Dec 14, 2010

Facts I Learned From Grading College World History Exams Today

As a college history instructor, I come into contact with all sorts of desperate attempts by students to accumulate enough points to achieve a desired grade in my classes. While grading final exams today I came across enough nuggets of dubious wisdom to create a blog post.

Truth be told, I could probably write a book with this funny stuff, but I would likely get sued for royalties.

Anyways, on with the lowlights:

1. The short term cause of the breakup of the Soviet Union was the way the Soviet Union betrayed everyone.

2. Killing fields - important because you couldn't step foot in them, if you were caught in it you had to be ready or you were instantly killed. The field was full of war all the time.

3. Vietnamization: Where Vietnam people changed. The people changed the outlook on where they lived. It went from everyone trying to kill each other to the people actually getting along.

4. Ayatollah Khomeini: Was a Soviet leader who replaced Nikita Khruschev. Ayatollah made the first republic party.

5. Karol Wojtyla: Was a king of Iran before the revolution who spent a lot of money on unnecessary gala parties and on secret police.

6. Le Duan was a Communist of the Vietnam War, and a lot of people part of the war knew who he was. Le Duan was arrested by the French and taken to jail during the years 1955-1975.

7. The Vietnam War itself was between the Northside of Vietnam and the Red, White, and Blue beautiful United States of America. People were loosing [sic] their family and friends to this war left and right. April 1 of 1975 is when the war really started. Or you could say the first fired shots gets [sic] popped off.

8. The Soviet Union and the United Stats [sic] of America fought against each other in the "Cold War," they were rivals until the end of WWI. After WWI the Rusian [sic] Empire grew a revolution to kill the Royal Family. After they were killed Russia was under the rule of Stallin [sic].

9. [Short term causes of the breakup of the Soviet Union] There were a shortage of food, supplies, and plant detilization [sic] that killed alot of people. The citizens of the Soviet Union wanted to turn to capitalization for their country.

10. The 1954 battle in which the Vietminh defeated the French was better known by name the First Intifada.

12. The Soviet leader who came to power in 1985 was named Mikhail Grovenstock.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't think I wrote any of those answers...but I was nervous taking the test

Mini4me said...

Those shots really 'popped off' in '75!

Mad Jack said...

I laughed and laughed! The Killing Fields is priceless! And the Soviet Union breaking up because they betrayed everyone!

Man, that's rich.

And the Vietnam war between ugly old North Vietnam and the Red, White and Blue - you have got to be making this up.

Hey, tell Mikhail Berkenstock I said "Merry X-Mas"...

Anonymous said...

Dang, you should really teach them better than that Professor!

fred said...

Are these real Mike? Who has these students before you get them, or is this the stuff you were teaching to which they weren't paying attention?

historymike said...

As real as they get, Fred. Students will fill the pages of essay exams with all sorts of goodies in the hope: a) that they say something remotely close to the historical truth; or b) that the grader overlooks the fluff, inacuraccies, and invented facts.

Now, to be fair to the rest of the students, these nuggets came from the low end of the grading scale, and I could fill many more blog posts with stellar essays.

But what fun would that be? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Professor
As a student who just took your exam I have to say that some of the things that some of my fellow students wrote is well outrageous and personally if I had felt that I was that unprepared for any exam I probably wouldn’t have bothered to take it at all !!! I especially loved the response about the Pope throwing parties and being King of Iran!!!!! I can only wonder what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would say to that! But then again he might say it was true because after all the man has stated that the holocaust did not take place. Anyways I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your class this past semester and I hope you continue to try your best to keep class time and the subject in general as exciting and interesting as you did this past semester.

Have a good Holiday !

Sergej said...


May I translate some of them into my blog? (linking this source, obviously)

In Italy maybe we're not so prepared about Vietnam Wars, but I think someone would like those about Woytila and USSR

Sherlette said...

Mike, do you teach classes in the summer @ UT?

historymike said...

Sherlette: my full time gig is at BGSU, but I always answer the phone when academic employers call. :-)

At this point I am not scheduled for anything at UT this summer, but I am teaching two online courses at BGSU (3000-level: World War II and a course called "Representative Personalities of the 20th Century").