Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The danger of exams that test actual understanding

So you're going along and feeling reasonably hoopy, even maybe like a frood. You're dimly aware that, out there, there's a danger that's doing the thing that makes danger so unpleasant: it's getting closer. [A phrase shamelessly stolen, and poorly translated, from "So zaertlich war Suleyken": "Die Gefahr tat, was sie so unangenehm macht: sie naeherte sich".] And then, one day, without much fanfare, it arrives ... and afterwards you feel distinctly unhoopy. You may even be bleeding a bit.

What I'm referring to here is the midterm in my machine learning class, an hour and a half of fear, pain and misery [for me, at least] that transpired today. I'm guessing that I'm looking at a score around 40%. If the TA's are feeling generous.

The problem wasn't that the exam was insanely difficult, it was that it required you to have really internalized and understood the material we covered. In my case, it's pretty clear that I'm sorely lacking in that department. Blergh.

[PS: They found my check. No smashing. A good thing for all concerned.]


Blogger Corey said...

Yay! for check.. Booo Hisss! for midterm.

I hate not knowing things. I recently suffered through another phone interview where I was found to be "not as technical as we'd like". wtf.

On the upside, it's $99 each way between Boston and Seattle. We're thinking of coming out for a snowball fight. =)

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, estelle and i r sitting here in the village (in nyc) thinking to ourselves....alex? 40%??? what has this world come to!!!????

12:03 AM  

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