Monday, November 15, 2010

Quizzes, papers and college...oh my!

It's was a trying week (last week).  I don't know why but sometimes I feel like life just hits you out of nowhere and you are powerless to stop the momentum.  Sometimes we can 'muddle' through and sometimes we are fighting it, kicking and screaming, however it always seems like we learn a lesson.  This is the story of mine.

Last week, I took the second week quizzes for my college class.   We learned all about developmental theories and the theorists who created them.  It was challenging, interesting and even a little fun.  (Well, maybe more than a little.  I have a difficult time talking about school being fun, because I let all those ‘downers’ from high school ruin it for me.  Anyway, it was lots of fun. I loved it!)  We had two quizzes that we had to take.  One on the topic of the week, Theories of Development and one on our Writing essay due in three weeks.  It’s called our ‘Reflective Paper’.  I told you about that, I think all ready.  So here goes, the problem started for me when I sat down to take the quiz.  I have horrible test anxiety and since I got a 90 on the last test (Yes, I wanted a 100%, if I can’t be perfect, why bother.  I am trying to learn to curb this problem), I was worried.  So I took it.  I couldn’t understand what happened.  I got 90 again.  I checked all my answers and I consulted my friend, a psychology professor and clinical psychologist.  This is his field and he knows these things.  Where do I go wrong?  Apparently, I hadn’t.  The answer was wrong and no correct answer was given.  I had answered none of the above to the question, because I couldn’t find the correct answer either.  Well, he went into “it’s a problem’ mode and it needs to be fixed, so I went into overload mode.  Now, I had to email the instructor and tell her that their quiz was wrong. I gathered my facts, taken from our book, and about a million psychologists out there and sent it all to her.  Then waited… (and freaked out!)  You see, I am always worried about teacher retaliation on students who are diligent and bring up problems.  (If any of you have a story about this to share, I would love to hear it!)  I can’t see her, I don’t know her, and I will never meet her (being an online student, of course), but now I was worried about what she would say about me, how she would react, etc.  And not just worried, very, very anxious.  I stared checking email every hour or more.  Nothing.

Second day comes. I take the second quiz (About the writing essay).  You would not believe it?!   Another problem.  One question has answers that are confusing to the instructions we were given.  Two separate instructions (one from the universities writing lab, the other from my instructor) and they contradict each other.  How is this possible????  Now, I’m upset and really worried.  I can’t send her another email about this?  Can I?  My loving, wonderful husband was with me when this came down and he suggested (I love him!) calling my academic adviser about the problem.  I did.  About an hour or so later I get a phone call. (I was in Christmas Tree Shop at the time – long story).  He agrees that it’s a problem, the university does not take these things lightly and please would I write an email to my instructor outlining the problem and send him a copy.  When I got home, I did just that.  Yea!  Sent him both emails about both problems, all done.  Feeling a little better now, because my adviser was not pleased about the errors and felt I was correct in pointing them out.  I had validation.  Now, I’m just waiting for the return email from my instructor.  And waiting…I get a reply.  Yea!  I get a point for one of the quizzes.  Then I send back an email saying thank you and I hope she got the other email I sent.  And then another reply and Yea! I get a point for that.  Ok, all’s good, except I have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Is she mad at me?  Uncomfortable?  Too busy?  Not happy? Because the first email was friendly.  You know, hi, thanks, etc.  The second email was very short.  I realize this was a crazy thing to have two quizzes have two issues, but I didn’t do it.  So here comes my ‘freak out’ (as usual):  What if she doesn’t like me because I did that?  Or…no, I don’t want to think about it. 

As I was writing this blog, I realized I’m being irrational.  In looking over the emails again, the first one was friendly and helpful.  The second one was short, yes, however it doesn’t sound as bad as I first thought.  Guess I was ‘raw’ from doing all that emailing and researching to back up my claims.   Now, the only thing that preys on my mind is, should I tell the other students about the quizzes?  After all, if they got something wrong because of this, shouldn’t they be corrected, too?  Or should I leave that up to the faculty and staff of the college.  And even more so, the quizzes I think are computer generated and are randomized, so everyone might not have gotten these questions.  To make this long story finally end.  I am in my third week of classes.  Yea!

That’s it for now. I said I would be open and honest on this blog.  So there it is. 

Until next time…


  1. well the teacher should put out a student wide memo about the error. It's their responsibility as educators to do this.
    Just my thought.

  2. I'm with Tony, a memo should be sent out.

    It is not easy bring up a mistake (or 2) with some one you can not see, have not met. Glad your advisor put you at ease to some extent.

    Keep you the great work!!