As of right now I have 902 hits/views – in just 12 days, I passed the number of hits I got on blogger over 2 years. If you, like Chris Tilling, the infamous Englishmen who “blogs” over at Chrisendom, are still using blogger, do consider switching over. Really. Think about.
What will you all preach on tomorrow? Pentecost Sunday or Mother’s Day or neither?
I read David Alan Black’s blog fairly frequently, at least when he is not off the farm, and was sad to read this post:
Just finished grading another 20 papers. Took me most of the day. Today the grades ranged from an F (0) to an A+ (100). Most were B’s and C’s. The paper that received a zero contained not one legible sentence and dozens and dozens of misspellings. I had to scratch my head, in that I require students to check a box that says “Carefully proofread for spelling and grammar” before turning in their papers. This box had been checked by the student.
Given that this is in reference to students in graduate school – or Seminary – the place where one is to prepare for ministry and service to God, it is a shame and a disgrace really to see a F paper and C papers. It’s sad. In my opinion, there is no excuse for anything less than B+ (maybe middle B). Again, if one gets this grade, in my opinion, one needs to be concerned as, again, in my opinion, receiving anything less than an 80-85% on a paper or test of some sort signals that a person may not fully understand the subject matter (or did not study properly, or something else is going on in the student’s life that needs attention, e.g., stress, lack of sleep, pressure, etc). (sometimes in some cases, though not all, it can be a situation of not fully understanding what a professor wanted or that the professor was not clear in his or her expectations or he or she is not the best prof – I sincerely doubt this is the case with Dr. Black, I am certain his teaching is of high quality, but I think bad teachers are the exception, not the rule).
I realize too, that tests are tests, and the scores given simply measure one’s ability to take a test and nothing more, but, again, in my opinion, this is graduate school, the Master’s level. The quality of work put forth in a paper should reflect that fact. While I grant that seminary is no easy task and one should be heartily commended upon its completion, still one should never turn in incomplete work or unedited papers. Nor should one lie and say he or she did something (like edit a paper) when he or she did not. This dishonors God, the professor, and one’s self (who is also forking over no small sum of money).
If we are in preparation for ministry and service to God at this level then he deserves our full obedience, submission, and worship through the effort to do the best we can (extremely rare is the case where an F is the best one can do). Obviously grades don’t mean much in the long run and extremely rare is the church board that will ask about grades, but still in ones own heart and mind, efforts should be geared to turn in a paper that meets or exceeds the expectations put forth by the professor. Did you all know God loves a well written paper? That a well, written paper is just as much an act of worship to God as anything else?
Poorly done work is just not acceptable at the Graduate level. I hope the student who received the F paper gets a wake up call, repents before God and thinks about why he or she is in seminary. Is it for the glory of God or the glory of self?
ps. yeas I received a few B’s and felt bad when I did (or was in relief if it was a hard class) but also asked God to help me do better and made sure the next paper was better (usually resulting in the A range). A+ papers had to be approved by the dean and only then if considered publishable.