Monday, June 25, 2007

Imperial Russia, Or So They Thought

One of the true joys of being a TA is reading and sharing student essays with my colleagues. It was something that I was actually looking forward to, and my students did not disappoint.

Now, I must preface this with the fact that most of my students did a fine job and walked away (I think) with a better understanding of Imperial Russia and Europe after the Napoleonic Wars in general.

Some, however, while not completely missing the point, could have chosen the wording in their final exams with a little more care.

Why? They forget that I have to read sixty of the things and, apart from picking through their every scrawl, I will get sick of reading the same answers time and again. So, it pays to make it interesting but sometimes I am laughing with you and others, well...

So, without further ado, the best comments from my final exams this past semester:

NB: I have not mentioned any names just in case the perpetrators of this minor bit of comedy stumble across this Internet backwater...but what are the odds? (I say that now; later comes the suits for libel).

1. Nicholas II went to an oprah.

2. Economists hold countries together.

3. Russia needed a better economy, not that there was anything wrong with their current one.

4. The Crimean War had a different but similar effect on Russia.

5. It looked suspiciously like a democracy.

6. Official Nationality made it so people had to declare their official nationality.

7. The Russian government kept little problems little and created little boilers inside big ones. Only when the little ones burst did the big ones burst too.


Matt Jenks said...

I'm guessing the "it looked suspiciously like democracy" person is a bit of a sarcastic writer him or herself.

Being an organic TA, you can imagine that there wasn't a whole lot of fun in the lab reports.

There was one kid, though, who had a little fun. I didn't feel like writing "pre-lab questions" for the week before spring break, so I asked "Where did you go on Spring Break" and "What did you do?" basically giving them two free points.

This kid wrote "1) Tijuana, Mexico" and "2) I'm still trying to piece that together."

I gave him bonus points.

Lost A Sock said...

I love the different but similar line. Way to go, Idaho.