August 7, 2008

The Hellish Semester Continues

I talked a bit about what a horrible semester it has been and how I was glad that it was over HERE.

Well, it appears as though the semester simply does not want to go away. In the class that I mentioned last time (it was a research class), I got one of the lowest marks ever with one of my papers. Now, I'm okay with low marks if I deserve them, but I did not feel that I deserved this mark. I put a lot of work into it, I got help from the instructor for it, and after re-reading it, I still consider it a pretty good paper. I know my academic writing is strong (though it may not shine through here :)) So a while back I started the appeal process and asked for a second reader.

This process went on for more than two months and it is only today that I finally got that mark back from the second reader. The student affairs officer contacted me and told me that the second reader gave me a mark 1% higher than the previous mark! So yeah, my first thought is that I'm a goof and I guess I really did deserve the first mark.

Then I talked to another student that also appealed their grade and found out that they also got exactly 1% higher than their previous grade. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but that seems like more than a coincidence. Especially seeing as though this other student and I were at the forefront of protest against this instructor and their methods. How the hell do you prove something like THAT, though?

Here's the thing. I don't know what I want to do next. I have the option of going to a third step and going before a board to ask for another, objective reader, preferably from another department. How long will that drag on for, though? Or I could just accept the new grade and move on.

After this semester, I wanted to have a nice break and move past these previous three months. This just brings it all back. I'm really torn about what to do. I want to see who the second reader was before I decide what to do, but I'm leaning towards taking the (what I consider) unjust grade and moving on.


cb said...

I had a similar thing happen to me, kind of. I failed my final paper on my MA (it was 18,000) by 1%. The issue was slightly different because I knew it wasn't great but I had been working with a tutor on it prior to handing it in who had told me it was at least, passable - and I'd had an on-going 'issue' with the marking tutor.
(it is a long story and it still makes me angry when I think about it too much).
I went through the whole complaints procedure - extensively. It got second and third marked, it still didn't change. I became angry and consumed by the process and it just added to the stresses.
Looking back, I wish I'd just let it go. It honestly wasn't work the anger and the effort I spent in appealing it and then raging against the entire system.
It usually goes against what I'd say which is that things are worth fighting for usually, but all I can say is that in my case, I really wish I'd just moved on..
(I had to re-write it in the end and that passed (not least because it was actually a much better piece) but I still continue to feel bitter 8 years later!).

antiSWer said...

Wow, that certainly puts mine in perspective. I can't believe they'd fail you by 1%.

Yeah, it's sometimes hard to determine what is worth fighting for and what isn't. But in all reality, yours was worth fighting for more than mine. Maybe that should tell me something.

Post a Comment