Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The inaugural homework grading post

I recently accepted a job as a grader for a math class, Foundations of Analysis I. I will be grading papers on a weekly basis, and will probably post something about it each week. Here's this week's entry.

One guy had some totally bogus answer to a question, but then redeemed some style points by writing: "How did I misunderstand the question so badly?" It is followed by a correct statement of the answer (though without proof), written in a hand that suggests it is a last-minute addition to the previously "solved" problem.

Another guy gets style points for entitling an answer: "[LastName]'s Theorem".

Another guy loses style points (and points points) for writing the following after a completely bogus set-theoretic argument: "Therefore, they have the same sets" (speaking of two sets). ... ??

List of albums listened to while grading (or, I should add, just doing homework earlier):
U2 - Achtung Baby
U2 - Zooropa
U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (It contains the incredibly apropos track Brain Damage)
Moby - 18

Hours spent grading: 3.5

Brain status after grading: Osterizer'd mush


Yakko Warner said...

Maybe I'm just cynical in my old age, but I find the last-minute correction a little suspect. Sure, perhaps he came back to it later after realizing his mistake, and the proof was all worked out in his head — but maybe he got the answer from someone else?

And naming a theorem after yourself? Does this guy/gal expect you to remember their theorem on future assignments, so if they put the answer as "My Theorem", you can just assume it's proven? Pretty arrogant and presumptuous.

Kids these days. Bah.

Spencer said...

Nope, you're definitely cynical.

The one guy didn't give the proof for the last-minute addition, just stated the result, and I completely doubt the other guy to ever reference "[LastName]'s Collection Theorem" ever again. (Plus, it wasn't particularly unique (as in, everybody else who did the homework properly came up with the same thing) or original.)

But I'm sure back in your day, people did math homework uphill both ways in freezing blizzards.

Laverna said...

I wish I had a grader to grade all my kids' assignments. My kids don't know how grateful they are that they're in a music class and that the amount of homework I assign (beyond practice charts and playing tests) is directly linked to how much time I want to spend reading their bad handwriting.

Needless to say, I don't do a lot of homework. Although I've gotten some pretty good laughs from what I have assigned and graded. :D
Sweeping generalization: middle school students couldn't write a coherent, grammatically correct sentence if their lives depended on it.