Apologies for the lack of posts in the past few weeks. I do have a semi-legitimate excuse. As I write, I am in the midst of intense midterms. Papers and exams, so many papers and exams. Although the Australian (well at least Deakin) system is roughly the same as Old Dominion’s, there are some disparities. I can’t speak for all of the Deakin classes, but I can inform the public on my classes, and it is my job to do so.
Coming from a communications background, I am used to having ample opportunities to improve my grade. Even taking extra credit out of the equation, communication classes usually have a unique blend of quizzes, exams, and papers that dance beautifully together to form a final grade. In my classes at Deakin I have a maximum of four assignments, and a minimum of two. Today I turned in my journalism research file that will count for 60% of my total grade. I sure hope my Australia spell check was on, I can’t always recognise my teacher’s least favourite spelling mistakes.
All papers have to be turned in via drop box. I must say that I find this most unsettling. Hundreds if not thousands of papers go in to this magical drop box every day. I imagine the other side to be a giant white sea of papers, filled window high, with a little troll swimming around, doling out papers to the appropriate cubbyhole, then going home with more paper cuts than he would like to talk about. The only thing that separates my paper from the masses is a bar code on my cover sheet. Cue Bob Seger’s “I Feel Like a Number.”
The oddest difference comes from my communication class and my Australian history class. From my previous (and lengthy) experience, communication classes have papers and history classes have exams. Switch that here. I usually have no problem writing papers. Since the time when I was a lowly freshman, I have been reared by the finest professors on how to compose A+ papers in the communication field. But now I have been thrown in to these Australian history classes (on my own accord) and must write 1,500 word research papers.
Grade for my first paper: D
With only two more point I could have received a HD. Confused? Well, A “D” is good here, and a “HD” is the best! A “D” stands for “Distinction,” or 70-79%. “HD” stands for “High Distinction,” or 80-100%. I can proudly say that I earned that “D” on my history paper. I guess you can take the communications out of the paper, but can’t take the paper out of the communicator (that probably sounded much wittier in my mentally exhausted brain than actually is).