"Um, excuse me. When will you be done with our grades?" The young man with the short blond hair stood before me, a look of concern on his face.
"I have to get the tests to the scantron machine and hope that the machine works. So assuming it does, I will have your actual grades in hand shortly. However, I need to look the exams over. So about 1 p.m. I think." I looked at the clock, which read 11:15 a.m. on the dot. My estimate should work.
The boy plunged ahead. "Okay, and then you'll email me?"
I laughed. I certainly had better things to do than to remember his name and email him his grade. "No, but if I don't have the grades in the grade book by then, you can email me. I put the responsibility on the student." I straightened some papers on the desk in front of me. "Are you worried about your grade?"
The boy shifted from one foot to the other. "I'm a little neurotic. Some of the answers I knew, and others, I just had to guess. I'm not sure how I did."
"I guess we'll see," I said as I erased the white board. He nodded his head and left the room.
I had just given my first exam and I was hoping for the best. But as usual, I was also bracing for the worst. Not one single email asking for an explanation had trickled in over the weekend. I didn't believe that everyone understood everything I said. I simply had to trust that the students had studied hard.
So did they study hard?
I was shocked to find out that the mean for this exam was a 72. Now, I did toss two questions and I'd already given the answer to a third, so I gave away six points to each student. But even so, that mean was far better than the means I've seen the last few semesters. I smiled as I saved the grades and sat back in the chair. Perhaps life at the college is looking up these days.
(And by the way, the poor kid didn't do all that well. He received a 62. But that's not so far off the mark he can't redeem himself later.)