In sophomore year of college I was taking a class that, about two thirds of the way through the year, I totally checked out of. I rarely went to class, hardly ever paid attention when I did, just stopped caring. Leading up to the final, I of course realized I knew none of the material (the final wasn't cumulative). I did the math and realized I needed a 50% to pass the class with a C-.
I show up the day of the exam and realize: I got the day wrong. My exam was the previous day. I email my professor in a panic and beg her for a chance to retake it, or do some kind of extra credit, anything to get me a passing grade. No response.
I go home for winter break assuming I'm going to have to retake this class. I haven't told my parents out of shame. Then, two weeks later, my teacher finally replies. Her email went something like this:
"I'm so incredibly sorry, I left for vacation immediately after the exam and just now got back. It's obviously way too late for your to take the exam or do any kind of extra credit. The best I can do is take your current class average, an 89, and put that in for your exam grade. Would that be okay?"
So I get a B+ instead of the C- I was hoping for?
Yes. Yes that would be just fine.
I had an essay that was explicitly "due Tuesday" in sixth grade. I have NO clue why it didn't click that it was DUE, not DO and only realized when my friend asked me about the essay on the bus. I told my teacher that I'd forgotten to print it out, ran home after the bus, typed it out in 15-30 minutes and got a 97. This started my habit of intense procrastination.
In fifth grade, I was really excited to be assigned our first 'report' for homework, something about having to do research and write up a few pages on a topic made me feel like I was finally entering big kid school.
Anyways, we had the weekend to do it and my topic was 'Tornadoes', they were randomly assigned but I was pretty stoked to get a cool one. I spent all weekend doing research and writing up this 4-5 page paper on tornados with a picture or two thrown in. But I was really proud of it.
I got a D because my teacher assumed my parents had done it for me and wouldn't discuss the matter. It was not up for a debate in any way. I've never been so crushed. It really killed whatever love I had to learn that year. I still did well in school, but my enthusiasm about learning and doing research on my own never was the same after that.
I took biology and economics my freshman year of college, and made the mistake of doing both classes in the morning (I worked swing/graveyard shift).
The biology class was graded solely on three exams. The dates for them were in the syllabus, along with a summary of chapters covered in each. I only showed up on the first day and three exam days, crammed the night before each time and did really well on the tests. Got an A.
Economics was harder. Participation and attendance counted toward the grade, and a test date was moved so I missed taking it. Fortunately, I had a buddy in the class who signed my name on the attendance sheet that day, and was therefore able to convince my professor that he must have lost my exam. He let me re-take it and I eked out a B.
I had a college professor where I just didn't turn in my final and he gave me an A for the class anyways. Not sure why. I gave him some duck jerky earlier in the year so maybe he really liked it.
I had a bit of a weird teacher in geography way back when i was in the 9th grade. He was always correcting our assignments way too long after we handed them in. One time we had 2 assignments that should handed in over the course of 2 weeks. I only did one of them as i didn't really feel like doing the other one for some reason.
When we got back the assignments back like a month later or something, he didn't actually give back the assignments, he just told us our grades from a piece of paper he was reading from. When he got to my desk he gave me a B for the first one and an A for the one i didn't hand in. I don't think I deserved that.
I got the same grade as everyone else on a group project that crashed and burned spectacularly. I was the only person who did any work while the other eight, eight! members of the group messed around.
The group agreed with me and signed a letter saying I deserved an 'A' for the work I put in and that they had done nothing. The teacher agreed and gave me a better grade.
I took biology as a freshman in high school. There was this big bug-collecting project that counted for like 40% of our first semester grade. Basically, we had to catch a bunch of bugs, kill them, pin them, and correctly label them with their scientific name.
To get full credit, you had to catch a minimum of 30 unique bug species. The one thing I learned from that project that I still remember: I am terrible at catching bugs. If you count the cricket I bought at the pet store, I managed 18 and received a D+ on the project. So, despite earning A's on all of the tests and homework that semester, I earned a B in the class.
My film studies prof always stressed, "there are no wrong interpretations of a film, only different ones."
She then proceeded to give me a 60% on an essay, because, and I quote, "Your interpretation of 'The Wrestler' is simply incorrect. That's not the message the movie was trying to send."
I was in English 101. I forgot that an essay was due that following afternoon but had to work and study for a more important chemistry course. I downloaded the smallest jpeg file I could find, converted it into a .pdf and submitted "the essay" in hopes the professor would ask to send it again and it would give me a buffer time of 24-48 hours.
I check the grade module and got full points. No questions asked.
I did my senior project on building a computer. Like, putting together a gaming rig from parts you'd buy on Newegg or Amazon. Since people think that's an impressive thing, I was able to get by with it no problem.
The best part is that I had already built it. I just disassembled it, took pictures of myself putting it back together, talked about how to decide on what parts to get, the core components you need, etc, etc.
I got a perfect.
We were instructed to write a "How-to" paper for sophomore English class. We had to pick our topics during class and tell the teacher. Someone sitting close to us came up with the topic of "How to Write an A Paper." So naturally, my friends goes with "How to Write an F Paper." His intentions were to write it as best as he could and receive an A. He wrote it so poorly and with multiple spelling and grammatical errors that the teacher "loved the satirical vibe" he demonstrated in his paper and promptly gave him an A.
For my Creative Writing major piece in High School, I got an A+. I got the highest grade in the whole class, and in every creative writing class. I was given awards, I won a prize, I was praised by every English teacher in the school.
I plagiarised it. Every single word. Not a single word was my own doing.
I was incredibly depressed at the time and just wanted to get it over with. So I went to a short story website, picked the first one that look like it was decent, and copied it into a word document. I know it sounds like I'm making up excuses, but genuinely all I wanted to do was pass the class. I never thought for a second that I would get awards and prizes for it.
I was in an upper level political science class that had essay tests. The professor asked us questions and wanted us to explain the answers, not bad.
I filled 5/8 pages in a blue book and turned in my exam, positive I had aced it. I received a 63% and when I asked the professor why, he said that although all my answers were correct, other people had filled 8/8 pages and he had to grade all the tests, "relative to each other".
In university, I had an 8AM class I would probably skip 1/3 of the time. I missed the day the midterm was given back, so I asked the prof to bring it to the next class. He starts to give me a hard time before looking at the exam and seeing 100% written at the top and saying, "good job".
I go sit down, feeling pretty smart, and go to glance through it before class begins. For the main question I see a couple checkmarks, then "???" and nothing else for a page and a half before the answer was circled with a checkmark. It turns out I had done the problem a wrong way, confused the TA marking the test, and then somehow came to the correct answer at the end, so he just marked it completely correct.
Another slacker and I were assigned to make a poster on the socialism chapter in The Grapes of Wrath. Including quotes and symbolism.(adv. am. Lit)
We are both very bright, but even more lazy, so we kept putting it off until suddenly it was our turn to present.
Thinking quickly we had a palaver and agreed on a plan: it was a short chapter and he was a theatre kid, so he would read the entire chapter out loud while I explained socialism as everyone doing their part and asked the whole class to come up and draw something on the whiteboard.
So we get up front and he kicks a desk forward, stands on top of it and starts reading while I do my thing.
By the end the teacher was in tears, and the smart kids that weren't slackers fumed because they knew what really happened. But hey, extra credit.
In year 9 (US grade 8) history, we were given a small assignment as homework over the weekend. I can't remember what the assignment was on (probably the Tudors or something), but it had to be around 500 words, and summarize what we'd been doing for the past few weeks. Nothing too hard.
I completed the homework to what I considered a reasonable standard and handed it in. However, when I received the grade, I was awarded a D, with the teacher's primary criticism being that I hadn't written enough material. I was confused by this, since I'd witten around 500 words like he'd asked. He told me to go away and re-do it better.
After getting home, I had some time to compare my work with my friends. I'd written the essay in size 11 font Times New Roman, and I had neglected to include any images. This is pretty standard for higher grade academic work, but most of my peers had used size 14. Some even used comic sans. So what did I do? I scaled up the text, increased the spacing, and slapped a couple of generic pictured of Henry VIII's face on there, and handed it in the next morning.
Lo and behold, after he graded it, I got an A, and a special mention for my hard work. I have never been so thrilled with myself, and so disappointed in a teacher in my life. It just goes to show how another person's laziness can screw you over.
In high school we were asked to write a proposal for a new drinking age (United States). I wrote about how it should be lowered to 12, but people who are past 12 now should have to wait until their next birthday (as to avoid millions of teenagers suddenly becoming legal age to drink at once).
I cited other countries with lower drinking ages and fewer drinking related issues. Discussed how it currently has a strong "forbidden fruit" appeal to high school kids and that wouldn't be as big a deal. Also, kids could get introduced to alcohol and learn their limits while still being somewhat supervised by their parents.
She gave me a zero and claimed I was making fun of the assignment. Apparently everyone else only lowered it to 18 (citing if you can go to war you can drink a beer) or they raised it. I actually really enjoyed the assignment and thought I was being practical.
A 9th grade spelling and vocab test.
The word was "ascend" which I defined as "to gain in altitude."
I was marked wrong - the teacher was looking for "to go up - like on a ladder"
This was 16 years ago and I remember this conversation verbatim
This is from college, and it happened very recently. I take programming classes and our mid exam was to complete pre-written codes. The purpose of the code was to assign characteristics to a rocket. When the required characteristics are filled, the rocket will launch, and the Completion Status must be 100% for this to happen. If the Completion Status goes below 90%, the rocket won't launch. You get the idea.
I was never good at programming. I understood the logic but writing the codes down is like writing in alien language. The exam was 2 hours, and in the span of 2 hours my Completion Status was a mere 20%. My friends got 65%, 80%, even one was smart enough to change the pre-written codes and got 100%. I accepted the fact that I might fail this class and submitted my exam.
I don't exactly know how the Gods work up there, but I got a 95 on my mid exam. Yes, ninety five. I emailed the lecturer asking about how I got such score, and he said though I didn't get 100%, I implemented polymorphism into the codes, and he thought it was impressive.
To this day I still don't know what polymorphism is, and how in the world I could have 'implemented' that srudd on my program.
In first year university, I wrote a paper in a sociology class where I mixed up the word mores (a type of social norm) and moray (a type of eel) and as such wrote about the impact of eels on law. For some reason, the TA thought my eel law paper wasn't too horrible and gave me a B. She told the entire class someone wrote about social eels and that we needed to be more careful with our spelling, though.
Left one high school shortly after semester break, all teachers gave me an A because they didn't have anything to go on. Went to another state and they were so far in to the semester all teachers decided they couldn't hold me responsible for what they already taught so they all gave me whatever grade i came in with. Only time in my life I got all As.
Picked a choice book. Had to do a project on it for honors English class. Didn't read it. Mildly researched the book. Shat out a pretty looking Power Point. Presented fancy made up book report in front of class and teacher. Got A-.
I once spent a full two hour period of a 9th grade class copying the questions slowly onto another sheet of paper. It was a reading retention quiz or something.
I guess she was only looking to see if you'd written anything, because I got full marks.
The moral is: teachers are overworked and underpaid and children's educations pay the price.
In my college Dynamics course we had a group project that we assigned different sections to do within our group. It was an incredibly difficult project so we couldn't just completely split off and do it on our own, but there were easier sections that could be done by 1 person.
Anyways, in a group of 3, one of our guys just never showed up to any of our meetings. We're not jerks and we get that we're busy and all that, so we just give him the easier stuff to do when he can get around to it. So my friend and I pull all-nighters until we finally complete it a few days before it was due. We send what we have to the 3rd guy and he assures us that he'll get the rest done. We check up on him the day before asking if he wants help and he says that he's got it and he'll bring the completed project into class.
Of course he walks in and says "Sorry guys, I never got around to it". We were basically missing the easiest 1/3 of our project because he couldn't tell us he needed help.
I explained the situation to the teacher but he had no sympathy. He said "in the real world you live and die by the people by your side" and graded us for what we completed so SURPRISE! We failed. I didn't talk to that kid for the rest of the semester even though he sat right next to me.
Me and another guy I didn't know too well got assigned a joint-presentation on a topic I can't quite remember, I think something to do with tourism in the outdoor industry. We did very little prep work after being assigned the task, probably 80% of the PowerPoint was made in the hour right before the seminar. We rushed together about 10 slides with info copied from Wikipedia, decided which slides we would each talk through and left it at that.
The presentation went pretty much flawlessly. We somehow managed to confidently blag our way through each slide as if we knew the topic by heart, when one of us would falter the other would jump in with some more bullcrap to cover. Come the Q&A at the end we totally pulled it out of our arse, to the point where the lecturer praised us for being "so well prepared". I guess confidence is key.
In the end we got the equivalent of a B+. Definitely did not deserve that grade!
When I was in high school, I loved languages but was gripped with such crippling shyness I was unable to speak in a foreign language at all. This meant I couldn't do any of the verbal testing (because I would put on the headphones and immediately cry), so they wouldn't let me do the French exam course, and put me in a lower bracket.
A few weeks before exams, the exam board changed the fail criteria to be less stringent. I'd gained some confidence, and my teacher said that if I wanted, I could go for it.
I took a long time to prepare my verbal presentation and had some help with preparing and practising it, due to the tight timescale. I still wasn't confident, but the teacher was really supportive.
By absolute chance, when I went into the written exam, the essay question was on the exact same topic for which I had prepared my verbal presentation. I literally sat there and wrote it all out as an essay.
You guys, I got an A. Nobody expected it. It was fantastic.
I had a public speaking class a few years ago and the first oral report went easy so I figured I would challenge myself when doing the supportive argument one that was coming up by arguing against using the electoral collage during elections. While prepping in class the teacher asked who went last and no one said anything so I replied and was told I'll be going first after the fall break. Completely forgot about it during the break and had to give my speech with no prep work and no reference sheet for the teacher. I got up there, maintained eye contact and hit my time limit. The only reason I didn't get an A was because I didn't have my reference sheet.