For the first time in my school career, I am being a slacker.
I’ve always gotten A’s and B’s, and my B’s were usually one percentage point away from an A, anyway. Yes, I was one of those students. But instead of scorning me, you should pity me, truly because most of my youth was wasted away on hours upon hours of homework, when the rest of the “slacker” types were doing just enough to get by and actually having a life in the meantime.
So, anyway, I’m still taking this course “Think Again: How to Reason and Argue.” It’s through Coursera, and it’s absolutely free and completely over the Internet, which is totally awesome. My goal has been to finish the course and get the certificate/credit for passing. No A’s or B’s necessary. Just enough to get the certificate.
Well, today I decided it was time to take the 2nd quiz. You have an option of 4 different versions of the quiz to take (2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D), and whichever is the highest score is the grade you get to keep. That Quiz 2 was a killer. It was on truth tables and Venn diagram conclusions based on “some” and “all” and “none” and “some not”, etc etc, and I thought my brain was going to fry out like my poor, old, overheated hair dryer. (Ok, maybe that was an odd analogy, sorry.)
Well, I took the quiz 2A and got a 13 out of 30. I was concerned. Usually I at least got half right on the activities, and this was an actual quiz. What was I going to do? Well, maybe I’ll do well enough on the other quizzes, and it won’t matter that I failed this one? So, I went and checked on the forums where they talked about what was needed to pass, and then I went to the class logistics page and found it: 70% needed on each quiz to pass. Crap. Well, maybe I could figure out what I did wrong by looking at the answers. (They give an explanation when you go back to check what you got write and wrong.) But that was no help because they don’t actually give you the right answer: they just give you a paragraph-long explanation of why your answer is wrong.
So, I decided I might have figured out enough to try a 2nd attempt at the quiz. I took Quiz 2B, felt a little more confident, and checked my score: 17 out of 30. Better, but not enough. Now I was panicking a bit.
So, I decided I was going to go back and enter all “a”s, then all “b”s, then all “c”s, “d”s, and “e”s until I actually had an answer key, and THEN go back and enter all the correct answers to get the explanation for the correct answers. Well, I can now say that after all that time going back and forth multiple times, tracking down all 30 of those answers, I got absolutely nowhere. Even the correct answers were confusing. So, I went back to the forums, hoping someone would have asked questions about the quiz. That was useless because a lot of people were answering their own questions: “Oh, now I get it!” While I was thinking: “But, I still don’t!” I checked back in the “Notes” forum pages. Couldn’t find anything. Someone suggested to google truth tables, but the information I found was either what I already knew or something we hadn’t learned in class. I finally gave up and went back to the actual lessons, but I found those were just about as helpful as Google had been.
. . . And now that I’m typing this, I’m thinking I don’t seem to be a slacker; more of a crazy, obsessed lunatic. . .
But, finally I was about ready to throw in the towel. I was going to take that last quiz. I was going to take it and pass — or fail it and quit. Because if I didn’t get at least 70% on this quiz, I couldn’t possibly pass the class. And I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through all the work without credit for the course. (The course was getting tougher, and I wanted some recognition, darn it!) I was ready to post a dramatic goodbye entry on one of the forums. “It’s been fun guys, but I keep failing your Quiz 2, and I don’t want to look at another truth table as long as I live! It’s been nice taking your class. Good bye. . . forever. . .”
But of course, as all good stories do, this one also has a happy ending. I got a 21 out of 30 on the last quiz. 70%. — just enough to pass. And I’m DONE with Quiz 2. I may be a slacker, but at least I’m not quittin’!