Now in my 8th semester at Mississippi State, I have settled into a routine. Two weeks of quizzes, a third week with quizzes and tests. Then, every six weeks a monster midterm or final.
The every three week quiz/test night is the toughest for me. This test is based on homework. You’re supposed to have the answers before you take the test. It is the hardest. The questions are the most demanding.
Last night was one of those/quiz test nights – two of each. I had already watched my lectures and done most of the reading before I got home at midnight. My forecasting course is easy. The thermodynamics course is unbelievably hard… the toughest course I’ve taken in a school career that goes back to 1955 (though not continuously).
I didn’t get finished until 6:15 this morning. I was exhausted. I was unsure of how I had done.
Early this afternoon I went online to see my grades. I did pretty well, but I was amazed to see how the class did as a whole. The graph on the left represents our grades. Some of the thermo questions were answered correctly by fewer than half the class. Ouch.
What strikes me as troubling is, this is a class made up of motivated students. I doubt anyone said, “let me take thermo for fun.” They’re here because they have a specific goal and this course is required. Many of my classmates are adults already working in the field.
There are minimum grades that must be attained, above the normal pass/fail, to get credit for this course in the meteorology certification process. It’s a course that’s a requirement and not given again until next year.
The midterm is next week. This is not a case of fond anticipation.