Blowing the Curve and Classmate Hostility (Long)

  1. One of my instructors usually doesn't curve grades, but if the class doesn't do very well, she'll throw a few extra points in. The problem is when enough students, like myself, do well enough that the instructor feels she can't justify a curve, which happens more often than not.

    I've gotten used to people complaining about it, and I don't care that much anymore about the nasty remarks. But I can't figure what they expect us to do? Bomb on the test so they can make a better grade?

    The weird thing is, right before the test, a lot of these people ask me to explain certain things. I'm always happy to help and have even given out my phone number to call if they get stuck on something. But they never call. They only ask at the last minute right before the test when it's not going to do much good.

    Then they complain that it's the teachers fault, that she didn't explain this or that properly, etc. Although she is actually being generous in offering curve points to begin with, since the vast majority of instructors don't do that.

    One girl, who also asked for help right before the test, was very upset when the grades were posted afterward, since she didn't do very well. So, I said, "Look, why don't you call me, and maybe I can help you for next time."

    Maybe it was pride or something, but she basically told me to go to hell, although in more colorful language than this board will allow to be posted. I guess I shouldn't have offered to help in the first place, or maybe I phrased it the wrong way although I certainly was trying to be sensitive, but it's really weird. Maybe she was upset because I blew the curve, but I was, afterall, only trying to help.

    I guess I just don't understand.

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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    Ignore them and do your best with your own work. You can't be responsible for their lack of motivation.
  4. by   hobbes
    Quote from lizz
    One of my instructors usually doesn't curve grades, but if the class doesn't do very well, she'll throw a few extra points in. The problem is when enough students, like myself, do well enough that the instructor feels she can't justify a curve, which happens more often than not.

    I've gotten used to people complaining about it, and I don't care that much anymore about the nasty remarks. But I can't figure what they expect us to do? Bomb on the test so they can make a better grade?

    The weird thing is, right before the test, a lot of these people ask me to explain certain things. I'm always happy to help and have even given out my phone number to call if they get stuck on something. But they never call. They only ask at the last minute right before the test when it's not going to do much good.

    Then they complain that it's the teachers fault, that she didn't explain this or that properly, etc. Although she is actually being generous in offering curve points to begin with, since the vast majority of instructors don't do that.

    One girl, who also asked for help right before the test, was very upset when the grades were posted afterward, since she didn't do very well. So, I said, "Look, why don't you call me, and maybe I can help you for next time."

    Maybe it was pride or something, but she basically told me to go to hell, although in more colorful language than this board will allow to be posted. I guess I shouldn't have offered to help in the first place, or maybe I phrased it the wrong way although I certainly was trying to be sensitive, but it's really weird. Maybe she was upset because I blew the curve, but I was, afterall, only trying to help.

    I guess I just don't understand.


    Wait a second...are you in my class? Oops, guess not, you're in Califonia. Anyhow, this sound exactly like my statistics class. There are, what I call, the "whiners" who are constantly complaining about every little thing. This last test the teacher, graciously IMHO, had all formulas we need for the test available on the last page. Well, after the test, one of the principle "whiner" complained that "next time could you put the formula's in order? It took me forever to find the one I needed." Good Lord. Our grading is set up based on the student(s) with the highest score in the class. So, the professor will give A's to those that make 90-100% of the highest score in the class, etc. So, whenever someone aces an exam there is much moaning and *****ing about there being "no curve". The bottom line is that there are always going to be those that try to get by with minimal effort and are going to resent those that put in the extra effort to learn more and consequently get better grades. At first I got pissed at this behaviour to the point where I was going to go off on some of the "whiners", but then I just realized that it would be counterproductive. Don't let yourself get worked up about it because it's not worth the bother. If people don't want to put the effort in their own education, then let them reap what they sow.
  5. by   Sheri257
    I'm not really upset about it. I guess I just don't understand it. These people do whine a little bit. But they also study, although probably not as much as I do. They work and have kids, so I do sympathize with their situation.

    When the girl asked for my help before the test, she said, "You just explained this better than the teacher did." But obviously it was too late for her to absorb and remember it, and there wasn't much time to go over anything else. That's why I sugggested calling before the next test. But, by then, she was upset.

    It almost struck me as a pride thing, more than anything else. Like they don't want to ask for help unless they have no other alternative and the pressure is on. Which, obviously, isn't going to do much good at that point.

    Oh well, I tried.

  6. by   heatherbless
    Quote from lizz
    I'm not really upset about it. I guess I just don't understand it. These people do whine a little bit. But they also study, although probably not as much as I do. They work and have kids, so I do sympathize with their situation.

    When the girl asked for my help before the test, she said, "You just explained this better than the teacher did." But obviously it was too late for her to absorb and remember it, and there wasn't much time to go over anything else. That's why I sugggested calling before the next test. But, by then, she was upset.

    It almost struck me as a pride thing, more than anything else. Like they don't want to ask for help unless they have no other alternative and the pressure is on. Which, obviously, isn't going to do much good at that point.

    Oh well, I tried.

    lizz, you are sooo right--and these people are in every program--best to you in the future/hty.
  7. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from lizz
    One of my instructors usually doesn't curve grades, but if the class doesn't do very well, she'll throw a few extra points in. The problem is when enough students, like myself, do well enough that the instructor feels she can't justify a curve, which happens more often than not.

    I've gotten used to people complaining about it, and I don't care that much anymore about the nasty remarks. But I can't figure what they expect us to do? Bomb on the test so they can make a better grade?

    The weird thing is, right before the test, a lot of these people ask me to explain certain things. I'm always happy to help and have even given out my phone number to call if they get stuck on something. But they never call. They only ask at the last minute right before the test when it's not going to do much good.

    Then they complain that it's the teachers fault, that she didn't explain this or that properly, etc. Although she is actually being generous in offering curve points to begin with, since the vast majority of instructors don't do that.

    One girl, who also asked for help right before the test, was very upset when the grades were posted afterward, since she didn't do very well. So, I said, "Look, why don't you call me, and maybe I can help you for next time."

    Maybe it was pride or something, but she basically told me to go to hell, although in more colorful language than this board will allow to be posted. I guess I shouldn't have offered to help in the first place, or maybe I phrased it the wrong way although I certainly was trying to be sensitive, but it's really weird. Maybe she was upset because I blew the curve, but I was, afterall, only trying to help.

    I guess I just don't understand.

    I hear this all the time on this board. I've never seen anything like this at my school. We all work together and help eachother out. No one knows what other student's grades are, unless someone else is rude enough to ask. That was great of you to try to help the other students out. Maybe next semester you won't have to worry about it because they'll have failed this semester?
  8. by   fergus51
    One thing I have learned is that unsolicited advice is seldom welcome, no matter how good the motivation for offering it She was upset about blowing it, and she probably took your comment as a way of telling her exactly why she blew it, which isn't usually welcome after the fact. I would just ignore the whining and help classmates when they ask for it. You can only help as much as they want you to. If they can't manage their time well enough, that's their problem.
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from fergus51
    One thing I have learned is that unsolicited advice is seldom welcome, no matter how good the motivation for offering it She was upset about blowing it, and she probably took your comment as a way of telling her exactly why she blew it, which isn't usually welcome after the fact.
    Yeah, that wasn't my intent at all. But you're right. Maybe she took it that way.

  10. by   colleen10
    I have witnessed this in a number of my classes, not just nursing.

    The one's who complain about specific questions not being fair are often the one's that don't read or study the book. You can tell they don't because of the questions they ask and points they make. They obviously didn't either read the book or pay attention to the book. Those are the people that drive me crazy, I just want to yell and scream, Read the book next time!
  11. by   smk1
    Just had to respond as I have class later today and the grades for our exam on monday were posted last night and i got 100% (no one else did) so i am fully expecting to hear the whining about the curve thing. ( maybe I will be pleasantly surprised though!) Im glad that the grades were posted under code names though cause I am NOT telling anyone my grade unless backed into a corner. The funny thing is that so far it has been a fun class to be in. But our teacher has a reputation for being a Hard@ss and his is one of the most failed classes on campus (speech 101 can you believe it?) anyway I know what you mean about the whiners. I just keep my mouth shut and do what works for me and try not to worry too much about the others.
  12. by   kimlpn
    Lizz,

    I really wouldn't worry about it. This happened to me last summer taking micro. I was taking a full course load at my community college and making A's in every class. Every micro test I got an A on. Classmates whined that I blew their curve everytime(because instead of moving them up a letter grade they usually only gained the points between my score and 100, and usually this was only 3 points)...well maybe if they would have read the assigned chapters and not wait until the last minute to study they wouldn't have to hope for curves. I took 12 credits including college algebra that semester, worked, and got A's in all the subjects. They need to get their priorities in line! Don't worry about what they think and be proud that you are doing so well! Obviously your hard work is shining through.
    Kim
    and by the way I have a husband and 2 kids--one in the teen years and one in the tot years!!!!


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    Last edit by kimlpn on Apr 14, '04
  13. by   zudy
    Lizz I had the same experience. Two different times, once in LPN school and once in my RN program I just got the strangest feeling in clinicals. Both times the insrtutors were very good nurses, and both had the rep as being tough as nails. I just got this gut feeling that these instuctors felt that we were blowing off clinicals. I went home and studied for hours, and sure enough the next day in post clinical conference, we were grilled about our pts that day, their meds, their diseases, their prognosis, the date of their last pedicure, etc, and I was the only one prepared. Everyone was mad at me! "Why didn't you tell me?" But I couldn't tell my clinical group I just had a weird feeling! Bottom line, we are all resposible for our own learning experiences, in and out of school.
  14. by   joey442000
    I am not speaking of myself but there are some people who do study hard and sometimes harder than those who always make A's but just have a hard time with the subject or the professors testing style (like at my school test are multiple choice but there are always two or three answers that are right you just got to select the most correct) anyways what im saying is dont knock on these people unless you know they are not studying there asses off becuase what comes to you with ease might not come to some so easily. I myself make 80's or 90's occasionally but i finally made a low grade and i studied my *** off and i despise people who dont study and make A's

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