My dad is a college professor. His employer recently introduced a new grading program. Professors aren’t (as of yet) required to use it, but we’re guessing before long it’ll be mandatory.
Computerized grading programs. They’re cool, right? Helping instructors save time, posting grades online, blah blah blah. Why am I even writing about this?
According to my dear papa, when students log in to view their grades, they have the option of pressing a “What If” button. “What if I don’t finish this assignment?” Press the button, and find out how your laziness affects your grade! This is especially useful in those pesky classes that weigh every assignment differently. You know, the ones where professors think tests are more important than quizzes, or papers are more important than class participation. Silly professors. You press a button, and the computer figures out just how much your inability to complete the necessary work will hurt your GPA!
From a student standpoint, this is a pretty fantastic development. I admit, I would’ve loved something like this when I was in college (you know, before I dropped out three separate times), which means we’re back to the question: why am I writing about this?
Because I’m bitter. I took an American History class and the final assignment was a 6-page paper. No biggie, right? Really, I could’ve popped that out without much effort, if not for the fact that I’d almost rather jab myself in the eye with a cocktail fork than write a paper. I’m not kidding. If you ask me if I’d rather write a 20-page paper or have another natural childbirth, I’ll have to get back to you with my answer.
So there I am, end of the semester, with a 6-page paper due in a week. If you’re waiting for me to tell you how I hunkered down and wrote the damn thing, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I did what every student does when faced with such a dilemma: I pulled out my syllabus and a calculator and did some serious math. I calculated weighted grades and percentages and grade points and made a little chart, and when everything was added up, I discovered that without the paper, I’d get a B+ in the class.
Thus, my major complaint in all of this? In my day, we had to work to be mediocre!
Kids these days. They don’t even know how good they have it. (Do you hear that sound? It’s my gums smacking together since my dentures are sitting on my bathroom counter. Because, you know, I’m old.)
You’ve waited patiently for my opinion about the doctor mentioned in my Legal vs. Ethical post, so here it is:
The prescriptions are perfectly legal. However, in my opinion, they’re unethical. I’d be willing to let the Viagra script slide (*snort*), and even give him a pass on a one-time tramadol prescription. But a new tramadol prescription for his wife every month? (I realize I neglected to mention that it’s a monthly occurrence. Sorry if that changes your vote.)
Lest you think I’m being hasty in my judgement, here’s what the AMA has to say:
“Physicians generally should not treat themselves or members of their immediate families. Professional objectivity may be compromised when an immediate family member or the physician is the patient; the physician’s personal feelings may unduly influence his or her professional medical judgment, thereby interfering with the care being delivered.”