Help.... Dilemma With Professor

Lady Belle

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Nov 21, 2013
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    So my math professor started a test 10 minutes late. Promises to stay an extra 10 minutes until 9am although he needs to be somewhere. Then while I'm 80% done rechecking an answer i didn't feel confident with, decides to abruptly end the test. It was 8:51am! I went on to lose 5 points because I did make a simple computation mistake, but had I been able to finish, I would've caught it. He will not reason.

    2nd issue is that he gives a quiz and states that it is only 2 questions, but that he added 2 bonus questions. I complete all 4 questions, lost 5 points because of another silly mistake, but figured that the extra credit would cover me. Even though I got the bonus questions correct, he decides to give no credit for it. At first, when approached, his answer is I don't know. but in private told me he was purposefully vague, because he knew some students would finish quickly and then start messing around on their phones and texting. I told him I devoted 12 minutes of my time to those extra credit questions, that I could have used that to go over my questions instead. He will not reason.

    3rd issue is that he had stated several times during class that he will drop the lowest quiz grade. Now he says he may or may not, he says that students end up goofing off for one quiz if he makes it a strict rule! The dropping of this quiz grade means my grade will go from an 88 to a 93.

    Do I have anything to stand on here. Talking to him has not resolved anything. I will bring it up with the dept head, but I don't want to sound like a whiny baby. But I feel that because this class has a lot of high schoolers in it from the attached high school, he is treating it like a high school class. He has even gone as far as offering extra credit work to those high school kids who flunked his test very badly. Any advice??
     

    muddyduck7

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      I'm sorry but you do sound like a whiny baby... It sucks when professors are like this, but it is the way it is. I would not go to a department head about this. The professor knows that you are working hard and are being diligent. That can build a lot of good will that in the end can make the difference between a B+/A-/A. Going to a department head will in no way help your grade, and it will alienate you from your professor. One quiz won't make the difference in your grade. Everyone in your class experienced the same time crunch on that test. You can blame it on not having the time to check your work, but the reality is that you made a mistake and there is no guarantee that you would have caught it...

      You can't control the way your professor will grade, but you can control how you respond. Don't grade grub, and instead own up to your mistakes.
       
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      Solaire

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        Pour him a refreshing cup of sunnyD!

        In all honesty though it's one class of many you'll take... a drop in a lake... a pebble on the beach... an orange in a grove... a leaf in a tree... a star at night

        WI3HLXs.jpg
         
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        Lady Belle

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          In this case, the quiz situation is the difference between me getting an A or a B. The syllabus just states that 70% of your grade is tests and quizzes, and 30% of the grade is your final. I was the only one left on the test, everyone had left, like usual. My grade was the highest, followed by the next highest grade of 68. The majority of the class got between a 0 and 40% according to Prof. and it is something that he is always discussing during class. Constantly telling them to please take at least an hour to study and to please complete the homework that if they do they should be able to at least get a c in his class. But they usually don't. The class has 28 16 year old kids who spend the entire time copying each others homework/sleeping/texting. While I spend days studying, leading to his tests and feel wronged. Specially when I see him giving 22 students out of 31 extra credit work because they got below a 40.
           

          SN12357

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            In this case, the quiz situation is the difference between me getting an A or a B. The syllabus just states that 70% of your grade is tests and quizzes, and 30% of the grade is your final. I was the only one left on the test, everyone had left, like usual. My grade was the highest, followed by the next highest grade of 68. The majority of the class got between a 0 and 40% according to Prof. and it is something that he is always discussing during class. Constantly telling them to please take at least an hour to study and to please complete the homework that if they do they should be able to at least get a c in his class. But they usually don't. The class has 28 16 year old kids who spend the entire time copying each others homework/sleeping/texting. While I spend days studying, leading to his tests and feel wronged. Specially when I see him giving 22 students out of 31 extra credit work because they got below a 40.

            While he sounds like a dick and a bad class manager, complaining is really not worth it as it sounds like you're doing fine in the class. Making a big deal of these things will just make you look bad. A B instead of an A in one class will not make a difference in terms of getting into medical school. If you can't explain it to us without sounding like you're whining, you won't be able to explain it to the dean that way either.

            Sucking it up and moving on is the grown-up thing to do.
             

            Mt Kilimanjaro

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              Highest grade in class? --> Vent about grading procedures on SDN. Classic.

              This class sounds like a joke that you should be mercilessly crushing in an all around way.

              What about a curve? He's clearly going to curve the entire section at the end, which all professors do always, even if they tell you they won't.

              I think you're solid for an A and don't need to go get kinetic on the department head or university president or whatever.
               

              Solaire

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                That seems fairly unfair ... I would certainly care, my name is Solaire!

                Raise these issues if he will not reason with the department I guess... just try to seem as non-whiny/gunnerish as you can. Honestly, it probably won't change things (and you'll probably come off as whiny/gunnerish)

                That being said, a B won't kill you, and you certainly don't know what he'll end up doing in the end (he seems rather jumpy).
                 
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                Goro

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                  Go talk to his Chair.

                  Unfortunately, I fear you're just going to have to suck this one up and take it on the chin. I had a horrible math prof myself once.

                  So my math professor started a test 10 minutes late. Promises to stay an extra 10 minutes until 9am although he needs to be somewhere. Then while I'm 80% done rechecking an answer i didn't feel confident with, decides to abruptly end the test. It was 8:51am! I went on to lose 5 points because I did make a simple computation mistake, but had I been able to finish, I would've caught it. He will not reason.

                  2nd issue is that he gives a quiz and states that it is only 2 questions, but that he added 2 bonus questions. I complete all 4 questions, lost 5 points because of another silly mistake, but figured that the extra credit would cover me. Even though I got the bonus questions correct, he decides to give no credit for it. At first, when approached, his answer is I don't know. but in private told me he was purposefully vague, because he knew some students would finish quickly and then start messing around on their phones and texting. I told him I devoted 12 minutes of my time to those extra credit questions, that I could have used that to go over my questions instead. He will not reason.

                  3rd issue is that he had stated several times during class that he will drop the lowest quiz grade. Now he says he may or may not, he says that students end up goofing off for one quiz if he makes it a strict rule! The dropping of this quiz grade means my grade will go from an 88 to a 93.

                  Do I have anything to stand on here. Talking to him has not resolved anything. I will bring it up with the dept head, but I don't want to sound like a whiny baby. But I feel that because this class has a lot of high schoolers in it from the attached high school, he is treating it like a high school class. He has even gone as far as offering extra credit work to those high school kids who flunked his test very badly. Any advice??
                   
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                  Lady Belle

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                    Would it change your reaction if this possible B would end up in me being kicked out of school.

                    I didn't want to mention, because I wanted to see if my claim stood on it's own without the attached drama behind it. Unfortunately it seems as it may not. But I was finally allowed to come back to school after appealing to the board for 3 years. I used to come to this school 8 years ago, and the deal was that I must receive an overall 2.0 total gpa. I received an F in the two classes I am currently taking 8 years ago. And I need an A in order to average everything out to a 2.0. If I average out to a 2.0 they will let me continue and also erase those F's completely from my record. I have mentioned this to the professor as well. And it didn't change his response a bit. He finally just told me that let's see how I do in the Final and in the next test because he doesn't have enough information to go on right now on whether I'm a good student or not! There's been a total of 10 exams/quizzes, of which I've scored 2 70's and an 80, the rest have been 100's and a 105. I was enrolled late in the semester and he gave me the two quizzes and test I missed the 2nd day and 3rd day of class respectively. I have been studying like mad for the next test and final, so much so that the head of my department noticed me in the library all day long for the past few days and after chatting said I should visit the wellness center as she was worried about me. I feel I am under so much pressure.
                     

                    hubriz

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                      I'm sorry but you do sound like a whiny baby... It sucks when professors are like this, but it is the way it is. I would not go to a department head about this. The professor knows that you are working hard and are being diligent. That can build a lot of good will that in the end can make the difference between a B+/A-/A. Going to a department head will in no way help your grade, and it will alienate you from your professor. One quiz won't make the difference in your grade. Everyone in your class experienced the same time crunch on that test. You can blame it on not having the time to check your work, but the reality is that you made a mistake and there is no guarantee that you would have caught it...

                      You can't control the way your professor will grade, but you can control how you respond. Don't grade grub, and instead own up to your mistakes.

                      I whole-heartedly disagree with you on every level. I am responding so that I may offer some insight that will perhaps compel you to reconsider your position, but more importantly, your apathetic attitude.

                      Students have a right to expect a certain standard of ethics and professionalism from their professors, just as patients have that right with their physicians. The scenarios depicted by the OP demonstrate a flippant attitude on behalf of this professor, which has affected the OP's grade(s), and by your own admission, everyone else's. Cutting time short because the professor arrived late is not only akin to moving a target (which is unfair), but it is also unethical because the professor is holding his students accountable for his tardiness. This is completely unacceptable, regardless of how many points may have been lost as a result.

                      If I were the chairperson, I would appreciate a student coming to me with their concerns, so that I may have the opportunity to address them and ensure that my department is running properly - it would most certainly be resolved with a single, candid discussion outlying my expectations and our departmental policies. As a chairperson, this would of course be my job!

                      I encourage and advocate for the OP to be diligent in pursuing remediation for these issues. It's this effort and attitude that makes a system or institution better; ignoring it will only perpetuate and enable bad professorship, and worse, your own apathetic attitude.
                       

                      nabilesmail

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                        I got a C+ in a class (my first ever C) because I was .5/1000 points away from a B-, the worse part ? I had been marked down for absences that I did not have, which was worth something like 15 points. I emailed the teacher twice, he never even responded
                         

                        kyamh

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                          Would it change your reaction if this possible B would end up in me being kicked out of school.

                          I didn't want to mention, because I wanted to see if my claim stood on it's own without the attached drama behind it. Unfortunately it seems as it may not. But I was finally allowed to come back to school after appealing to the board for 3 years. I used to come to this school 8 years ago, and the deal was that I must receive an overall 2.0 total gpa. I received an F in the two classes I am currently taking 8 years ago. And I need an A in order to average everything out to a 2.0. If I average out to a 2.0 they will let me continue and also erase those F's completely from my record. I have mentioned this to the professor as well. And it didn't change his response a bit. He finally just told me that let's see how I do in the Final and in the next test because he doesn't have enough information to go on right now on whether I'm a good student or not! There's been a total of 10 exams/quizzes, of which I've scored 2 70's and an 80, the rest have been 100's and a 105. I was enrolled late in the semester and he gave me the two quizzes and test I missed the 2nd day and 3rd day of class respectively. I have been studying like mad for the next test and final, so much so that the head of my department noticed me in the library all day long for the past few days and after chatting said I should visit the wellness center as she was worried about me. I feel I am under so much pressure.

                          Look, as crappy as your situation seems, you are the one who chose to make this deal. I also want to mention that plenty of students on SDN talk about having some really really bad semesters and coming back from them to eventually get into a medical school. If you want to be a doctor, you certainly aren't doomed. Perhaps you should have spent those 3 years going to another school...

                          Frankly, the fact that you scored 1/5 quizzes below an 80 isn't putting you into the 'definitely A' category if you are on an A/B/C no +/- system. While your professor sounds very frustrating, you could have found out his attitude from older students if you took the time to choose your professors carefully - plenty of students go through this trouble because it is always worth it. The fact that the professor is willing to look at your final as a serious metric of your ability is generous of him. Be thankful and score 95+ on the final.
                           
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                          Lady Belle

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                            Not to continue beating a dead horse. But, he has no reviews on ratemyprofessor. There isn't really anyone to talk to about this. It is part of the public city college in Harlem ny and they work by you get what you and leave us alone. He himself mentioned that he is going back to school this semester. And I'm sure he had a test at school the day he cut ours short. He wasn't the one that made the rule about the percentages, it's a department wide syllabus.
                            Today. In front of my face as I waited to give in my homework, one of the 15 yr old kids came up to him and told him she was worried about tomorrow's quiz since she's failed all the other ones. His immediate response was, oh. Here's some extra credit work. Bring it to me by next week and ill give you an extra 20 points. I asked him if it was possible if I got extra credit work as well, and he said. Umm. Let me think about it. Sigh

                            Also, I did go to school, community college. But they accepted none of my credits as they felt they weren't on par with the difficulty of a 4 yr college.

                            I have done everything right. Why can't I except fairness and respect.

                            But I get it. It's my fault for getting into this deal. Its my fault for assuming that if im told a test would last for 50 minutes, I should be ready to accept that it can be cut to 38 mins with no heads up. It's my fault for not asking if the extra questions carried any value. And it's my fault for assuming that when he told he drop the lowest quiz grade he would for sure do it. There is no A for effort or showing hardworking and diligence. I've learned my hard, painful lesson. Thanks everyone for the eye opening reality of college and professors.
                             
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                            kyamh

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                              But I get it. It's my fault for getting into this deal. Its my fault for assuming that if im told a test would last for 50 minutes, I should be ready to accept that it can be cut to 38 mins with no heads up. It's my fault for not asking if the extra questions carried any value. And it's my fault for assuming that when he told he drop the lowest quiz grade he would for sure do it. There is no A for effort or showing hardworking and diligence. I've learned my hard, painful lesson. Thanks everyone for the eye opening reality of college and professors.

                              I feel you as far as the frustration you must be feeling, but it's not necessary to go on such a long pity/passive aggressive. No, it's not your "fault" per se, but you need to pick yourself up and keep going. You will have many more obstacles in your way if you choose to pursue medicine, tough s***. The only one with any power to fix this is you - we can't do anything about it - you can study your a** off and kill that final. I understand the need to rant, but if you feel as though you have done everything right I don't know what you hope to accomplish with this thread. We can tell you the professor is being a jerk, but you aren't the only one who runs into these kinds of situations and you situation is, by far, not the worst that has been described on this site.
                               

                              SN12357

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                                Not to continue beating a dead horse. But, he has no reviews on ratemyprofessor. There isn't really anyone to talk to about this. It is part of the public city college in Harlem ny and they work by you get what you and leave us alone. He himself mentioned that he is going back to school this semester. And I'm sure he had a test at school the day he cut ours short. He wasn't the one that made the rule about the percentages, it's a department wide syllabus.
                                Today. In front of my face as I waited to give in my homework, one of the 15 yr old kids came up to him and told him she was worried about tomorrow's quiz since she's failed all the other ones. His immediate response was, oh. Here's some extra credit work. Bring it to me by next week and ill give you an extra 20 points. I asked him if it was possible if I got extra credit work as well, and he said. Umm. Let me think about it. Sigh

                                Also, I did go to school, community college. But they accepted none of my credits as they felt they weren't on par with the difficulty of a 4 yr college.

                                I have done everything right. Why can't I except fairness and respect.

                                But I get it. It's my fault for getting into this deal. Its my fault for assuming that if im told a test would last for 50 minutes, I should be ready to accept that it can be cut to 38 mins with no heads up. It's my fault for not asking if the extra questions carried any value. And it's my fault for assuming that when he told he drop the lowest quiz grade he would for sure do it. There is no A for effort or showing hardworking and diligence. I've learned my hard, painful lesson. Thanks everyone for the eye opening reality of college and professors.

                                I've changed my mind a little bit and think it might be worth bringing up with his chair the fact that he's offering extra work to other people but not you. But I think you should only bring up things where he is clearly treating you differently from the other students OR where he clearly contradicted a school-wide syllabus. Not the stuff where he's changing his mind in a way that effects everyone equally, and not aspects that are tied into other issues you may have at the school.

                                But you have to pursue things in a clear, factual manner, and not let it be tied up too much in your personal situation. It really isn't one professor's problem if their course is make or break for you at the school.
                                 

                                kyamh

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                                  I've changed my mind a little bit and think it might be worth bringing up with his chair the fact that he's offering extra work to other people but not you.

                                  It seems as though this professor is giving extra credit work to students who are in danger of failing the course. Plenty of professors do everything in their power to help students pass, it's not uncommon, especially in a math class where extra work will help those students learn the required material better. I don't really think this is the same thing as a student wanting extra credit to go from a B to an A...
                                   

                                  SN12357

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                                    It seems as though this professor is giving extra credit work to students who are in danger of failing the course. Plenty of professors do everything in their power to help students pass, it's not uncommon, especially in a math class where extra work will help those students learn the required material better. I don't really think this is the same thing as a student wanting extra credit to go from a B to an A...

                                    Yeah but personally I think that that's bad practice. Either fail them (preferably, but schools are generally too unwilling to fail people) or offer everyone the same extra points. It's not like the highest grade can go above a 100.

                                    It's a more legitimate complaint than what the OP originally voiced.
                                     
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                                    Zelda840

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                                      ugh - I had a physics professor who would give extra credit to the people who were failing but no one else. It's so frustrating. Ultimately I didn't say anything because the prof had a reputation for circular reasoning and communication issues and I just didn't have the energy to fight him on it.
                                       
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