Everyone Has A’s! A’s! A’s! A’s!

This past semester, I took an undergraduate course for the first time in nearly 20 years.  I enrolled in Physical Anthropology (ANTH 102) at San Diego City College as the first step toward my goal of becoming a nautical archaeologist.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect such a lax grading policy for a class that qualifies as one of only two science courses required to earn a bachelor’s degree in California.

A total of 600 points were possible for the class.  300 of those came from three projects, each of which took about four hours to complete.  The first project required a visit to the San Diego Museum of Man (mine is here).  The second required online research of various primates or a trip to the San Diego Zoo (click here for my zoo project).  The final “creativity” project was a presentation of literally anything having to do with anthropology (my project is here).  One student baked cookies and wrote various vocabulary words on them.  Another held up a picture book of Disney’s Tarzan and talked about how much he enjoyed reading it to his son.  From what I could tell (based on a quick glance at the professor’s grade spreadsheet when she was showing me my own scores), grading for these projects was binary; students either received 100/100 points for turning them in or 0/100 points for not turning them in.

The other 300 points were based on the best three of four multiple choice tests.  There was no final exam.  Additionally, 25 extra credit points were awarded for attendance at a one-day anthropology conference and, when test scores were abysmally low, another 25 points were awarded for writing a one-page review of any movie having anything to do with anthropology (one student wrote about Ice Age).

This grading policy meant that by simply completing the three projects, students already had 300/600 points (350/600 if they did both extra credit “assignments”).  In order to get a C in the class, a student who did both extra credit assignments would only need an additional 70 points from all three tests.  That’s an average grade on each test of 23.3%!

You read that correctly.  My classmates could get credit for one of their two required science classes by answering less than one-quarter of the multiple choice test questions correctly.

Here’s how it breaks down with and without extra credit for each grade:

Average test score needed to get a(n):    A          B          C

With no extra credit assignments:          80         60        40

With one extra credit assignment:          71.7      51.7      31.7

With both extra credit assignments:        63.3      43.3      23.3

That’s right.  Students who completed both extra credit assignments could score an average of 63.3% (barely a D) on their three highest tests (remember, the lowest score was dropped) and still get an A in this science class.

America, you have been warned.  This is your future.

But for now, everyone has A’s! A’s! A’s! A’s!

Advertisements

My Crazy Night With Michael Moore

It all started, as it often does, with a tweet.  I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I honestly can’t remember who first tweeted that #OccupyDC had attempted to occupy the abandoned Franklin School at 13th & K NW.  The link has since been updated, but at the time, there was a standoff between police and Occupiers.  I grabbed my video camera, tweeted the following:

 Heading down to 13th & K to check out #OccupyDC taking over vacant school building. See you there.

jumped in my car and headed downtown.  And never made it.  On the way there I managed to have a fender bender, which I promptly tweeted about as soon as I got home (don’t worry, everyone was alright):

 Never made it to 13th & K to see #OccupyDC vacant school action. Had a (minor) car accident on the way there. Trying to decide who to blame.

It wasn’t long after that when someone, again I’d love to give appropriate credit but I honestly can’t remember who, retweeted Michael Moore‘s plea for a mission statement for Occupy Wall Street:

 What would you like to see Occupy Wall Street accomplish? Tweet your ideas! #ows

Oh dear Lord, this was just what I needed to take my mind off what had just happened.  As I have mentioned before, I don’t write (or tweet) for anyone but myself, so I just started listing everything I thought of, whether it was an indictment of #OWS, something that made me laugh, or something that I actually wanted accomplished.  And now, for the first time ever, with explanatory links and/or clarifying remarks where necessary, is the comprehensive list of my crazy night with Michael Moore:

 1.  Jazzercise!

2.  Rose Bowl halftime show.

3.  #OWS, The Musical!

4.  Human ladder to the moon.

I don’t care what you think.  This is funny.  The mental image still makes me laugh.

5.  Eau de #OWS at every fine perfumery.

6.  Cold fusion.

Don’t get them started on cold fusion.  Or any form of alternative energy.

7.  First dog in Congress.

Well if Shelby can be elected leader of #OccupyDenver, who knows?

8.  Make self-licking ice cream cones an actual thing.

I’m never sure if the things I say are things that everyone understands or if they’re terms that only people in the military understand.

9.  Journey to the Center of the Earth!

10. A sense of personal responsibility.

11. Mutually assured destruction.

12. Dog/Human translators (like in Up)

13. World’s biggest twinkie. Mmmm. Twinkies.

14. Fix earth’s orbit. Leap years suck.

15. Get Timmy out of the well.

16. Get my dog to stop licking himself.

17. My job for 1 year. Or 1 month. Or even a day.

18. Human buckyball.

Almost as funny as that human ladder to the moon.

19. Hairiest. Chorus line. Evah.

20. Out-juggalo the Juggalos.

This mission may already have been accomplished.

21. Explain magnets. (Y’all saw that coming, right?)

22. Follow me on MySpace!

23. Coordinated urination 2 spell #GodBlessTheUSA on White House lawn.

24. Fight the commie invasion #RedDawn style.

25. Teach Jackie Chan English.

I love Jackie Chan movies. I really do. But compare how he speaks English in interviews with how he speaks in his movies. Just sayin’.

26. Fruit of the Loom costumes as a basic human right!

27. Reprogram cell phones so Big Brother can monitor 1%ers at all times

28. Get me more bitches and ho’s!

29. Figure out what happened to the Mary Celeste.

30. Buy the world a Coke.

31. Find out who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong.

When in doubt, the answer is always The Muppets.

32. Hopscotch across America!

33. Pullout couches. In car trunks.

34. Potato powered clocks. Oh wait.

35. Bring me some liquor. And @keder a Twix.

36. Invent time travel. Don’t let Keanu Reeves make movies after Bill & Ted

This makes me laugh for several reasons.  First, like they could ever get organized enough to invent a time machine.  Second, Bill & Ted was about time travel, so there’s that self-licking ice cream cone again.  Finally, I can absolutely imagine them accidentally inventing something useful and then using it for such an idiotic purpose.  Oh how I crack myself up.

37. By day, dirty hippie. By night, masked crimefighter. #OWSMan

38. Indisputable proof of spontaneous human combustion.

39. Guiness World Record 4 biggest group to simultaneously run w/ scissors

40. Solve that whole dog anal gland thing. Seriously.

41. Signs in every elevator: “Kindly wait to fart until you exit. It’ll be, like, 2 minutes.”

This is a pet peeve of mine.  I mean if you’re going to make me live in a nanny state, at least regulate the things I care about.*

*sarcasm

42. A “Where the cool people hang out” button on my GPS.

43. Uncolorize films ruined by Ted Turner. Because black (& white) is beautiful.

44. Make green cards come in all different colors to reflect our immigrants’ diversity.

45. Zombie John Lennon.

46. Chimp SWAT teams. With helmet cams.

I don’t care what you think of Eddie Izzard, his politics, or his thoughts on gun ownership and the NRA.  The thought of a monkey with a gun is hilarious.

47. Shatner/Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody mashup.

Of everything else I tweeted, this is the one thing I actually want.  Seriously.  I’ll pay $100 for a solid mashup of the two linked videos.  I need to think through what the criteria for claiming the prize are…stay tuned.

48. National recognition of #PantsFreeFriday

49. Make humans digest corn. You know why.

50. Get @mikeroweworks as #OWS spokesperson. #DirtyJob

Not that he’d do it, at least as far as everything I know about him, but it would definitely be a Dirty Job.

51. Bring back Betamax.

52. Never let a raisin impersonate a chocolate chip.

53. Edible banana peels. Check out those apples.

54. Take one for the team. #TeamAmericaFuckYeah

55. Bring back wainscoting. That stuff rawks.

56. Check everyone to insure carpet matches drapes.

57. Escape from New York. Except don’t.

58. Bring respectability to the noble profession of taxidermy.

59. Figure out when, exactly, a cigar is just a cigar

60. Bring back teh funny on #SNL.

61. Since you’re downtown anyway…feed expired meters.

62. Giant game of red rover. LA vs. NY

63. Pogo sticks for everyone!

64. Harness the power of static electricity. #RubBabyRub

65. Take the answers away from Alex Trebek.

That smug bastard.  Just once I’d like to see him on the other side of that podium.

66. Count the stars. Answer due Monday.

67. Oreo integration. No more black/white/black. Shades of gray.

68. Sleep number beds should only go up to 99, not 100. #WeAreThe99%

69. Phone booth trick. And by that I mean find a phone booth.

70. Dolphin surfing. The time has come.

71. Coast to coast flatulist choral arrangement w/ live streaming.

72. Star Trek captains MMA fight.

I may or may not just want to see Scott Bakula topless.  The world will never know.

So that was it.  I think I ended on a high note, despite there being a lot of duds.  The interesting thing was that I gained a few more followers than suggestions I sent to Michael Moore, and considering that I only started with around 770 (Math Geeks of the World, Unite!), that was nearly a 10% increase in just a few hours.  If only Twitter were the stock market.  I have yet to hear back from him regarding any of these suggestions, but, as we say in the Navy, I’m on hot standby.