Friday, December 13, 2013

Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant: Here’s why I inflated grades

In wake of the reports that the median grade at Harvard is an A-, a TA explains why she inflates the grades:  she didn't want to deal with the whining and complaining.

In undergrad at Brandeis, I took a class on Tolstoy. The first day, the professor said:
"Your grades are inflated, and I don't play that game. The only person who would get an A in my class is Tolstoy himself. None of you are Tolstoy. Most of you are just average. Since you are average, you can expect a C. If you don't like it, you are free to leave. If you really show me something above average, you may earn a B." 
It was one of the best classes I took in all my years in school, and I have never been more proud of a B-.

PS: the school didn't give the prof tenure, probably because of the whining and sniveling of grade-conscience undergraddies.

PPS: This comes from my friend John Williamson, who was a PhD at USC:

Similar phenomenon at SC except, in SIR at least, the little cherubs ran up against assholes like me...who went looking for an argument.  I can still taste the tears I licked from their cheeks but, in all seriousness, if this is the case the author is admitting to a severe lack of personal integrity and moral fibre if she's admitting that she didn't feel that she could confront a pack of entitled 20 yr olds.

No comments: