Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Does not compute

Here's a question from the editing final I gave this week:

The center for the basketball team is 210 centimeters tall. How tall is he in feet and inches?

In The Associated Press Stylebook, which students are allowed to use during the final, help is found under the "centimeter" entry: "To convert to inches, multiply by 0.4."

Even with my case of innumeracy, I'm able to do the math in my head: The center is 84 inches -- 7 feet -- tall. Among the correct answers, one student answered "84.0 inches," and then added -- and I'm not making this up -- "You can't convert centimeters to feet."


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2007 02:53 am (UTC)
I thought I had a response but honestly, I can't find the words.
Dec. 15th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Wait until these kids take Natty World Lab. One of the questions on that final was: Using the listed conversions, 20mg/Liters = _______ lbs/gallons

Oh and none of the conversions listed helped simplify the process.
Dec. 15th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
When I teach percentages, I have to go slowly, because many students have looks on their faces that seem to say they've never seen this stuff.
Dec. 16th, 2007 03:39 am (UTC)
You have to give the student credit; he/she was trying to think outside the box, presuming you were asking a trick question.

Nah, I'm just kidding. That's truly sad.
Dec. 16th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
I don't know what's sadder: This student's thoughts about conversion or the fact that several students never made it to 84 inches.
Dec. 18th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow