Pbur's Adventures

The life and times of Patrick Burleson

Classroom Frustration

Posted on by Patrick

Since we’ve moved back to Texas, I’ve finally got back into taking the steps (and there are still a lot of them) to finish my degree. In fact, I’ll be changing majors from Computer Science to Business Administration. Quite a drastic change, but to be honest, at this point, I just want a degree. I don’t have the time to commit to Computer Science properly, and I would like to learn more about how businesses operate.

One of the reasons I haven’t officially changed majors at school is due to my less than stellar GPA. I’ve only taken 7 classes at the university I’m attending. Due to some unfortunate circumstances one semester (I forgot the last day to drop), I have two F’s on my transcript. Those really hurt, especially when all you have is 7 classes.

Well, this semester, I’m retaking one of those classes. Making an A means a .6 increase in my GPA. Not to mention it’s a Computer Science class that covers a subject I do professionally. It has been embarrassing to have an F in that class. So I’ve been very focused on making sure I get the A this time.

Quick tangent: Back before I stopped going to college full time, my first semester as a Freshman, I had a 4.0 GPA taking 15 hours. The following semester, I had a 3.8, I got one B amongst my A’s, again taking 15 hours. So this very low GPA I have now is frustrating because I know I’m a much better student than that reflects. Final note, since returning to school, I’ve taken 2 classes and received A’s in both of them. End tangent.

So, I’ve been obsessing over my assignments and tests and what’s been most frustrating is having to keep going back to the TA and tell them they graded my assignments wrong. The professor creates assignments and gives the TA a “key”. The problem is, in this class, there is more than one way to do most everything. I’ve been very picky about having even a single point deducted on a homework, as I want to ensure I get the A. ( Oh, did I mention my school uses the +/- system as well. So 4.0 isn’t 90-100, it’s actually more like 95-100 ). Maggie has been laughing at me fighting for my points. But so far, I’ve saved at least a point, maybe two, on my final grade.

I have to keep taking time out of my work/life schedule to correct the TA. So far, I’ve had to get points back on 5 out of 8 assignments and also on the first exam (the second exam was made easier to grade because the professor made it multiple choice). Finally at last night’s class, other students brought this up to the professor, since they also have had poor grading of their assignments. He mentioned that our TA is under a heavy load this semester being the TA for 3 classes. My basic response to that is “tough”. Here’s someone who has control over what my grade in a class will be, and if I didn’t fight for my points, it could cost me a letter, or at least a minus. It almost seems like they haven’t even had this course, although I believe they are a PhD student and certainly must have.

It’s just frustrating and I wanted to vent. Thanks for reading.

On a positive note, I have calculated that I can still recover my GPA and graduate with honors. That’s more like what I’m used to as a student.

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