December 9, 2011

Epic screw-up

I have been an extremely hardworking, responsible, and dedicated TA this quarter. I really have.

But then I screwed up the final exam... apparently, the professor intended for the exam to be open notes, open book, even though they only had two hours to work in the lecture hall. He announced this once on the first day of class, and then never talked about it again -- so everyone forgot, including me and the other TA, and we never reminded the students to bring their notes because we thought it was closed-book.

So, many of the students didn't even bring their notes to the exam. And when we realized the mistake, I had to admit that two hours before the exam, a student asked me if they could use notes, and I said no. Then the professor asked how many were told they couldn't use notes, and nearly everyone raised their hands, just because they had also been assuming it was closed book. So even though I only gave one person bad information (which was bad enough), it looked like I had told the entire class the wrong policy.

But the other TA and I absolutely should have realized it was open-notes and reminded the students, so it was my fault in a big way, and I felt horrible. Stressed-out angry students, letting down professor, logistical anxiety... just awful.

We allowed the students who hadn't brought their notes to go home and get them, and we stayed an extra hour so that all of the students would have two hours for the test. But one student said he wouldn't be able to stay late, and the only time he had before his flight tomorrow was 9 p.m.

So I had to stay at the department until 11 p.m... by the time I got home, there was no parking, and I didn't find a spot until midnight. And I have to clean the entire apartment now, because we have extermination tomorrow.

Such a bad day....

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