0336: "Priorities"

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Eleyras
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Eleyras » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:50 am UTC

My usual reason for not doing homework? Whatever it was is a stupid timewasting piece of busywork, I'd learn more from browsing fora or reading.
At some point, I will remember to sig quotes I find amusing or something.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby gwself » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 am UTC

Deskchair Intellectual wrote:Does anyone else sometimes not do assignments because you know your grades would be high enough even if you don't do it?


Haha, yeah, last year I calculated my grade in a principles of engineering course, and found out I could still get a low A even if I didn't do the final paper. Needless to say, I never did the final paper, and my teacher never said anything to me about it.

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6453893
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby 6453893 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:57 am UTC

At our high school, we only had A,B,C,D, and E. At least we could do DABBED.

I want to create a school where the only four grades are X, K, C, and D. It'll probably be a really nerdy school though, so K, C, and D would all be fails.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Angelene » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:12 am UTC

Umm, to break the trend and actually directly reference the comic...I was disappointed...maybe the last few had me spoiled with their romantic connotations, but this one just left me cold.
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Tootiredforclever
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Tootiredforclever » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:17 am UTC

SimonSwift wrote:As a sidenote, think about how difficult it would be to get those middle grades right. You'd need to have exactly the right grade percentage. Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that a game should be set up where students try to get as close as possible to a specific percentage in a given class, and they have to be precise about what they do and what they don't do (of course, the teacher can't help out because the teacher would have to be oblivious). I see a new college trend beginning...


Alright, it took some perusing of Wikipedia, but I finally got to the memory that was tickling the back of my mind. Victor Tugelbend is Pratchett's character at Unseen University who scores exactly 84% every year to stay above the cutoff from his uncle's will (80%) and below an actual passing grade (88%), as the life of a student seems to him infinitely more enjoyable than that of an actual wizard. And yes, he is the most studious in the school to pull it off.

But if we're going to try spelling words with a whole new set of grades...

d33p wrote:In my elementary school, it was "S" for Satisfactory, "I" for Incomplete, "U" for Unsatisfactory... and "E" for Excellent.


...I vote for ISSUES as the first target.

missingglassmarbles
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby missingglassmarbles » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:37 am UTC

This XKCDian is flawed. In a truly xkcd fashion, he would strive to get 100% in all his classes, the geek he is, and then hack (I wonder if crack would actually be the correct term for this action) his way into the school report card system and rewrite his report card to display the 100% but beside it for some inexplicable reason still display the letters in alphabetical order, or add in completely unrelated letters to spell a word. I can only wish that someone will do that and change the grades to something along the lines of:

X
K
C
D
F
T
W

When asked why in the world he would write his own report card in such a way, despite getting a terrific 100% average, he would respond with something along the lines of "Letter grades are meaningless and arbitrary. The numbers control everything! I'm proud to be Student # 241134!"

Bonus points to anyone who can determine how his student # was derived.

Good comic.

ThatGuyCalledPete
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby ThatGuyCalledPete » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:44 am UTC

I remember when I was at primary school (UK thing, I guess USian equivalent is elementary school?) we had grades A-D for stuff, and then the +/- indicated effort.

At that young tender age I reasoned that an A-- would be far superior to an A++, as it was achieving the high grade without needing to put the effort in. :)

As it was, I ended up with a whole bunch of "Satisfactory, could do better" comments in just about every area. At home I rapidly learned that the definition of "Satisfactory" is "Not damned good enough!". Hmmm.

At the other end of the scale, A-Levels in the UK (studied at college, which is after secondary school, but before university, typically aged 16-18) are graded A-E for passing grades, N for "nearly a grade", and U for ungraded. I'd rather not talk about my college grades though - not that anyone cares now I have a degree and almost 10 years professional experience under my belt...just need to get my nose back on the grindstone for this bloody MBA now...blurgh.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby sunami » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:44 am UTC

missingglassmarbles wrote:When asked why in the world he would write his own report card in such a way, despite getting a terrific 100% average, he would respond with something along the lines of "Letter grades are meaningless and arbitrary. The numbers control everything! I'm proud to be Student # 241134!"

Bonus points to anyone who can determine how his student # was derived.


x = 24
k = 11
c = 3
d = 4


I'm kinda with cara on this one, not a great one. However, it incited a discussion I've had which I felt I was in the right and wanted to ask all you alls about, so I'm stuck!
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Blipo » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:49 am UTC

Deskchair Intellectual wrote:Does anyone else sometimes not do assignments because you know your grades would be high enough even if you don't do it?

Yes. =D

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby GreatPokerHands » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:56 am UTC

How could you forget about "Legumionosae"? more commonly known as "Fabaceae". See here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabaceae

I quick internet troll of the various dictionary files available and a couple of lines of script reveals the follow (English) words can all be made with the set of letters [A-F].

There are sorted in descending order of length. I've not been anal enough to check they are all truely valid Scrabble(TM) words and not abbreviations, but hey, if you want to ... knock yourself out :-)

/\/ick

FABACEAE
EFFACED
DEEDEED
DEFACED
ACCEDED
CABBED
EFFACE
FACADE
FAFFED
DABBED
DEEDED
DEFACE
DECADE
DECAFF
DAFFED
ACCEDE
BEADED
BACCAE
BAFFED
BACABA
BEDEAD
BEDEAF
BEDDED
BEEFED
CABDA
CADEE
CAABA
CAFFA
CEDED
CAECA
EFFED
EBBED
FADED
FACED
DACCA
DABBA
DECCA
DECAF
DECAD
ABABA
ABAFF
ABACA
AFACE
ADDED
ADEAD
BEEBE
BEDAD
BACCA
BEBED
BAAED
BABEE
CADE
CABA
CACA
CEDE
CAFF
CAFE
CECA
EDEA
EDDA
ECCE
ECCA
ECAD
FAFF
FEED
FABA
FACE
FADE
DADA
DADE
DAFF
DEAF
DACE
DABB
DEAD
DEED
ADDA
ABED
ACCA
ABAC
ADAD
ACED
ABBA
AFFA
ABBE
BEEB
BEDE
BEEF
BAFF
BABE
BEAD
BABA
BADE
CAD
CAB
CEE
CDC
EBB
EFF
FEE
FED
FEB
FCC
FDA
FAD
FAB
FAA
FAE
DEF
DAE
DAD
DAB
DEC
DEB
DEE
ABB
aff
ACE
ABE
ABC
ABA
ADE
ADD
ADA
AAA
BEE
BED
BAD
BAE
BAC
BAB
BAA
CA
CB
CF
CE
EA
EF
EE
ED
FE
FA
DE
DA
DC
AE
AC
AA
AD
AB
BE
BA
C
E
F
D
A
B

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby floyd4one » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:59 am UTC

University of Michigan gives out Es. I believe it's E for "Eh".

On a side note for apostrophe Nazis out there: don't you hate it when people incorrectly write A's instead of As and 1990's etc... drives me nuts.

On a different side note: Godwin's law.

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sunami
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby sunami » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:06 am UTC

floyd4one wrote:University of Michigan gives out Es. I believe it's E for "Eh".

On a side note for apostrophe Nazis out there: don't you hate it when people incorrectly write A's instead of As and 1990's etc... drives me nuts.

On a different side note: Godwin's law.

AS A GODWIN'S LAW NAZI: NO. YOU DID NOT INVOKE GODWIN'S LAW HERE.

ON A DIFFERENT SIDE NOTE: SHOUTING.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby GreatPokerHands » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:10 am UTC

Someone stop me ...

In my elementary school, it was "S" for Satisfactory, "I" for Incomplete, "U" for Unsatisfactory... and "E" for Excellent.


With these letters, we could make:
SISSIES

One letter shorter are:
ISSUES (already posted by "Tootiredforclever")
SUSSES
SUISSE
...

For grades from 3rd and under in Tucson the grading scale used an E as the top grade (exceeds expectations)
Underneath that were the following:
S (Satisfactory)
N (Needs Improvement)
U (Unacceptable) [I think it was unacceptable]
I (Improving; not used as a grade in and of itself but sometimes added to other grades: you could get a S+ with a little I in the corner of the grading box)


With this combination, you can make SUNNIS

I'll stop now, I promise.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby space_raptor » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:19 am UTC

At my junior high and high school, we did get percentage grades. I always thought the letter grade system was dumb. I demand precise quantification of my math skills.

Then in university we started the letter grade system, and I was happy, because hey, B- looks better than a C. And F may have stood for Fail, but D stood for Done.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby toughlove » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:22 am UTC

hey first, just so you know - im Australian and dont use the whole A+ , B- thing until finals!

and i can relate to todays comic.

every semester we have an Australian state wide maths and science competitions, usually i get credit (50-75% of the country) or participation (thanks for trying!)
but last time i got a distinction (top 10% of the country) and all i could think about was, damn, now i cant add to my participation collection.

so yeah.
xx
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby EchelonForce » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:55 am UTC

D - Astro-psychology
E - Physical Algebra
A - Culinary Computations
D - Disaster Self-Adjustment
B - Non-Linear Sports
E - PhotoShop Detection
E - Future History
F - Student Loan Appreciation

Ran out of ideas for subjects...

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby _jameshales » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:18 am UTC

floyd4one wrote:On a side note for apostrophe Nazis out there: don't you hate it when people incorrectly write A's instead of As and 1990's etc... drives me nuts.


Oh, but it's so ambiguous. A poll conducted this year for our school's "year book", asked participants to associate a person from the year group with each of the listed descriptions or titles. For example, "Surfer Chick", or "Most Likely to be Prime Minister". One said "Straight As", which most people interpreted as asking "Who is the most heterosexual person in the year group?", which they wittily responded to by writing down the name of one of the two people in the year group who are openly gay. Everyone was later informed that the description actually meant "Who is getting an A grade in all of their subjects?", but the damage was done.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby ex-parrot » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:26 am UTC

My high school gave marks in the following scheme:

E - Excellence (processing of regurgitated info and semblance of independent thought)
M - Merit (some processing of regurgitated info)
A - Achieved (can regurgitate info)
N - Not Achieved (larls)

I got NAME in calculus (in the various course components).

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby solocard » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:56 am UTC

I went to a British school, and many a class mate tried to do things along these lines.

At the time I was at school, the grading system went; A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, U. With the A* - C part being a "good pass", D-G being "pass" and U stood for Ungraded (or Fail).

Come results day, many a colleague of mine were excited over the fact that they could spell "FUDGE" and "DUDE" with their exam results.

EDIT: Wrong type of their... Ooops.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Uthor » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:08 am UTC

This reminds me of some teachers that would give you a 100% on a multiple choice test if you managed to get a 0%. The thinking was that you had to know enough to get that 0% as guessing would still give you 20% and you therefore deserve the 100%.

My thinking is that if you say you will get an A/B/C/D/F report card in alphabetical order, you had to know enough to plan that out. You deserve a 4.0.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Banksy » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:07 am UTC

At GCSE level in English schools you can get grades from A-G, all being passes. Then there's also U, which is a fail. and X (for not attending).
So there's quite a lot of stuff you can spell out with that.

Edit: :O Well I was too slow to explaining that. Nevermind
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby TheKhakinator » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:14 am UTC

Randall seems to like doing this thing where he manipulates things to get patterns and such. Kinda like when he said "definitely just sex" to sync line lengths on IM.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby McHell » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:31 am UTC

EchelonForce wrote:D/E/A/D/B/E/E/F

I see you've been reading the "Worse Than Failure" site recently.

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crazdgamer
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby crazdgamer » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:52 am UTC

This comic reminded me about my achievements in AP tests.

I took 4 AP courses in High School.

Got a 5 in Calculus AB
Got a 4 in Physics B
Got a 3 in US History
Got a 2 in Chemistry

I wish I had taken English, because I knew I'd get a 1 and, as a result, hit for the career AP cycle.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby chishm » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:11 am UTC

GreatPokerHands wrote:There are sorted in descending order of length. [...]

C
E
F
D
A
B

E being longer than F I can understand, since it's got another stroke, but why is C longer than E?

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby cathrl » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:49 am UTC

My daughter's school has A1, A2, B, C and D for level of achievement.

And a second set, 1-5, for effort put in (with 1 being the lowest).

She tells me one of her friends got A1 - 1 (top achievement, no effort) in one subject. Darn bilingual students :) That was always my aim at school, but despite being bored to tears and having to do no work at all to come top in many subjects, the teachers persisted in giving me A for effort too, which I always thought made it pretty pointless having two grades.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Prole » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:51 am UTC

The alt text is pretty good, but not the best comic.

Its been pretty high standard recently though, so maybe i expect too much.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby grythyttan » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:58 am UTC

Deskchair Intellectual wrote:Does anyone else sometimes not do assignments because you know your grades would be high enough even if you don't do it?


Oh god yes. I'm currently being active only in the classes where there is something I want to learn and when I think it's important. I'm quite sure that i can fail every class I have left without it affecting anything.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby schrodingersduck » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:21 pm UTC

6453893 wrote:At our high school, we only had A,B,C,D, and E. At least we could do DABBED.

I want to create a school where the only four grades are X, K, C, and D. It'll probably be a really nerdy school though, so K, C, and D would all be fails.


So the letters could be "eXcellent", "oK", "Crap" "Dire"...

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby julesh » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:25 pm UTC

McHell wrote:
EchelonForce wrote:D/E/A/D/B/E/E/F

I see you've been reading the "Worse Than Failure" site recently.


You mean DailyWTF. I refuse to acknowledge the name change.

(Besides, the letters come from the constant that GDB uses to fill uninitialised memory, and has nothing to do with DailyWTF.)

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby julesh » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:27 pm UTC

solocard wrote:I went to a British school, and many a class mate tried to do things along these lines.

At the time I was at school, the grading system went; A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, U. With the A* - C part being a "good pass", D-G being "pass" and U stood for Ungraded (or Fail).


I always felt that A-C (no A* in my day, you youngster) were "pass", D-G "fail" and U "unmitigated failure".

Makes more sense that way. I mean, "ungraded"? Of course it's graded. They've graded it "U".

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Ari » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:54 pm UTC

At my university, and E is for technically passing, but not handing in enough assignments to meet the minimum requirements of the course.

There's also a Q for just not attending.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:13 pm UTC

floyd4one wrote:On a side note for apostrophe Nazis out there: don't you hate it when people incorrectly write A's instead of As and 1990's etc...


No, I don't. Because it's not incorrect - there are exceptions for numbers as quantities (e.g. "1000's" for thousands), years for decades/centuries, single letters, abbreviations, certain short words, and symbols.

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Xane » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:26 pm UTC

they say F's scar children, so instead they give out E's, not attending is E2 or LC

i never even thought about it until people told me they didnt have E's in school

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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Maurog » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:32 pm UTC

It's funny to see you discussing letters, because I weren't ever graded in letters. In Russia they used a roughly equivalent system of 1 to 5, with optional plus or minus sign. So 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D and 1=F. In Israel it's usually just percentile grading, from 0 to 100. Meh.
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby DragonHawk » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:38 pm UTC

julesh wrote:You mean DailyWTF. I refuse to acknowledge the name change.

I used to think that, but when you read the author's explanation for how something can be "worse than failure", well... the new name has something going for it.

Besides, it can also be used as a subtle double entendre against the clueless, which is always fun. ;)

True story: Here at work, they recently had this training initiative, done with state money. The state program was called the "Workforce Training Fund". There were numerous mentions of things like "WTF forms" and "WTF classes". I was in serious danger of bursting out laughing all the time. :lol:

(Besides, the letters come from the constant that GDB uses to fill uninitialised memory, and has nothing to do with DailyWTF.

Actually older than that. Dates back to at least the IBM RS/6000 product line (http://catb.org/jargon/html/D/DEADBEEF.html). I would expect hackers to have been spelling things with hexadecimal numbers since their inception, though that would be hard to prove.... :)

---

On a whimsical note, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Harry Potter yet. You can spell lots of words with A, D, E, O, P, and T. DEPOT, ADEPT, POT, TOP, TOAD, POET, DEAD...

---

On a serious note, a deeper meaning can be found in this comic: Some people (including some students, some teachers, some parents, etc.) care far more about some fairly arbitrary markings on a paper card than they do about real intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking. Which is more important?
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:43 pm UTC

This is the kind of thing you assign the kids that everyone already knows are capable of doing the work. "OK Cindy McGenius, everyone already knows you can get straight A's, your assignment this semester will be to pass, ace, and fail certain classes, precisely enough to spell a word with your grade sheet. Here's the template we'll be using to print those out. Good luck!"
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:24 pm UTC

Deskchair Intellectual wrote:Does anyone else sometimes not do assignments because you know your grades would be high enough even if you don't do it?


I have once or twice. In my Spanish II class in high school I gave our teacher a handful of old, but still useful, posters and maps that I pulled out of a large collection of NatGeo magazines we found in my great-grandparents' house. He gave me enough extra credit that I pretty much didn't have to do any homework for an entire semester.

My high school determined whether or not we were exempt from taking any semester exams based on our first and second quarter grades, and how much we would have to score on the semester exam in order to get a passing grade for the class (70 minimum). To determine it, you totaled your first and second quarter averages, doubled them, then subtracted that total from the minimum, which was 350 (70 x 5). If your first and second quarter totals happened to be bigger than 350, then you were exempt, no questions asked. Unless you want to sit the exam. Otherwise, you subtracted your total from 350, to determine the minimum you would have to make in order to get a passing grade (70%). If you had to make less than a 70, you could "opt out" of the exam, and still pass. I think. I really don't remember. Some teachers only exempted students if they carried a minimum passing grade that was higher than the high school's minimum. I had one or two teachers that only allowed students who made an 80 or better to exempt. Seniors were given a bit more leniency towards passing. Most teachers wanted the Seniors to be exempt, so they could rehearse for the graduation ceremonies.

As far as "E" grades, I only remember getting "E"s in First Grade. It was "E" for "Excellent", "S" for "Satisfactory", "N" for "Needs Improvement", and "U" for "Unsatisfactory".
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Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby woktiny » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:41 pm UTC

Deskchair Intellectual wrote:Does anyone else sometimes not do assignments because you know your grades would be high enough even if you don't do it?

When I was in NY public school, we were graded by Quarters and I had a two Quarter long Health class. The second Quarter had a report that was worth HALF the Quarter grade. Since I had an A for the first Quarter, I knew I could still pass with a C (average for the course) if I didn't do the report.

I got a C.

Also, IIRC E was for Effort, given to kids who were not performing (failing) but were at least trying, but it had to be abandoned because kids would modify their Fs to look like Es so as to get in less trouble at home.

Or maybe I just made that up, I forgot.

Doctor
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:41 pm UTC

Re: "Priorities" Discussion

Postby Doctor » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

I thought the guy was shooting for a straight ABCDF report card. Now seriously, sacrificing a career to OBD is just sad.

If you have to be geeky about spelling with your grades, remember that AAAA is a IPv6 record in DNS and shoot for that.


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