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.
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2 comments:

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.

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