Author Topic: The ANGST thread: Complain here!  (Read 1628148 times)

Insane Steve

  • Professional Cynic
« Reply #7905 on: April 06, 2013, 12:34:48 AM »
Alright, so the place I work is transitioning to a new system for grading online exams. I learn a couple days ago that I've been re-assigned as the lead instructor for a pre-calculus course, when I was intended to be the back-up to one of the more senior instructors.

To prepare for this duty, I decide to take some of the exams blind to make sure I actually remember how to do all the stuff in the course. It's mildly unsettling when I get a B on the second exam in the course.

I look over the two problems I got wrong, and it turns out that, no, I'm prettttttttty sure I knew how to do those things. I had a hard time getting up that day so I was a bit tired... who knows, I might be delirious and just may be bad at math today. I throw the necessary equations in Wolfram Alpha and discover that, no, I'm not too tired to do math, it's just the tests are written by drunk MBAs who forgot how to do pre-calc because, you know, that's the sort of thing you don't need to remember how to do when daddy has a job writing exam problems lined up for you out of college. I mean, how hard can math be it's not like anyone's ever held back in high school because they can't do it or anything sheesh

I then learn that, because of the way the hierarchy of the online exam program works, as a not-exactly-senior member of the instructional staff I don't have privileges to open the exam question bank and fix the problems. In fact, only one math instructor has these rights. I bring up my discovery to her today.

She laughs and tells many stories about how the last online grading program (owned by the same company, incidentally) had a calculus course where, initially, roughly 1/4th the questions were flawed, and the support for the site absolutely did not care when informed about this. The best story is when she called the company and was told about the company's vaunted "97% accuracy in writing questions" - which is hunky-dory for those who haven't heard of the binomial distribution, but when you consider that on a 25 question exam,  there is a less than 1/2 chance that a student will not get any flawed problems, is sort of a big deal. We bring this up to the person assigned to dealing with this firm. She also laughs. Much disparaging conversation ensues, mainly involving alcohol and the merits of drawing eyes on a parabola as a mnemonic for remembering if the coefficient of the x^2 term is positive or negative (if it looks like the graph is smiling, it has a positive attitude and opens up, and if it looks sad, it's being negative and opens down. Ah ha ha ha!).

My job duties for the rest of the day involve taking more tests and writing down all the problems with wrong answers, which are disturbingly common (yea, change the base of that problem on logarithms mid-problem from 10 in the problem to e in the "right" answer and see if I notice). It depresses me to think of a average high school student who isn't amazing at nor cares about math doing a difficult problem right, having it marked wrong anyways, and suddenly doubting their abilities.

But I mean it's not like we have a staff of people who are fully capable of writing their own math problems for tests or anything. It's, of course, far better to outsource this duty to a company with a proven track record of incompetence.

For those of you on these boards years younger than I... yes, this is pretty much a perfect anecdote to describe how the real world works.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 12:37:07 AM by Insane Steve »


  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #7906 on: April 06, 2013, 08:31:50 AM »
That's a sobering frustration to hear, there. I've never been good at math, period, and my brother is consistently dealing with ill-structured online learning systems for his freshman year in college...
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

« Reply #7907 on: April 17, 2013, 05:47:57 PM »
Is anyone else having problems with Google Search?
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur


  • Normal
« Reply #7908 on: April 19, 2013, 11:07:38 AM »
I think I have strep throat.  It hurts to swallow, and cough drops aren't helping.  This really sucks.
"Hello Kitty is cool, but I like Keroppi the best."

« Reply #7909 on: April 19, 2013, 11:44:52 AM »
* Weegee resists drawing a connection between that and Markio losing his virginity
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur


  • Normal
« Reply #7910 on: April 19, 2013, 12:55:45 PM »
Go ahead, all my other friends have. :P

As long as there's no Pat-Robertson-esque implication that I'm being punished by God.
"Hello Kitty is cool, but I like Keroppi the best."


  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #7911 on: May 04, 2013, 07:27:37 PM »
My aunts in the bay area wanted my dad to knock a wall out between a downstairs room and a garage in their house, apparently so they could rent it out as living space. He drives the hours there from here, along with my mom on Friday. They pull up to the house and the gate is locked; not that the house if far away from it. Their dog barks, and from the upstairs front door, one of them lets the dog in.

"Hey," says my mother. It is an informal American greeting. "Hey," replies the aunt. Lets the dog in... never comes back.

My parents call the both of them and get no answers. So they check into a Motel 6 for a 70-dollar night.

Apparently there was a miscommunication and not only is this an acceptable thing to do to someone related to you visiting to do you a favor (albeit a paid one), it's my dad's fault for telling them he'd be there Saturday. It's Saturday now, but it's not happening. My folks are on their way home, and not because my dad's now refusing to do the job. So next time you get company a day earlier than expected, just say "**** off" and slam the door.

I don't know what went wrong between us and them but this isn't the first inexplicably [dukar]ty thing they've done in the last three or four years and I'm not sure I ever want to see them again.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 07:38:49 PM by BP »
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #7912 on: May 21, 2013, 07:32:14 AM »
I am a cashier, and try to keep as open a mind as possible,  but sometimes..

I had this woman in an electric cart come through last night. She talked about having back surgery because she had curvature of the spine, then she went on to say that I should look into back surgery because I *very obviously* needed it. (note: I do have some scoliosis, but still)

 If I hadn't already finished checking her out and she was on her way, I would have stopped right then and had someone else to finish up for me.
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??


  • Old Person™
« Reply #7913 on: May 21, 2013, 01:29:20 PM »
I think she did the right thing, but in the wrong way.  Had she be tactful her advice might have been better perceived.  Regardless, I think we need more honest discussion of health and medical issues. 

I grew up in the South where such discussion rarely happens.  My wife and I have had family members that may have lived longer happier lives if the rest of the family would have shared health/medical info.  Instead they wait until someone dies to say something like, "Aunt Jennie and Grandma Martha also died of breast cancer."  Having shared that years earlier may have saved a life.  Same thing for prostate problems in my family.  If I hadn't discussed my genetic results my family would never have told me other family members had such problems. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #7914 on: May 24, 2013, 03:05:15 PM »
My dog got ran over. Also, one of my friends might not ever come to school again and I'm probably being sent to therapy.

« Reply #7915 on: May 24, 2013, 04:20:34 PM »
Is your dog dead?
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

« Reply #7916 on: May 25, 2013, 11:43:51 AM »
Nah. Actually, he could come home today, but his lungs are kind of messed up and he isn't eating so he could die.

« Reply #7917 on: June 04, 2013, 08:36:28 PM »
Why does everyone like the Hunger Games? People are talking about the next movie like its Gine with the Wind or something and it should be honored. I don't see what's so special about it. I also hate dystopian books in general, there too overused these days by no name writers trying to be Suzanne Collins.
Now with grandeur.

« Reply #7918 on: June 04, 2013, 08:42:16 PM »
I also hate dystopian books in general

It's people like you who are actively ensuring the future will be a dystopia.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

« Reply #7919 on: June 04, 2013, 09:44:11 PM »
It's people like you who are actively ensuring the future will be a dystopia.
Just obey the government and it'll be fine.