Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Historiography is stupid!

Brace yourselves...I'm venting.

Historiography is a challenging topic.  I am a very concrete thinker and I'm struggling to find the concrete.
Last week my research proposal was due.  Which meant I had to submit two paragraphs and my bibliography for what I plan to do my major research paper on (40% of my grade).
Because this is "historiography" I am not to pick a specific historical event or person but the history of history or the school of thought regarding a specific historical event...or a favorite historian...I'm to have a favorite historian?  I have favorite topics in history but I have not chosen a favorite historian...I only know the names of a few historians...But if I did pick a historian it wouldn't be a paper about them but about how he/she interpreted history...
I'm suddenly feeling very, very, very dumb...

I really struggled with my proposal but was able to submit it on time and held my breath waiting for my score and her comments.

Her first comment "Double spaced means double spaced."  Now I will admit to being a bit sensitive but I'm a 43 year old and I don't appreciate being spoken to like that...Really?  And to be clear it wasn't listed anywhere that it should be double spaced, she continued "All manuscripts through school and through the publishing world are double spaced." - again this was two paragraphs not a paper and I was a little put off by her tone...
Things just progressed from there. For example I don't know when, why, or where I picked up the habit of double spacing after a period.  Was I taught that? Where you taught that? Is it just a habit I developed? I think I was taught to double space after a period. Well, your not supposed to! She dinked me for that as well. There were further comments and a score of 45/50 =90%  I should also add this is my 3rd proposal for this school and never has any other professor had issue with my double spacing habits...

Now, before I knew any of the reasons, I saw my score of 45/50.  Previously for each assignment comments pop up in a comment box beside the score explaining the score. When I checked there was no explanation given for the score. I naturally needed to know what she didn't like about the proposal so I could fix the problems. So I sent her the following email.

On Mar 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM, Fry, MIchelle (4220999) wrote:

I was wondering why I received a 45/50 on my proposal? I didn't see any comments that would inform me what was lacking. I believed I followed the instructions?

To which she replied -

Dear Michelle,

Given the number of comments on the returned copy of your proposal, comments on how to improve your work for the final paper, I think it is obvious that you did not turn in a perfect assignment so should not expect a perfect grade.The grade is based on quality as well as filling in something in each required category. A grade of 98% is a descent grade.


Anne Millbrooke, Prof.

To which I replied-

I was not expecting a perfect grade I simply had not found your comments so I would know the reason for the 90%(not 98% as you indicated) you gave me on the assignment. My question was simply so I would know what to work on and not a demand for a perfect grade. I have since found your comments. Sorry to trouble you.

Is it just me or does she come off condescending?

I am so ticked right now.  I so want to quit this stupid class but it is not an option.  I wish so much I had classmates to commiserate with.  Taking online has its advantages but not being able to see people face to face has a very isolating affect.
I also wish with all my heart a retired history professor would move in next door...

Thanks for listening...

I'll be cheerier next time 


1 comment:

  1. Double spacing after a period was the way we were taught in school. I hadn't heard that it changed but then I wasn't aware of the change to when to use commas either. You're right she does sound very condescending and apparently can't do math either. Having said all that, keep in mind that this is only one class and it will soon be over and you can be sure not to ever take a class from this teacher again (and we get to spend a few lovely days at the beach). Love you.