spent grading midterm examinations. This is not too much fun. However, I did come across one amusing and 'imaginative' answer. The class in question deals with ancient philosophy, most notably Plato, Aristotle and the Pre-Socratic philosophers. One of the short answer questions was "What is the Greek term for Heraclitus' doctrine of 'perpetual flux'?". The correct answer should have been Panta rhei. One student though clearly did not know the answer. Instead, they offered up some symbolism from physics. This was pretty wild!

However, this is not the oddest thing that I have seen students do. Once, when I was teaching a class for another faculty member, as I was leaning over to show a student how to do something on the computer, the student bit me! It was quite a shock. What was really strange was that the bite was not painful, or nasty. If anything, it was gentle and almost affectionate. It was still pretty freaky though.

Perhaps the oddest thing that has ever happened though was the time that I was teaching a Critical Thinking class. One particular student was very concerned about their final grade in the class, a few days before the final exam. The student eventually did not show up to the final exam. Instead, they sent me an e-mail explaining that they were so concerned about the final that they had elected to spend the time in their dorm room, praying about the outcome, rather than take the exam. Although some have claimed that 'faith can move mountains', unfortunately, it cannot pass philosophy exams. I guess the student should have read David Hume on the topic of Miracles!

The CP


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