austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It just goes on and on my friends

I finally plunged into grading, and it seems most students concluded the glitchy problem was unsolvable. I don't know if that's because they figured it out, or because they took my hint. A handful of students got incorrect but existent answers by the classic technique of making enough arithmetic errors (in jig time, really, particularly considering calculators were allowed) that they bypassed the glitch. Two wrote incomprehensible but very long scrawls, and sometime I'll have to figure out whether any actual math was committed in them. If it turns out grades are high enough I may just count the problem as it is.

Parents of the students who took that PLSE exam with the defective question want to know how it happened and what's to be done to make sure this never happens again. They're not making prime-time evening news, but got on Channel NewsAsia, which has more time to fill. The Examinations and Assessment Board notes every question is read by five separate people, and this is the first time in 20 years a defective question's been found, so they're not treating it as an urgent crisis.

Channel NewsAsia found a couple students who think the make-good of giving every student credit for the problem is unfair to those who calculated correctly what the question meant to ask, who don't get any more recognition than students who scribbled gibberish and moved on. Another student complained the time wasted on the defective problem hurt their score for the whole section, and that damage isn't made up by giving the full worth of that single problem. The problem was worth two points, although I haven't yet caught out of how many points, or what the letters `PLSE' stand for.

I took the yellow shirt to the maintenance office, to become an officially Found Item. The guy at the desk chuckled as I entered, laughed as I explained where it came from (the placement on my door handles really got to him), and was in a rather good mood as he took my contact information and put the shirt in the Lost and Found corridor.

Trivia: The first settlement of (New York City's) Harlem was along two lanes, by 32 families, coming from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Source: The Island at the Centre of the World, Russell Shorto.

Currently Reading: The Computer Connection, Alfred Bester. It's very Bester-esque, and at times seems to turn entirely into his sort of clipped futurey babble talk that, I dread, is coming true. (``W glustery?'' ``Y. More?'' ``N. But was v good.'' ``W?'' ``You saw.'') I'd just think the time-travel stuff would be more than a footnote, is all.


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