Which brings us to STORY NUMBER TWO: (remember the grading scheme outlined last week) In the fullness of time, the second semester ended. I calculated the point total for each student, compared said total to the pre established thresholds for each grade, and, based upon this calculation, assigned grades.
I posted these grades, after turning them in to the program director, who was my immediate superior.
Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from one student, let us call her Little Mary Sunshine. She was upset at her grade.
“Mr. McFee, you gave me an A minus, and I think that I deserved an A”
“Yes. I think that you should have given me an A.”
“I agree with you.”
“Oh? You are going to give me an A?”
“Nope. I agree that you think that you should be given an A. On the other hand, you earned an A minus.”
“But, I checked my scores! I only missed an A by a single point!”
I checked my grade book. Yep, needed 920 points, earned 919 points.
“I agree with your calculations. You missed it by a single point.”
“I think that you should simply give me that point!”
“How interesting. I however, do not.”
“But…but…it’s not FAIR!”
“In what way?”
“I think you should just give me that point, and then I’d have an A!”
“If I were to give you that point, you would, indeed have an A. On the other hand, you, indeed, EARNED an A minus.”
“But..but..It’s Not Fair!”
“May I ask you a few questions?”
“You were present in class the first day of class, correct?
“As well, for the midterm, and the final that first semester, correct?”
“Likewise, the first class of the second semester, and the mid term of that second semester, correct?”
“Did you hear me talk about extra credit, on each of those 5 occasions?”
“I suppose so.”
“And, did you speak to me one solitary time about any sort of extra credit of any sort?”
“But…but…I never imagined that I’d need any extra credit!”
“Yet, here we are. Had you turned one solitary extra drug card, and the only things on that drug card that were correct were your name, the brand name of the drug, and the generic name, you would have earned that extra point. You did not do so. If you do not care about your grade that much, why should I care any more than you demonstrably do?”
Sometime later I received a call from the director of the program, who asked me about Little Mary Sunshine’s concern. I related the conversation, as related above, and summed up: “Bob, it’s your program. You run it, you are responsible for it. If YOU want to give her that A, go ahead. Simply understand that I will not be signing any other grade form for her. You want to do it, be my guest.”
I heard nothing further on that topic.