Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ike In Idaho Falls Sends In An Old School Snowflake Email!!! We're Killing Like It's 2009!

From: goof-off student
Subject: Organic Chemistry

Proffessor ,
I hope you remember me when i took organic chemistry with you when i was at Wasteland CC couple years ago. I had a question, so i took organic chemistry with you at WCC and i didn’t understand it well and i got a C- in the second quarter that ended up hurting my GPA. I am graduating and applying to medical school this summer and so I ended up retaking the whole Organic Chemistry series here at Wasted State U and got an A- i was wondering if it is possible to change my C- i got my second quarter to an Audit ??? The C- ended up hurting my Science GPA and since i retook it at a different institution i cannot get a re-take grade so i was wondering if it is possible that i can Audit that quarter somehow?? Thank You
-Goof

My reply was: “It is not possible to change your grade to an Audit.”

What I wanted to do was ask which Medical Schools interested this student, the intent being to forward this student’s email to those schools.

17 comments:

  1. Rest easy that the kid's "personal statement" will be a compleat clusterfuck (unless somebody else writes it -- but that somebody else will not be in the interview, if it comes to that, so the kid will tank the interview). Ze'll also have to explain hir GPA and retaking the course at a different school. The system will do its job, if not sooner, then later.

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    1. Oh, and moar emails, please. These are fun.

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  2. Great, a doctor who believes in unlimited do-overs. That'll go well.

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    1. He's not asking for a do-over. He did earn a higher grade and he is not asking to get that grade instead of the C-. If anything, he wants to renounce his right to credit for a course that he nevertheless attended and paid for. If what amounts to a retake is not recognized as such and this technicality is hurting his science GPA, I don't see what's wrong with the request.

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    2. What "technicality"? He didn't audit the course the first time. The record should stay intact.

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    3. Dont worry about Monica. She very often sees the other side in all of these matters. I used to think she was keeping us honest.

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    4. Monica, you're funny. Students do not have the right to chhose whether a course grade is part of their GPA. That's not how this works. You have an interesting view of this and I suspect students will tey that line of arguement in the near future. God help us.

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    5. The student wants to "renounce his right to credit for a course"? That's a new one.
      Monica, where do you come up with this stuff??
      Many students these days do take courses multiple times to improve their grades and GPA, and the only pesky hurdle to that goal are those annoying academic regulations (damn these "barriers to success"!) about how past course grades factor into one's GPA - this varies from institution to institution. Regardless of which policy one has, it all amounts to cherry picking one's grades. As I teach a stats course, when I get to the part about cherry picking data, and other data "tweaking" to make one's dataset look much 'nicer' than it actually is, I make it clear to students: DON'T FUCKING DO IT. I take the same sort of attitude towards requests like these from students. Even if you disagree about this, this particular request is bullshit anyways. An instructor sending in a grade change request from an actual letter grade, generated years ago, to an audit status instead, should send up big red flags to the Registrar's Office.

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    6. Monica, why should anyone FALSIFY an official transcript for this dunderhead? In effect, that is what you are advocating.

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    7. Not at all. Maybe that would be the case if the grade was retroactively replaced with a different grade or if the course was outright erased from the transcript.

      My university actually had a policy that made it possible to keep poor grades on the transcript without including them in the GPA, if the student was sick (depressed, for example). That was not done automatically. The student had to apply, and the policy was worded as if that was only done rarely. Still, if all the student wants is not to have the grade included in the GPA, it looks like this is, in fact, done under some circumstances.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. The course IS being retroactively replaced. Replacing an earned grade with an audit grade is replacing the grade. The student is also no longer enrolled at the CC, so any policies no longer apply.

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  3. Maybe he can go to one of the Caribbean med schools that advertise on posters at my institution. (For all I know, they're perfectly good med schools, but most med schools don't seem to need to advertise, or to assure potential applicants that really, they've met graduates of the school before, acting like actual doctors, which seems to be what the messages on the posters boil down to.)

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  4. It's not some mere technicality that is pulling his GPA down, it's the fact that he didn't earn a grade above C- first pass. The registrar at my joint would chain herself to the computer where grades are entered to prevent others from accessing it, if she caught wind that someone planned to perpetrate such an act of revisionist history as the student requested. Once you fall down that rabbit hole, you seriously devalue the official transcript, if not render it faudulent.

    Many med schools have switched to (or always practiced) holistic admissions, which means that a less-than-stellar indicator would not take him out of the running if the other indicators were still reasonably good. Even with that, and even if he had "for reals" audited the course the first time, the admissions team will review his full transcript and probably question him on doing the course twice.

    He may not know it, but he does not want to be at a school for which a single grade on the transcript would be the difference between accept and reject. Such schools are packed with straight A students who don't need much academic support, and such schools would just let him fail out and replace him with one of thousands of straight A students who applied.

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  5. Why the fuck can't you just give them the grade they want??? They're paying your fucking salaries!!!!

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  6. from Ike:

    Monica (and others), had this student repeated the course at Wasteland CC, his GPA would have been recalculated with the higher grade. Also, if his Science GPA is hurting it is the accumulated effect of a poor grade in more than just my class.

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    1. From my interactions with colleagues who are in med school admissions, I understand that the undergraduate institution's particular method of GPA calculation has no effect.

      The student enters every grade on their transcript into an online app form, and the app service computes an overall GPA broken down by undergraduate and graduate, as well as a GPA for just the science prerequisites. AMCAS uses every grade, AACOMAS counts only the last attempt*. But the admissions office sees every grade for every course above the high school level.

      So, for the student in question, replacing the C- with AU would not affect his science GPA on an AACOMAS app. A single C- on an AMCAS app shouldn't kill him if his MCAT is decent. A bunch of sub-B grades should have him reconsidering if he has made the appropriate career choice -- get him to pre-health advising, STAT.

      This student is grasping at straws with no real idea what he's asking for.

      *Sources:
      http://careers.ucsc.edu/health/application-resources/gradereplace.html
      http://hpplc.indiana.edu/medicine/AcademicRecordandGrades.shtml
      https://www.pdx.edu/clas/pre-medical-frequently-asked-questions-faq

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