I’m Feeling A Bit Random


First a question.

If I am accumulating bad karma by being nasty to Rocky, and knowing Rocky’s reputation as a Karmic Black Hole, will that karma affect me or Rocky?


Followed by a joke.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

He saw Rocky coming and he didn’t want to get hit by lightning.


Now a summary.

My Spring semester is over.  


The exam period started well with a 3 hour Physics exam Monday 2 weeks ago.  The exam was worth 40% of the semester and I already had 59 out of 60 for the other work.  I went in with no pressure and it took me a little under 2 hours to complete.  The only questions I will lose marks on will be for foolish mistakes.  There was absolutely no question about me knowing the entire subject inside out.  


Two days later was a 2 hour exam for Biodiversity and the Environment.  A nasty little subject involving knowing the evolution and lifecycle of every living thing past and present as well as a fair bit about how they all interact.  This exam was worth 60% of the semester and I went in concerned.  I was curious how a 2 hour exam could be comprised entirely of multiple choice questions.  Here’s how.  Two hours equals 120 minutes.  125 questions into 120 minutes does not comfortably go.


A full week until Hydrology and Geomorphology.  I should have done some revision.  I had skim-read the lecture notes and not opened the textbooks.  I finished the two hour exam in 55 minutes.  I had written nearly a page on each of the four questions.  It was everything I knew on the subject within the definition of the questions.  As I got up to leave, one of the “high achievers” put his hand up as well.  Great, if he’s finished in about the same time I’ll be OK.  “Can I get another answer book please?”  He had written eight pages and he still had more to say.  That can’t be good.


Friday was Differential and Integral Calculus.  I was sitting on 46.8% from 50% so this was a walk in the park.  My favourite subject this semester under my favourite lecturer.  Damn what a nasty surprise awaited me inside that exam paper.  This was only the second exam in my life that I didn’t complete early.  I literally finished the last question as the exam room manager turned on the microphone and said, “time’s up, stop writing”.


Then an update.

The pink princess had a follow up visit on Friday for her arm.  They were happy with her progress and have put a stronger cover over her original plaster.  She should be out of plaster in another 4 weeks.  I have attached a photo of her with the new plaster and a special close up.


Finally a prediction.

Our results are given in a layered format, not with a numerical or alphabetical symbol, but rather a word.  Fail, Result Withheld, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction.  Result withheld is a nasty one.  If you have fees outstanding or a library book overdue they withhold your grades which in turn means you can’t enrol in the next semester.  I expect to get 2 high distinctions and 2 credits from this outing.  If a miracle occurs one of the credits may leap up into the distinction zone.  Time will tell.



I told you I was feeling random.


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15 Responses to I’m Feeling A Bit Random

  1. Sue says:

    As you know, exams are only about seperating the class to assign rankings. The biggest crock is when time constraint is used as a seperater during the exam. It is my opinion that giving a long, multiple choice test where students are rused for time reduces ANY exam to a reading test. I know of two studies involving university students where, in addition to the regular class exams (like the one you took for your Biodiversity class) they students were also given reading comprehension exams. Both studies showed that the rankings on the subject tests were nearly identical to the rankings on the reading tests. Two potential problems with the studies.1) Reading comprehension is a trained skill. Students who study more read better, and students who read better study more.and paradoxically2) Reading comprehension has a native intelligence component. Smarter people tend to read better.Anyway, as you will be doing a lot of teaching (during your doctoral studies, not just when yer an actual teacher) I ask that you give Physics tests, and not reading tests. It’s more difficult to write the tests, and it’s more difficult to grade the tests, but I think the service to the students is invaluable.BotchedP.S. In the states, your success in college is determined by your cululative GPA (grade point average). An "A" = 4.0; "B"=3.0 etc. Does "High Distinction" eventually get reduced to a number?

  2. Jerry says:

    I enjoy reading your blog. Are you serious about losing weight? Let me know and I’ll send you some websites that might interest you – if not – don’t save them.Please stop by and view my pictures for a different view of Iraq.Have a Great Week and God Bless YouJerry

  3. Fat Cyclist says:

    that is hilarious, but how does she explain it to her friends?

  4. Unknown says:

    Some great laughs from the blog and the pictures… LOL!!! You’re my kind of guy… twisted big time.Promise me you won’t tattoo any of them, okay?Great stuff and I’m impressed with your intelligence and your dedication at school.Hugs,MuMo

  5. Unknown says:

    I have a prediction about your academic performance: when you finish it, you will be hoisting more than a few beers. BTW, looked at your kid pics for the first time today. You have some great looking kids. If our kids are the average of ourselves and our mate, your wife must be carrying the team in the looks department. 😉 My kid is much better looking than me, if that’s worth anything.

  6. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Botched – I couldn’t comprehend how enough relevant data could be derived about a student’s ability from a subject that had 90% multiple choice for the semester. Our high school gradings when I went through in the early ’80s was a 1-7 scale with the x-axis of the normal probability curve cut into 7 sections. The area under each section of the curve was the number of students for each grade. 1-3 were below par, 4 was a pass, 5, 6, 7 were incrementally better results. Our university results are published the same way but not directly against the curve. 4 is a pass, 5 credit, 6 distinction, 7 high distinction. I’m sitting on a 6 average and expect to maintain or possibly move ahead of it when this semester results are published. That would equate to a 3.0 under the US scale.js_MoreThanEnough – Thanks for the link to the photos. It’s great to see children follow their parents into the family business. After completing my first serious day of parcel delivery, I think I will be losing weight without trying. If that fails I have sent away an application for the Australian edition of "The Biggest Loser". Time will tell.fatty – It was done with whiteboard marker. Which apparently doesn’t come off fibreglass very easily. So with it all smudgy and sad looking we tidied up to read Jazzy RULES. Now I’m sleeping with the dog due to the child safety issues I have caused.MuMo – You and I aren’t twisted. The whole rest of the world is just too uptight.Al – Yep, I’m the smart one alright. But my wife is the smart, good looking one. I guess I’m just a one trick pony.

  7. Ariane says:

    You were trying to use dry-erase marker on a cast? But doesn’t that only work on a smooth surface?

  8. cosmogrl says:

    Hey Mike! Kudos on the exams…. I was wondering how you did and will keep checking for more updates. You’re a brainer! Your Princess is so cute—my daughter broke the same are and had a bright pink cast just like that when she was two years old. That wasn’t fun….. –Wen 🙂

  9. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Toad – the original cast was porous plaster. The pink is a hard shiny fibreglass(?). But it still has a textured weave which was impossible to get into to clean.cosmogrl33 – she’s fine so far, although based on how much she screamed at the follow-up appointment, I dread when we go in to have the cast removed. Even with the temperature around 80-85 deg F during the days it hasn’t started itching yet. YET!

  10. Zed says:

    People in the U.S. of A. poke fun when one refers to ‘grades’ as ‘marks.’ I grew up in Canada, so, naturally, we called them ‘marks’ as well. I also like reading ‘favourite’ or ‘colour.’ Those really leave me feeling retrospective …Tell the pink princess congratulations on her magic pink ‘Fatty Rules’ cast. Classic.P.S. I agree wholeheartedly with Botched, but would like to add an opinion. I majored in English in college, and I didn’t appreciate multiple-choice tests where the teacher’s objective was simply to fool as many people as they could into getting poor grades. Test their understanding of the subject based on how hard they’ve worked to understand, not their ability to guess the ‘more correct’ answer. P.P.S. Good luck with your grades.

  11. Unknown says:

    Caloi, you’re from Canada?I revoke my invitation!Botched

  12. cosmogrl says:

    Yeah, the removal is the worst because they bring out that electric saw and little kids just don’t understand that the doc isn’t going to cut off their arm ya know? I’ll be prayin for you and your princess…–Wen 🙂

  13. Mrs. David says:

    Kudos to you, you random thang!As a not-so-diligent blogger, I’m using you as an example and I’m trying to get better…I have a final tomorrow night and here I am, posting comments! As we watch the mercury fall here, our family is watching, with interest, as it rises there. My hubby just sent one of his "girls", a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter, down to fight forest fires on your continent. Enjoy your break from school and keep us posted on being postal!~Sia

  14. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Unintelligentsia – If you want to watch my weather, this is the bureau of meteorology site that is updated every 30 minutes. This is the closest data station to where I live.http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65119/IDQ65119.94569.shtmlYou can backtrack through the site to see hunders of data collection stations around the country. Let me know if you need help with locations.

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