Mar 14, 2008

Humorous Non-Answer on an Essay Exam

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As a college history instructor, I come across quite a few desperate attempts by students to connive a few more points out of an essay question for which they were unprepared. Until today, though, I have never encountered a pictographic representation of the reasons why a student was unable to furnish an intelligible answer to the exam question.

Blank pages? Yep. Twenty lines of meaningless drivel? Sure. Scribbled, undecipherable pseudo-writing with an occasionally-relevant word? You betcha.

But never a cartoon.

Here, then, is the creative output one of my students submitted on a recent exam. Anonymity will be respected here, but I suspect that the artist laughed as much as I did. You may have to click the image to fully appreciate the detail and the depth of pathos represented in the drawing.

And, yes - I tossed him a few points for creativity, moving his overall grade from "horribly failing" to something like "not quite so horribly failing." There is no inclusion in the artist's rendition of the trip, though, whether the student and his cohorts made use of such brand-name luggage as Delsey.

3 comments:

Ltlop said...

In undergrad I took oral interpretation of literature and on the final was a question on how do you calculate iambic pentameter. Having completely hated poetry since jr high I didn't know. My answer was you take the airspeed velocity of an unladen african swallow and divide by the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

Carol said...

Looks like another version of "I have not a clue, but I can make something up if you'd like me to!" LOL

Mad Jack said...

You actually inflicted this multifarious interrogatory on your students? Those people that actually pay to sit in your class? Little wonder the government prohibits firearms in the university.

I don't know about seven, but Bach, Mozart, King Louie, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson come to mind. I won't bore you with why. There's another guy who said "I think, therefore I am" who lived back then; I'd put him in as well.