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September 16, 2005

I think maybe having calculus first period isn’t as nice as I thought it would be.  I just got a B+ on that derivatives test, and I’m sure part of the reason is that my brain doesn’t function sufficiently in the morning.  I got one, maybe two B’s in all of pre-cal.  That means I’ve already filled my quota for the whole freaking semester.  I am furious.  But perhaps not as furious as some of you might be at me for being furious with a B.  So I guess I need to shut up.

English is looking like it won’t be so difficult after all; all that college stuff should be pretty easy points, shouldn’t it?  As long as we do it, anyway, which I guess is still a pain.  But the class average should rise pretty high after that.

Had another CC meet last Wednesday, and I wasn’t so far behind because there was no limit to the number of people on each team.  Tomorrow at Nevada Union it’s back to the old top 7 rule, and there are massive hills on that course too.  I’ll just try not to get last, that’s always a good goal, right?

I’m reading Bill Maher’s new book New Rules these days.  I highly recommend it, even though it’s just a collection of bits from his TV show.  In fact, I’m going to make one of my own.

New Rule:  Teachers must stop trying to “clarify” their test questions.

On Mr. Carroll’s Macbeth Act IV and V quiz, he asked us, “Who does Macduff blame for the death of his family.”  Then he added, “This is not a trick question.”  Well, even though the obvious answer seemed to be Macbeth because he was the one who actually killed them,  I was thinking I recalled Macduff saying something about it being his own fault.  But since Mr. Carroll assured us that there was nothing tricky about this question, I went ahead and wrote down “Macbeth.”  Surprise!  Macduff blamed himself after all.  Now why would he need to tell us that this isn’t a trick question if the answer was Macduff?  “Wait!  It might be a trick!  He might have blamed the guy who actually did it!”  Oh, that would be most tricky indeed.  Ironically enough, saying it wasn’t a trick question was a trick in itself.

And then Ms. Painter tells us on her quiz that she’s looking for  specific economic terms.  First question: Scarcity exists because of the opposing forces of ______ and _______.  Of course, I knew that it had to do with how resources will always be limited and therefore will not be able to completely satisfy people’s unlimited desires, but since it was specific economic terms she was looking for, I put in the economic terms that made sense: supply and demand.  It works because supply refers to the resources, and demand refers to the consumers’ desires.  And the real answer?  “Unlimited wants and limited resources.”  A perfectly solid answer, but I looked through the economics book, and it does not use the specific terms “unlimited wants” or “limited resources” as the reasons for scarcity.  How are these terms any more specific to economics than the ones I used?

I’m sure that one could come up with a reasonably convincing argument that the answers to the questions still go together with the clarifications given, but you know what?  If you really have to clarify your questions, isn’t that a sign that the questions are, well… unclear?  Isn’t it possible for a person to give a different answer and still understand the concept behind it?  Nothing bothers me more than giving a wrong answer to a question that I understand perfectly.  So I say to you teachers, if you really have to clarify it, MAKE UP A NEW QUESTION.  The one you have is flawed, and, like any product that’s faulty, should be brought back to its manufacturers and exchanged for one that works.  How’s that for economic terms?

I’ll talk about something other than school next time, I promise.


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  1. Anonymous permalink

    haha yeah the clarifying thing happened to me too. but with painter i got lucky and already had limited and unlimited down

  2. EWWWW schoooool… yeah what was up with number 1?  Like even Sean told us it was high demand/low resources and he is like the get-all-the-answers-to-the-quiz-before-you-take-the-quiz  MASTER.  Ahhhh no more listening to him! haha
    It sounds like Wilson had some actual quality inside information, am I right?  Or is he really just that smart? 😀

  3. Yeah, man, can’t you talk about sex or parties or being smashed or ruining your life or something? This school stuff is depressing. Pssh… loser.

  4. hey!!! I heard u asked mindy to hc congrats!

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