Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More on that grade

Well I read over the notes on the paper. And actually, I really disagree with them. I can point to where I did all the things they said I didn't do. In some places, it's quite subtle - but it's not my fault if the TA doesn't understand me. Geez, try understanding my source material!

At any rate, I feel better knowing that it wasn't really my fault, that they were looking for stuff to come out in a certain way and I listed it in a different way, so they didn't see it, but it was there. And in a couple places I simply wouldn't have had space to do what they wanted - I would need them to tell me what paragraph or page to cut to make room.

It's still frustrating, but I don't know whether to mention it or not. The prof did look at my paper. So clearly he agrees with the TA. But you never know what mood people are in while they are grading. You don't know how many others they've read. You don't know, for that matter, if they've just read the most brilliant paper ever and so they are marking you down in comparison, when really you've done just fine.

The reality is that I answered the question they wanted, they got hung up on one thing because they didn't understand how I was explaining it, and they wanted me to answer a subquestion more thoroughly that actually wasn't officially the question I was supposed to answer. So I think it is not any reflection on my work. They just didn't get it.


Harmless Eccentric said...

I can't speak to your professor, but I'll always accept from a student a written explanation of why they think they deserve a higher grade, and if they can point to the parts of the assignment where they did it right and I missed it, I'll usually go back and raise the grade. You know the teacher and I don't, but it's usually worth politely requesting a re-evaluation, in these situations.

Kate said...

I would agree with the comment from harmless eccentric. If you really think you did what you were supposed to do, I would speak to your professor. I know it's difficult for me to see how something should be changed when someone else has already offered their opinion.

Laura said...

Hi, Feminary! Been reading your blog for a few months now, and now seems a good time to jump in. I used to be one of Thompson's TAs (back in 1998-99), and he would allow students to re-submit a paper to me for a re-grade (or have the other TA do it -- do you have two TAs for that class?). It didn't happen that often, and I think I raised only one grade. But, if one of the few students who resubmitted to me had taken the time to compose a written defense, especially as well reasoned and supported as yours sounds, that would have gone a seriously long way toward me being willing to raise the grade.

p.s. Could you have gone too broad, covering too many of Schleiermacher's points without going into the depth the TA wanted? Though, if that's it, why didn't the TA just say that? Hmmmm

Anyway, good luck!
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JTB said...

echo the above. just had a conference of this sort and it was very helpful--for all involved, i think.

anyone who's honest about the grading process should be completely willing to revisit an evaluation. grading is not easy, always performed under pressure, and a second look is always worth it. IMO.

plus, it takes some balls to confront a prof and/or TA, and although it may seem counterintuitive, it's impressive rather than offensive. if done respectfully.