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First Final - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
First Final
This is finals week for me. Actually it's just "final" week, since I only take one class at a time. This is my VERY FIRST final. The prof assigned it last sunday, it is due sunday night, and it's basically just a big homework assignment. Very big!

It's a strange-looking assignment. In THEORY it consists of five problems and a paper. (The paper is a research paper, 2000 words. Ick. I haven't even started it; I'm saving it for last.)

But the problems. Like I say, "five" of them, but not really. They are really randomly divided. Like Question One, which I've completed, consisted of four parts. He didn't label it as a/b/c/d, but there are four separate sections. Okay, no problem -- four tables, four diagrams, and I'm done.

Then there is Question Two. This one he's broken up into four sections, a/b/c/d. But part A has four questions in it, even though it's not sub-divided. Part B is even stranger -- it is broken up further, into "i" and "ii", and even each of those divisions have three bullet-points worth of questions.

So after all of that -- a page worth of details and questions for Q2? Question Three is just two small diagrams. That's all!
[edit: two diagrams plus two tables. It's tricky how he sneaks them in....]

Question Four is really three parts, but for some reason he's got it divided into "a.i", "a.ii", and "b". That makes sense...

Question Five has a/b, but the two parts have absolutely NOTHING to do with one another. Weird.

Got all that? Me neither. I'm not complaining about the amount of work (okay maybe I am just a little), but I'm just puzzling over how strangely it's all put together. Why didn't he just give us twenty problems number 1-20, or however many there really are here? What's with the strange and inconsistent multi-tiered numbering scheme?

The only think I can think of is: maybe the rules he's working off of state that there can only be five questions. So he's just sqeezing everything into them?

Or perhaps that's part of the test, I'm supposed to organize and number it properly. I hope not, because I'm not planning on rearranging anything. I'm just editing the document, putting space between each question, and filling that space with an answer and/or table and/or diagram. Depending on the question.

I'm answering everything kind of haphazardly. Perhaps because of how haphazardly it's written. I started with Q1, then Q5. Just did Q4, and now I'm going to work on Q3. Then I'll tackle the monstrous Q2: Q2.a, Q2.b.i, Q2.b.ii, Q2.c, Q2.d, and all their multitudes of parts.

Crazy! Still, these are more fun than the paper I have to write this weekend. Grad school is hard work. Who could have expected it?


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jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: April 27th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe this exam is cut and pasted from several previous exams?
From: writerwench Date: April 27th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds pretty likely to me.

Some profs seem to take a perverse delight in being obscure and confusing.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: April 27th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Mayhaps they are divided up by concept, or by the syllabus structure? Or, it may just facilitate grading/scoring the exam.

One of my favorite profs at A&M used to give out these really thick tests. Every question had its own page. So, there you'd be, staring at a page with five lines of question at the top, and a whole lot of blank paper below it.

It was most disconcerting when the answer was fairly simple. One line of writing/formulas and you'd have answered the question. But there was still all that blank paper left! Did I miss something? Why are other people writing so much more than me?

But, no, the answer really would be that brief. All those people madly scribbling were just filling up the space in hopes they might stumble through the correct answer at some point.

The same prof also fronted every test with an "equations page." A collection of equations we might need on the test, since the test was closed-book, closed-notes. The first equation was always "e=mc^2." We never needed that, but it was always there. I'm not sure if that was just the profs sense of humor at work, or a reminder that just because an equation was on that page, it didn't mean we had to use it.

That prof was one of the reasons I ended up majoring in chemistry.
shadowrose From: shadowrose Date: April 28th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Where are you attending grad school?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 29th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm doing an online masters of science in computer science at Regis University.
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