Appealing Physics

  • Mines
The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 15 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

I didn’t fail Physics, I just didn’t pass. I’m currently in the purgatory called PRG (or grade in progress). It’s really a shitty place to be and I am desperately trying to get out.

Here’s the way it works. There are certain classes (Calc I, Calc II, and Physics I to be exact) that you must get a C or higher to pass the class the first time. If you get a D, then you PRG. If you get an F, well then you get an F (and fail). You are then forced to take the class a second time. However, you only have to get a D or higher. It’s crap.

But it gets even worse. ALL of our Physics exams were graded as a binary answer. You either got it right, or you didn’t. It was frustrating because even one little error can cause your entire equation to be off and you receive not credit for it, even though it was 99% correct. I’m not even a fucking physics major!

So I broke out my 2005-2006 Student Handbook and looked up the PRG’s. There is a way to appeal them and that’s what I’m doing. I started the dice rolling last night by officially petitioning my grade to Chris Kelso, the teacher. No go. The next step is to appeal to the faculty senate. So that’s what I’m going to be working on. My argument will be this:

  • While the entire physics grading system is not flawed, the exam grading is flawed.
  • The exam grading became flawed in an effort to reduce the amount of grading the instructors need to do, they simply assign a single binary answer to multi-part question.
  • Because of the flaw in the exam grading, my grade was severely affected.
  • This is actually the second time I have taken physics. I took it previously my third semester of high school (present high school transcript showing grade).
  • On my Physics SAT II test, I scored a 650 (present SAT II document)
  • Because of the flaw in exam grading system, my conceptual knowledge of physics as well as my practical knowledge of physics was severely misrepresented.
  • The exact same in-class test was given at the beginning and the end of the semester. The test dealt strictly with conceptual concepts of physics. At the beginning of the semester, I scored a 62/100. At the end of the semester, I scored a 90/100.
  • I am confident in my understandings of physics and my ability to solve practical problems in the future. I have talked extensively with students at Mines about the content of Physics II and that understanding Physics I is an absolute requirement.

I also might make the following points, but I haven’t decided yet:

  1. I am already a semester behind the rest of my class
  2. I have established homework buddies
  3. Am I not paying you gobs of money?
  4. I’m the chief engineering of Mines Internet Radio
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