Tuesday, December 2, 2008


To be puzzled or confused.

Yep, you guessed it, I received my final assignment back from my nemesis, Mr Jonathon Stone. I received a B-. Not a great grade but enough of a grade to get me another distinction.

So why am I annoyed and flummoxed?

The accompanying note from Mr Stone has always been a case of give with one hand and strike down with the other. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot from this lecturer over the course of this year, but it hasn't been without a fair bit of aggravation.

Assignment 6 was to take material that was numbers based - a table or statistics or similar - and create an article from it. The module was titled Processing Information, and so it would be normal to assume I was supposed to take these gathered statistics and process them in an effort to create an article for a correctly targeted market. At least that's what I assumed.

The one hand giving: Mr Stone labelled my article as "ingenious!" (yep, he included the exclamation mark). He went on to say, "Of all the various approaches I've seen to this assignment this effort of yours takes the cake!" (yep, he included another exclamation mark).

He then went on to strike me down: "In reality of course it's a human interest story..." and "It's hardly a revelation..." and could have been the basis of a one-sentence article!" (yep, another exclamation mark).

Then, as if trying to smooth things over and make himself overly generous in the spirit of Xmas he writes: "But I guess your ingenuity on this occasion...deserve recognition - even though we both know your treatment of Assignment 6 isn't what Unit 6 is all about! (I'm sure we've been instructed in this first year not to use exclamation marks excessively but he packs them in).

So he passed me not because of the work, but because he thought I deserved it on the whole. He tells me we both know the work doesn't address the assignment - as if I'd pass in work I knew didn't meet the criteria!!!!

Let's go back to the facts.

The Unit is titled "Processing Information"

It deals with numbers, statistics, tables.

I was required to find such material and turn it into an article.

I chose to write an article for a local sporting organisation based on the scoresheet from a previous game. This was a cricket game. A scoresheet from a cricket game is nothing but a confusing collection of numbers and statistics.

The article was based around a fine innings of one young batsman. Yep, a human interest story - which suited perfectly the requirements of the local sporting clubs newsletter.

As for being able to state things in a single sentence - aren't all stories supposed to be able to be expressed in a single sentence. Professionals would call that a logline.

So I took a huge amount of numbers, and created an article for a viable market. That's what it asked me to do for the assignment; it is what the Unit is about.

The lecturer considered it an ingenious approach and then condescends me with the comment that we both know it's not he was really after but (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) I'll give you just enough of a grade to still gain your distinction - what an arrogant...


Forget it.

The year is now officially over and I can move on.

I finished with two credits for semester one, and two distinctions for semester two. I would have been happy with just a pass so I'm pretty chuffed with myself. (Even if I still feel like I was gifted one of the distinctions - moving on...)

I'll have Mr Stone to deal with again next year, but I won't worry about that until then. And this time we'll be face-to-face as I'm purposefully switching to be an internal student just for his module. That should make for some interesting conversations.

Did you do any study this year? How'd you go? What about next year?

Speak soon


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