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Old 10-26-06, 05:09 AM   #1
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How do you fail a class where you know hte information?

AAAH

I am just about failing physics. What pisses me off is, I KNOW the information. I get nearly an 80 on the last test, even after being pulled out of class for the entire review. We just took a test recently, which hasnot been factored in. We don't really have homework, just pop quizzes. Both of the pop quizes we've had have had hte correct answer, just not shown his in his proper method. THe real killer was the lab report, mine was 8 pages long. He is so unclear with his lab, the average was was in hte mid 50's to low 60's for all the honors classes.

This guy is driving me insane. He said that grades right now tend to be pretty lousy, and that we will be able to bring them up significantly because 'we now know his expectations'. But I never thought it would be THIS bad. I've never failed a class before . And this guy is driving me nuts, I can never even ask a simple question without either getting a question asking me why I am asking this question or giving a purposefully unclear answer. I dont know if I can talk to him about THIS then. What do I do?
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Old 10-26-06, 05:14 AM   #2
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Quit school, that's your only option...
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Old 10-26-06, 05:23 AM   #3
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Geez! I'm fairly new to BF, but see threads like this all the time. I'm sorry about your class but why post this on BF?
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Old 10-26-06, 05:29 AM   #4
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In my physics class, we just sit there and do problems, and the occasional lab
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Old 10-26-06, 05:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
AAAH

I am just about failing physics. What pisses me off is, I KNOW the information. I get nearly an 80 on the last test, even after being pulled out of class for the entire review. We just took a test recently, which hasnot been factored in. We don't really have homework, just pop quizzes. Both of the pop quizes we've had have had hte correct answer, just not shown his in his proper method. THe real killer was the lab report, mine was 8 pages long. He is so unclear with his lab, the average was was in hte mid 50's to low 60's for all the honors classes.

This guy is driving me insane. He said that grades right now tend to be pretty lousy, and that we will be able to bring them up significantly because 'we now know his expectations'. But I never thought it would be THIS bad. I've never failed a class before . And this guy is driving me nuts, I can never even ask a simple question without either getting a question asking me why I am asking this question or giving a purposefully unclear answer. I dont know if I can talk to him about THIS then. What do I do?
You need to adapt or die (figuratively speaking). It sounds like this teacher is also trying to get you to think critically rather than accepting "rote" answers. In my educational experience thus far, I've found this type of teacher to be a far better teacher in the long run. Stretch the mind and do the proofs he asks, and you will surprise yourself! Hard teachers that require you to prove your learning do a much better job, even if they do drive you nuts! This is a tast of what you can expect at the university level. The higher you go in the education process, the harder and more challenging it gets, so buck up and apply yourself and ram those proofs down his throat, he'll respect you more in the morning.
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Old 10-26-06, 05:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
You need to adapt or die (figuratively speaking). It sounds like this teacher is also trying to get you to think critically rather than accepting "rote" answers. In my educational experience thus far, I've found this type of teacher to be a far better teacher in the long run. Stretch the mind and do the proofs he asks, and you will surprise yourself! Hard teachers that require you to prove your learning do a much better job, even if they do drive you nuts! This is a tast of what you can expect at the university level. The higher you go in the education process, the harder and more challenging it gets, so buck up and apply yourself and ram those proofs down his throat, he'll respect you more in the morning.
Another point, he sees some potential in you or he wouldn't be pushing you this hard.In a way, it's a compliment.
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Old 10-26-06, 05:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
You need to adapt or die (figuratively speaking). It sounds like this teacher is also trying to get you to think critically rather than accepting "rote" answers. In my educational experience thus far, I've found this type of teacher to be a far better teacher in the long run. Stretch the mind and do the proofs he asks, and you will surprise yourself! Hard teachers that require you to prove your learning do a much better job, even if they do drive you nuts! This is a tast of what you can expect at the university level. The higher you go in the education process, the harder and more challenging it gets, so buck up and apply yourself and ram those proofs down his throat, he'll respect you more in the morning.
Maybe he's trying to get you to think or maybe he thinks there are too many physics students and wants to get some to quit. Of course read the book, but as I 've said here so often DON'T TAKE THE CLASS WITHOUT THE SCHAUM'S OUTLINE. It has worked out problems and problems with answers.

Hope this helps. Hang tough you'll get there.

Joe
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Old 10-26-06, 05:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by monk
Geez! I'm fairly new to BF, but see threads like this all the time. I'm sorry about your class but why post this on BF?
Actually, this is Foo! We all ride here, but we all tend to post off topic as well! Welcome to the Ubergeek Bicyclists lair! (Sometimes we post about bikes as well!)
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Old 10-26-06, 07:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeprim
Maybe he's trying to get you to think or maybe he thinks there are too many physics students and wants to get some to quit. Of course read the book, but as I 've said here so often DON'T TAKE THE CLASS WITHOUT THE SCHAUM'S OUTLINE. It has worked out problems and problems with answers.

Hope this helps. Hang tough you'll get there.

Joe
or maybe he's a megalomaniac jerk... frustrated that he isn't doing what he really wants in the field, feels like he's stuck teaching, and playing a sick little game messing with the minds of students.

Even if he's a "tough-love" style teacher, it sounds like he has not clearly communicated his expectations, and is playing games with students by punishing them for not reading his mind. When I was a teen-ager, I would have just taken it. Today, I'd be giving him a piece of my mind.
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Old 10-26-06, 07:19 AM   #10
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Knowing the material and knowing it "the way" the professor wants are sometimes two different things. And I'm not even getting into the "giving the professor what he wants" scenario.
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Old 10-26-06, 07:22 AM   #11
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Old 10-26-06, 09:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by monk
Geez! I'm fairly new to BF, but see threads like this all the time. I'm sorry about your class but why post this on BF?
It is called venting/sharing. That is what friends are for.

Back on topic: We went through a class where the excercises took a lot of thinking and trying to figure out what the professor wanted. This unstructered class was different from the other classes where everything was layed out. When you asked a question the standard answer was you will have to decide that. This class took a lot of critical thinking and prepared us for the working world.

Even though this was not a physics class, I beleive your professor is trying to enhance your critcal thinking. Go to his or her office and say this is what I think you are expecting from me in this class. Am I correct? At least then you will know for sure.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:25 AM   #13
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It's not about knowing the answer outright, you're trying to jump to the end right away. It's really about understanding the concepts, not just in knowning the asnwer to particular problem on a test, but how it relates to all the others as well. Being able to derive the equations on your own from the concepts is even more important (show your work, step-by-step).

Even more pertinent to getting good grades, it's about knowing how to jump through the hoops.... Forget about the grades, focus on learning, the grades will be automatic.

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Old 10-26-06, 10:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by monk
Geez! I'm fairly new to BF, but see threads like this all the time. I'm sorry about your class but why post this on BF?
guess you are new, the real question is why not post it on bf?
if you hang on a bit, you will have a chance at keeping up with my "pics on my dressed up chihuahua" thread or my "I wonder what I should eat for lunch" thread...
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Old 10-26-06, 12:32 PM   #15
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I agree with Tom Stormcrowe.

Stop worrying about the grade and start learning the material. He's not going to fail the entire class. But if you really believe you know the information, you'll be in for a huge shock later. You're getting better, but based on your last pop quiz that we discussed, you've hardly mastered the material. (I'm being blunt. But hey, you started the topic and solicited feedback.) Keep at it. The grades will follow.

Also, stop worrying about percentage grades. When you reach college, you will realize that in many classes, a 60% is a stellar grade.

Did I mention that I agree with what Tom said in post #5? I did? Let me say it again. Read post #5. Take it to heart. Hit your physics books. Keep at it.
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Old 10-26-06, 12:44 PM   #16
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Something tells me you're not quite ready for college yet, or maybe you should become a philosophy major.
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Old 10-26-06, 02:09 PM   #17
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Did I mention that I agree with what Tom said in post #5? I did? Let me say it again. Read post #5. Take it to heart. Hit your physics books. Keep at it.
Hit your physics book.
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Old 10-26-06, 02:25 PM   #18
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Geez! I'm fairly new to BF, but see threads like this all the time. I'm sorry about your class but why post this on BF?

No offense but clearly you havent been in foo long...
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Old 10-26-06, 02:55 PM   #19
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The main two reasons school and I didn't get along. One, I had more than my share of oddball teachers that wouldn't give a straight answer to a serious question. And two, I could know the material inside out, upside down and even after a few too many. But put a test paper in front of me and my name became a major question.
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Old 10-26-06, 03:50 PM   #20
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Well, this is the first time I have had a teacher like this. He said today that NOTHING should be done in our heads. Even if there is a side calculation of 1+1. Typically teaches ease their way in. Like for the first month or 2 grading is a little bit easier, then by the end of term 1 they toughen up. So we get familiar, but are not penalized for not knowing their expectations right off the bat.

I definitely do not completely master the concepts, but I my level of understanding is far above the failure level.

I did turn in a lab today, 13 pages of data and writings. Hoping that will earn me in the high 70's or low 80's, bringing my grade up.
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Old 10-26-06, 04:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
AAAH

I am just about failing physics. What pisses me off is, I KNOW the information. I get nearly an 80 on the last test, even after being pulled out of class for the entire review. We just took a test recently, which hasnot been factored in. We don't really have homework, just pop quizzes. Both of the pop quizes we've had have had hte correct answer, just not shown his in his proper method. THe real killer was the lab report, mine was 8 pages long. He is so unclear with his lab, the average was was in hte mid 50's to low 60's for all the honors classes.

This guy is driving me insane. He said that grades right now tend to be pretty lousy, and that we will be able to bring them up significantly because 'we now know his expectations'. But I never thought it would be THIS bad. I've never failed a class before . And this guy is driving me nuts, I can never even ask a simple question without either getting a question asking me why I am asking this question or giving a purposefully unclear answer. I dont know if I can talk to him about THIS then. What do I do?
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Old 10-26-06, 04:09 PM   #22
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How do you know 50% is at the failure level? I have taken classes where a 50% sometimes would set the curve. In many cases, those were the classes with the best teachers and where I learned the most.

No manipulation of terms should be done in your head. State the physical law/equation you're basing your problem solving on. Clearly show how you manipulate it in a general sense. Once you have a symbolic solution, then solve. (And for the sake of your nit-picking teacher, show your work when solving.) Show your units and carry your units in your calculations. Frankly, it bugs me every time I converse with you on a physics problem and you show numbers without units attached when units should be attached. Units are a great internal double check of your work. If the units don't work out, something's seriously wrong.
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Old 10-26-06, 04:10 PM   #23
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Just wait until college. It seems that in some classes it doesn't matter what you know, but how well you follow directions. Fortunately I cover both fairly well
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Old 10-26-06, 04:13 PM   #24
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To be honest, I don't know why 50% is a failure. But, anything below 60% in regards to letter grade is considered failure, and no credit is given if that is your final grade.

He tells us that his course is very close to a college course, something I've never done before. I do feel though that college won't be suck a shock, my hopes are that by the end of the year I will be a bit more used to it all! I went all out with showing steps on my lab, I think excessively so. But, I better not hear complaints about it
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Old 10-26-06, 04:27 PM   #25
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I went to a college prep high school. The chemistry class (regular) I had in my Junior year was brutal. Thankfully he graded on a curve. I remember showing our class work to the honors chemistry class instructor and he said something to the effect of "whoa, that's stuff I'm not teaching my class!" Yeah, it was tough.

Back in college, I took a class on architectural theory. That class required like 200 pages of reading a week, then a report due the following week. Top that out with design studio work, and other classes, it was tough. I was lucky to get 4 hours of sleep a night! (I'll say this forever: architecture students are THE hardest working students on any university campus!) Anyways, we were doing all this work and the instructors were just as bogged down with the amount of work as we were so they weren't exactly returning the papers so we really had no feedback on our performance. On the last day to drop classes, I could not find either of the instructors so I went a head and dropped the class only to be told the next day that I was doing very well and why did I drop the class? At first I thought WTF?! Then I thought, oh well, that leaves me with 10 more hours a week to devote to my other classes, design studio and maybe even sleep.

Had another instructor that had a PhD and tought a Mechanical Systems class. We were dumb and he was smart. He could not dumb it down enough for us to be spoon fed. On top of all that, we had to work through his European (German???) accent, something most of us have never done before.

Don't worry about it. A grade is just a grade. In the long term it really means little. If it really bothers you, drop the class and retake it when you can. My suggestion, though, before you drop the class, find the instructor during office hours and talk to him or her about your concerns.

Your there to learn. If you are learning how to think critically, then you're doing okay. Letter grades and Pass/Fail don't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. (BTW, I did graduated with honors from my university with a Bachelor of Architecture degree but didn't really know it until graduation day.)

Oh yeah, YMMV.

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