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It's official: I have completed my Master's Degree.

Another student suggested that we stop referring to a certain group of people as "anti-vaxxers" and start calling them "plague enthusiasts". 

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14 hours ago, Badger said:

You 2 know that the kids dont watch old movies.


They sneer at me for not knowing or caring about the most recent singing-nymphet-of-the-week or other pop culture du jour.  My revenge for that I take in my way.

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From an email that is my response to the brand new faculty colleague asking for exam-writing advice:


Make sure to include at least one "Derive a relation for ..." problem on every exam.  Way too many of these kids immediately reach for their calculators (and I mean that quite literally).  You will not be able to break them of this habit, but it is a noble quest we cannot refuse.


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1 hour ago, Cancer said:


In light of the fact that we are on distance learning for the next week and a half, I have my first year physics students playing with PHeT this week. 

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A couple of years ago I gave an online final exam* consisting of 50 multiple choice questions covering the whole year's material. Just before posting it, I went over it to make sure there were no errors, typos, that kind of thing. It took me about 15 minutes to check it.


Lo and behold, I'm looking at the responses a few days later and I see about a dozen students who have perfect or near-perfect scores...and test times of 7 minutes or less.


What a smart bunch of students I must have! They completed the test in half the time it took me to do it. And I wrote it!


I sent them all notifications of the zeroes they were getting for academic dishonesty. Most of them fessed up, and I gave them an opportunity to take an alternate final exam for most of the credit. But one kid, who was a complete PITA from day one, sent me back an e-mail at 3 in the morning saying, "You can't give me a zero just because you think I may have cheated." When I read it the following morning, I typed, "Oh, I believe you'll find that I can do exactly that" in response.  Then I deleted that and replaced it with, "If you have another explanation, I'd love to hear it" before sending off my response.


He got a zero.



*I gave the Final in two parts that year: the multiple choice portion online, and the problem-solving portion in class.


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I think my most interesting one was the student who submitted a Moon observing lab, and when it came time to grade it, it seemed to have been done properly ... except the dates of the observations were given as before the start of the quarter, that is, before the student had the assignment and knew what they were supposed to be doing.

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