effort, and the bell-shaped curve...

This is a discussion on effort, and the bell-shaped curve... within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Y'know, it's neat to read that thread about effort, getting grades, and trying to find some correlation between the two, ...

  1. #1
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459

    effort, and the bell-shaped curve...

    Y'know, it's neat to read that thread about effort, getting grades, and trying to find some correlation between the two, quite honestly I'm appauled at how unconstructive and arbitrary the comments, so I thought I might reflect on that thusly.

    I'm glad there are those of us who think that life and schooling is a piece of cake and you can do it with your eyes closed, but that sort of attitude that things come so easily to you and that someone out there is going to hand you money since you're such an intellectual is absurd. Furthermore it disgusts me the apathy that such attitudes convey, it impresses no one, which brings me to my observation having traversed mediums of education from highschool to my undergrad. Now, you would figure that at an institution of higher learning, given that everyone directly previous to admittance was, in general, top-caliber students (intellectuals, mind you to say even), you would figure that it would remain so and that the wonderful environment of academia would persist with equally wonderful effort and interest from the undergraduate student population. However, you'll soon find out that just as there were oh, about 17 percent D's and F's in high school, perhaps 30 or 40 percent in the C-ish range, and likewise 17 percent in the A's and B's (that sort of bell shaped curve), that trend persists in the University system! Furthermore, the curve makes me also sick, and it makes people lazy in general, particularly in engineering. It is not that the students are not bright, it is on the whole that they choose to stop learning, stop attending discussions, and well, quite frankly give up. So as such, do not give up, do not use the fact that the material is 'college-level', and that a 'C' mark in college is worth any 'A' mark in highschool. Do not cop an attitude, study, enjoy, and help keep the environment of academia that taxpayers, those who break their backs on rather menial work that perhaps we'd scoff at, are working for.

    Perhaps I won't suddenly cause an end to that other thread, but perhaps I just might attract a few over to this one instead. =) Oh, and glad to have stopped by for once.

    Sincerely,
    doubleanti
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,708
    beautiful man, beautiful *wipes tear*

    the thing I always enjoy reading is 'oh I had a crappy high school and my teachers sucked that is why I did poorly'

    what the hell, if you succeed or lose it's no one's fault but your own, ultimately anyways.

  3. #3
    Just because ygfperson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    2,493

    Re: effort, and the bell-shaped curve...

    Originally posted by doubleanti

    Furthermore it disgusts me the apathy that such attitudes convey, it impresses no one, which brings me to my observation having traversed mediums of education from highschool to my undergrad. Now, you would figure that at an institution of higher learning, given that everyone directly previous to admittance was, in general, top-caliber students (intellectuals, mind you to say even), you would figure that it would remain so and that the wonderful environment of academia would persist with equally wonderful effort and interest from the undergraduate student population.

    ...

    Sincerely,
    doubleanti
    Pot. Kettle. Black. I'm not badmouthing what you've just said, but you're arguing against such superior sounding people using a superior sounding tone.

    I think the curve in school systems results from the amount of work people have to do, and not the grades. I could go to a community college, or I could go to a more respected technical school, and I could work equally hard. The material may be easier to absorb at the community college level, but how many presentations do you have to give? How much homework do you have to do? I believe it's about the same anywhere you go, because you get accustomed to what's a normal load of work.

    If I took US history again (a high school course), there's a chance I would still skip the amount of assignments I did last time. I would try just as hard to get a grade as I did the first time around unless I pushed myself especially hard.

    //edit: Anyway, food for thought.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    254
    Furthermore, the curve makes me also sick, and it makes people lazy in general, particularly in engineering. It is not that the students are not bright, it is on the whole that they choose to stop learning, stop attending discussions, and well, quite frankly give up.
    I blame the fact that we have final/midterm exams where the class average is 25% and then they bell the damn thing... Stupid engineering profs

    I always look back at high school and wonder how the hell it was so rediculously easy to get high grades...

  5. #5
    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    942
    >>If I took US history again (a high school course), there's a chance I would still skip the amount of assignments I did last time. I would try just as hard to get a grade as I did the first time around unless I pushed myself especially hard.

    heh. I skip assignments, do them in class the day their due...voila! Easy A! ;P

  6. #6
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,686
    And what doubleanti is so astutely saying is that while that may work in a few classes, perhaps for most of high-school, and perhaps even in college, it fails to pay off when the only "grade" that you receive is having to live with the consequences of the work you have done.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  7. #7
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    1,420
    Furthermore, the curve makes me also sick, and it makes people lazy in general, particularly in engineering. It is not that the students are not bright, it is on the whole that they choose to stop learning, stop attending discussions, and well, quite frankly give up
    It's not that they aren't bright its that they are no longer the brightest; People who at school were the amongst the best (or THE best) come to university and suddenly find that they are run of the mill. For those who defined themselves by their academic achievements that can be quite a big blow, some accept it, work reasonably hard and get a decent grade, some don't accept it nearly kill themselves with work and then get depressed, others give up totally and do the bare minimum no longer caring about their academic achievements.

    Of course there are a lot of other additional factors too: the new freedom, the new social experience, etc. etc.

    But i don't think the reasoning a "C at this level is worth an A at the previous level, so its ok" really runs through people's heads very often.

  8. #8
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459
    >I think the curve in school systems results from the amount of work people have to do, and not the grades.

    I wasn't insinuating that the curve is a result from the grades. And of course it is relative to what you are used to, for example right about now I'm quite used to working seven days a week, and taking 6 hours or 9 hours of lecture and lab every day, it requires focus, but it can be done. I was stating, rather, that for the motivation of students to actually perform, that is what is lacking. By the way, just speak without concern for my background, if you'd like to read my transcripts, go ahead and ask, but otherwise, keep the discussion going.

    I'm certainly not infering that one should be strictly defined by their academic achievements, but these are the grounds for which society defines us, and there should be no reason for anyone to 'give up', not now, and hopefully not ever. Granted, people have their reasons, but there is no excuse not to at least give your full effort. It always amazes me, and disappoints me to think upon where this world would be if everyone who had potential to do anything but leg work could do so.

    And is it not their brightness? Consider that they are not. Personally I am completely for classes that are designed to weed out those who weren't supposed to be there in the first place. However, my complaint is not that people are weeded out because of the concepts or the material, they are weeded out because of their efforts. Learning and progressing conceptually should be gradual, yes, but each quarter should test your capacity to it's fullest, quarter after quarter. Folks on the down-side of such 'boot-camp' curricula complain, but therein lies the function of such: to weed people out. Grades are certainly not what I was getting at, focus is.

    Concerning adjustment, well for one I was lucky enough to grab a taste of the college-level curricula (not via AP's mind you, but through classes with two exams: a midterm and a final =)), as a transition to the new culture. And I suppose it's my perrogative to be mutable, but such is the enviroment in which I thrive in. Each quarter's schedule and material is a whole new experience, and for those entering with this idealogy there will always be reasons to put forth your front foot.

    Likewise,
    doubleanti
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  9. #9
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    > but these are the grounds for which society defines us

    No. 100% wrong. Absolutely not.

  10. #10
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459
    Perhaps I should not have said society, but rather academia? I stand corrected.
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  11. #11
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    8,825
    Academia's more accurate, but saying all they care about is grades is a fallacy.

  12. #12
    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,459
    I don't remember if I mentioned that all that matters is grades, that's obviously not the case. I mean to draw the distinction that it is a combination of effort and capacity, Govt, you are really picking me apart here... lighten up ya? =) Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with using comparisons grade-wise as a basis for doing better and working harder so long as you understand that you are using it merely for that function, yes? IE, me and my good buddy are always competing, in a friendly manner, and it certainly will not affect our companionship, even though we've seen eachother at our worst... so... at any rate, anything else Govt?
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,109
    I'd have to agree that effort should be taken more seriously by some. I'd have to agree with what Clyde said. When people in high school go to the university level as valedictorians and being in the top 10% of their high school class, they get a big shock when they meet people just as good or better in academics as them. I've challenged myself in high school the best I can, and I think it's helped prepare me for college. I don't expect to be the smartest there, and I probably am not going to be. But I will try my best to do the best I can and to learn the most I can with the opportunity to do so. As I said in the other thread about semi-trying; it seems that way because I just didn't find myself to be as stressed out as some of my schoolmates. I didn't find it hard. I took five APs my senior year, and I found it to be challenging, but nothing difficult that I couldn't handle.

    There will be those that accept the fact that they aren't the smartest/best of the class and continue to try to be; however, as Clyde said, there are those that won't accept it so well, and either get depressed or not try (get that, "why bother?" attitude). At the same time, those people need to really look at themselves and understand the situation and hopefully turn around and become like those of the former. But if they don't, then it's their own fault. They are too hung up on not being the best when they can spend that time and energy into the effort in trying to be or at least learning the most they can with the education being presented in front of them.

    Now, it's sad to see the effort dwindling at lower levels than the university level. When you have middle school kids and high school kids not challenging themselves and just taking the easy road, it's their fault when they don't get into college, especially when they want to. It's their fault when they have trouble later because they didn't do well in school due to the lack of effort put in.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21