Today my 400+ Intro to Hamsterology class had its midterm. They had 70 minutes to answer 25 multiple choice questions and write an essay between 1-2 sides of a page long (you have to say “sides” because if you say “pages” they later point out a page has two sides and so you confused them and caused them stress. Time was marked off on the board in ten minute increments to help them keep track of the time left. Needless to say there was much whining before, during and after the midterm – here is a “best-of” from each phase of the whining.
Winning Whiner – Before the Test: Email Erna
Although there were many many worthy contenders, what put Erna in the lead was the extra excruciatingness of each of her questions/comments arriving in a separate email:
Email Erna: Your study guide was not clear!! Your practice question said “Assume your friend just bought her first hamster. Explain to her how to feed her hamster so that the hamster will gain maximum nutrition”. But there was no answer provided!!!
Dream-Killer: It’s a question for YOU to practice answering. How would you answer this?
Email Erna: Hamsters eat three meals a day? Is that enough?
Dream-Killer: You could also talk about the three types of food that are most nutritious for Hamsters.
Email Erna: Like what?
Dream-Killer: Grain, nuts and flowers.
Email Erna: What would I say about each of these?
Dream-Killer: so basically you want me to write out an entire answer for you. Here’s what you could say about Grain…. Now do the same for the other two.
Email Erna: What would I say about nuts?
Dream-Killer: ignores email as it is now 1.30 am.
Email Erna: Its not fair, how am I supposed to study for the test? You must answer me – its your JOB!!!
Winning Whiner – During the Test -Manic Matt:
Manic Matt [raises hand, snaps his fingers at me like he’s ordering a drink in a cheap diner. I walk over. He hisses at me]: Can you explain what a “Hamster Feeding Schedule” is?
Dream-Killer: Sorry I can’t because it was a term on the study guide so you were supposed to be able to explain it on the test
Manic Matt: You must explain it to me – its your JOB!!!
Winning Whiner – Post Test - Shortchanged Sally:
Shortchanged Sally: When we were told to stop writing during our test today, I did not understand why because the clock on the right hand side of the room that I was following said 12.28 pm on it. It was then that I had noticed the clock on the left hand side of the room was 2 minutes faster and it said, 12.30 pm. Therefore the two clocks in the test room were inconsistent and we were not told which clock to follow! Within the 2 minutes that I was cheated of, I could have completed my essay! I think you should scale the marks of everybody on the right side of the room to reflect this injustice.
Dream-Killer: don’t worry, I used a timer and you definitely got the full 70 minutes to do your test.
Shortchanged Sally: You must scale my marks, its your JOB!!!
And what do Erna, Matt and Sally win? Dream-Killer's extra special, super-duper detailed attention to doing my job grading their essay answers - not a single weakness or inadequacy will escape my busy red pen..... FAIL my beauties, FAIL!!!