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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Why people suck -- part #458274973847024
delirium happy
Sometimes, I really, really wonder about people. Most of the time, in fact.

Today, the specific people who I am wondering about are the PhD students who mark a lot of my work. The system here works as follows: Lecturer sets work. Students do work. Meanwhile, lecturer produces mark scheme and gives it to PhD students. PhD students mark work. One of the natural results in this is that there will be some discrepancies in the marking, where one marker is slightly stricter or more lenient than another. This is understandable. Comments along the lines of "needs more working" or "I don't understand your method" are also understandable, if a little disconcerting (I'm a first year student. They're PhD students. They really should be smart enough to understand anything I come up with). Typically, the lecturers will always say that if anyone has a problem with their marking, to come and see them. and typically, I don't bother, because It's Not Worth It, and Who Cares?

Today I broke that trend, because whoever marked my work was quitew clearly on crack at the time. For one thing, the piece of work I got back today was originally marked as 74%, which then got upgrade to 100% upon querying it with my lecturer. That's 26%, which is a huge difference. For two, there were three questions that were marked as wrong, when they were, in fact, right. Now, this is physics, not history or literature. There is a Right Answer. And if I get the right answer, why the hell was it marked as wrong? Not marked as needing more working, or being unclear, or anything, but marked as wrong?

And this isn't the first example of such, it's just the most pronounced. Are these people just lazy and uncaring, or are they really as stupid as they appear? Do they truly let absolutely anyone do a PhD these days?


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Possibly. On a more lenient side, sometimes they are vastly overworked (sometimes they do this to themselves and need to have fewer commitments, but sometimes the prof has unreasonable standards) or they are given the papers too late.

I had a friend who was doing grading who ended up picking up the slack for someone else who was very irresponsible and thus ended up marking a batch of papers with far too little time to do it. I don't know how that affected the quality of the marking.

So, someone clearly messed up, but it's very hard to know who.

That makes sense. I will remove my contempt from the graduate student in particular, and return it back to the more nebulous "the human race in general" where it more truly belongs.

(no, that's not serious. or at least, not totally)

When we were marking coursework we worked ridiculously hard on it, testing all the code, correcting errors in the code to test it so I could see if it worked and therefore needed one mark or no marks, writing detailed instructions as to why it was wrong and what changes were needed... it typically took /hours/, practically days to mark everything. Then I found later that most markers didn't even load the code, they marked it all in a couple of hours using pencil on printout and just scribbling little comments in the margains.

My conclusion was that, if you marked the work properly, you didn't actually have time to do your research! Maybe it's different for second years, or other courses, but first year computer scientists get functional programming too wrong too frequently.

(Deleted comment)
Some folks including the lecturer... given the two extremes I'd prefer the lecturers who mark from shellscript and give you 0 if the code won't compile/run.

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