Tuesday, December 17, 2013
"Psychedelic Shots, Neanderthals, and Discretion," from Dr. Magnus.
Consider this paragraph, which is quite unprofessional but so very, very fascinating: "I don't know if I can validate this hamster wheel model. At this point my brain is quite fried. So, I will just illustrate some neato-groovy, psychedelic shots from the software I used."
My immediate thoughts were that said student might have been drinking shots or taking some interesting drug during the preparation of this submission. However, upon further reflection my conclusion is that his mind is not fried due to excessive intake of libation or pharmaceuticals, but simply a side effect of procrastination that lead to working too late into the night.
Next, consider this line taken from a senior level report dealing with an initial idea for the design of a gerbil impact attenuation device: "It was a very crude and caveman like idea but it served the purpose." Oh my, I thought I was the only one that thought some of my students behaved a wee bit Neanderthal! I, too, have been guilty of ONCE writing a similar sentence in a report, but it was my FIRST technical report, not my 25th.
Are any of you familiar with CAD as an acronym for computer-aided design? It appears that some of my students think CAD is a verb, as in, "The first task was to CAD up the design." I assume that CAD up means to use CAD software to create a model. Or, it could be a euphemism for something I do not want to know about. Again, I strongly suspect brain exhaustion in this case because the rest of this submission was done quite well.
I am always amused by why my students think are "discrete" attempts to criticize test problems. I saw several of these today, and it reminds me of a student who wrote on his hamster anatomy assignment that he refused to work one of the problems because, and I quote, "It is stupid." It will be interesting to see how that young person fairs in the world outside the ivory towers.
Am I alone, drowning in a morass of papers -- papers that one minute fill me with hope for the future and the next minute fill me with fears of intellectual apocalypse? Have I stared too long into the abyss we call final grades and lost my mind?
I shall stop my rambling commentary before someone suspects my iced tea is spiked (it is not!). I will, however, ask that my Fellow Miserarians share in the comments any items that have made them laugh (or bang their head against a wall) while grading this year.