October 26, 2002
Midterm Horror Stories

A shocking confession from Language Hat is hidden away in Baraita's comments section (scroll down to 'Greatly Exaggerated' if the link doesn't work):

Midterms are one of the (many) things that drove me out of academics. My first year teaching, I lost all the midterms before I could grade them (which, needless to say, I had been desperately procrastinating on). Not only that, I made up all the grades... and nobody noticed. I'm not sure which fact is scarier.

This reminds me of something that happened to a friend a few years ago, when he was an adjunct lecturer teaching Philosophy 101 at a catholic university in a not-very-safe neighborhood. One day he was robbed while waiting for the bus home. The bad news was that the robbers got an old but still useful briefcase and two philosophy books he had just picked up at the university bookstore. The good news was that they also took 200 midterms he hadn't even started to grade. The really bad news came a bit later. He was still at the bus-stop when a little boy brought him his briefcase, contents intact, saying that two guys had told him to give it to him and to say that if they ever saw him around there again they would kill him. The last was presumably just to let him know that they were motivated by contempt for his possessions rather than any sort of kindness or regret.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at October 26, 2002 11:36 PM