lol

Well, I guess it could be more exciting... What if I tried narrating it as if it were a battle or intrigue?

It probably has to do with the fact that I think the only word I understood was "Greek"...and that pun wasn't intended!

Well, I thought that might have been the reason anyway, but to retell the taking of a test as if it were a battle or insidious plot would add something bizarre or humorous to the telling anyway.

Also, my prediction of a minimum grade was right on the money: I got a 95 (I lost 1/2 a point for both of the things I knew I'd missed).

(Posted on: July 11, 2007, 06:32:05 PM)

2 things: I recently found the test being discussed above... battle-like recounting is in the works... probably working in various things from the virtual food fight (castle and armies)...

The other thing is that sitting in my friend's PHYS I class, I am aghast to know that they just introduced the Lorentz factor! What are they thinking!? *thinks the designers of this course need to be run up the nearest flagpole*

You can't just assume everyone is good enough at Newtonian mechanics to jump right into Special Relativity and you certainly shouldn't be telling anyone that the Lorentz factor

**means** you can't go faster than the speed of light... ...I have some news for you guys: it hasn't been tested or shown (sufficiently by experiment) that one cannot move faster than the speed of light and that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames (once you introduce refractive media... which is... ya know... everywhere, it makes essentially no sense at all... or when you introduce magnetic and electric fields which change the speed of light in a vacuum... ...).

What Einstein did was to introduce a fudge factor and a poor interpretation of what it means. What everyone else has done is run with it. *grumbles about Relativity and its failure to really work/be interpreted appropriately* In fact, those above two statements in this paragraph (meta-writing w00+!) are a good summation of General Relativity too (funnily enough, the other people came along behind Einstein and said through experimentation: we don't need your fudge factor here! (the Universal Constant Λ)

*goes off grumbling about the silliness of introducing Relativity to those unequipped to challenge or even face the absurdities that come with it*

grr!

(Posted on: May 14, 2008, 09:28:52 AM)

blah blah blah... *revives his own thread to rant before going to bed*

How Collegiate Grading In Math Courses Actually WorksThe professor provides a key or the TA has to write his own.

So, you have the key. The key however represents at least one set of ideal solutions to the test or quiz. It does not however include all possible ways of getting to the same answer which are equivalent, mathematically correct paths. It also definitely does not include ways for getting the same answer which are mathematically or circumstantially incorrect (assuming the conclusion or result in a problem: ie- maximum area of a quadrilateral for numerous constraints happens to be a square).

This is all well and good, so with the key in hand, you set out upon your noble steed, Stilus Ruber, and mark tests. This works and you are not thrown from your horse (nor are you tempted to throw it across the room) until you are forced to come to the realization that some people just don't know math (the cross-section of people who don't know math and people who don't attend recitation is remarkably almost one-to-one). Now, these mathematically challenged serfs beg for credit by banging their tin cups of mathematical ability on the classroom floor which is nothing compared to the efforts of the partial credit dark wizard, whose philosophy when faced with a difficult question is "to get creative."

Against these two tactics, the key is no defense. It tells you roughly what each part is worth, what the final answer should be, and what a good route from A to B is, but it doesn't tell you how to handle such gross deviations as attempting to find polar coordinates by casting the x-y coordinates into the complex plane and trying (badly, I might add) to use Euler's Equation or how you grade for self-consistency in a student's calculus reasoning when his algebraic reasoning is so deeply flawed that the square root of the sum of the squares is just the sum (sqrt(x^2 + y^2 + z^2) = x + y + z, apparently) and other such wonderful simplifying fallacies, which if it weren't for their fallacious nature, would really make math a lot easier but don't really exist and are just a pretty illusion to throw up from time to time when one is a freshman in Calc I (possibly simply to perturb TAs). [Don't even ask about trig... rereading this for the third time I thought of 3 or 4 of the trig mistakes they make... I could dedicate 3 paragraphs to them... it suffices to say that their trig errors quixotically consist of gross over simplifications and things that would make mathematics so much more complicated that all of Mathematica and Academia would cry together for 40 years without ceasing.]

You are of course sorely tempted to ride past both of these groups and give them nothing, but the departmental position is more or less that there are very few questions which are worth absolutely no credit (which is sensible since one can fail just as well with a 50% as with a 0% and the former does not do nearly as much damage to the distribution when done en masse). So, now, now, you have to get down off of Stilus Ruber *so wants to decline that properly but must keep moving* and into the mire of fragmented incomplete mathematics- and logic-lacking reasoning which is of such a species that one hopes it is only to be found on tests, for finding it anywhere else might imply a danger to the lives of others.

I've said all this to say this: I have to grade about 11 really bad tests by tomorrow afternoon.

But, as I've gotten down off of Stilus Ruber [read: thrown him down in disgust], I'm going to bed.

Hrmm... I think I come off rather judgmental or mean in the third paragraph there.

Oh, well, sleepy times for tired TA.