03 June 2008

A Quarter of an Effing Point!

Yesterday end-of-term marks were finally made available. Being France of course the marks were not available on the internet, or put in the mail. No. Don't be silly. That would make sense and be convenient. To get your grades in France, you have to go to the school in person and sign a form in triplicate.

Generally I consider myself smart enough to pass an exam I studied like a maniac for. But I've been here long enough to know not to take anything for granted. Just scraping by seems to be my norm. (Does it have something to do with the suspiciously high rate of failure among the non-francophone student body? Perhaps). I was not the least bit surprised to see a string of 12s and 13s (a 12 -rather than 10- out of 20 being the required mark to pass, since ÉSIT thinks it's so much better than anywhere else). And there it was. Staring at me. A shiny red 11. In 'Introduction to Law' – a course taught by one of the most horrible people I've ever had the misfortune of meeting. A terrible professor and all-around terrible human being. Sample quote: "I know none of you want to be here, but trust me, I want to be here even less."

Thankfully, French universities have a ridiculous system of averaging grades between certain courses, so if you got, say, 8 in Astro-physics and 16 in the History of Comic Books, you still pass because the average of the two classes is still 12. But nothing is never that easy here... Further down my report card it's marked that I have to rewrite the Law exam. (No indication as to why of course). So I went to the registrars office to find the reason I was supposed to rewrite the exam if my 11 in Law was averaged with a 13 in Economic Environment and 12.5 in Economic Theory. She didn't know. I'm then directed to talk to a different woman in a different office. She tells me that the Law mark is not averaged with any other course. "Oh, really?" I reply, "I thought it was." "No. It's not," all snitty, "I think I know my own job better than you. You all did very badly in Law. All the students who should have studied harder have come to me complaining. You have to rewrite the exam, point final."


And, as it turns out, I did know her own job better than she did. A look in the course calendar when I got home clearly stated that the two Economics classes are averaged with Law – problem being that they are averaged with each other before being averaged with the Law mark. Meaning I am a quarter of a bloody point away from avoiding the nightmarish hell that is restudying and resitting the exam for that awful class. A quarter of a point!

I was so mad. Furious really. I still am. That school is like a black cloud poisoning my life. I can't believe I still have two more years to go (...assuming I don't fail by 3/16ths of a point the second time too).


matt said...

Oh Shit! It's worse than Catch 22 or The Trail.

If I'm not mistaken you are actually 1/8 of a point away then.

(13 + 12.5)/2 = 12.75

(12.75 + 11)/2 = 11.875

12 - 11.875 = 0.125 (or in other words 1/8)

Remind me why this place has such a good reputation?


Tokyo Tintin said...

Oh. Lovely.

That's even better!

Tokyo Tintin said...

Yes... "I failed by an eighth of a point." That has a nice ring to it. I like it.

Emilie said...

That's effing stupid.
I thought there were "jurys" before they publish the grades. Yous should just go and see someone responsible (which means EVERYONE but the secretary), like Kneipp (isn't she responsible for all the "non-francophones" (yes in guillemets because you won't fool ma mand make me believe you're not a francophone)), or even CTM (i mean, she litterally said that "no one knows anything in this damn school. Don't believe the secretaries. Ask me). Just catch her or write an email, I can't believe they left you an eighth of a point away...
If you still have to rewrite the exam, courage à toi, and you'd better pass it this time, or we'll organize a revolution!

Miss Ash said...

You should write a screenplay about your time in France. It's not funny.....but it's funny in that ridiculous sort of way!!

Tokyo Tintin said...


I already talked to Kniepp, who said there was nothing she should do and that it wasn't worth the bother to talk to CTM. I of course ignored her advice completely and emailed CTM anyway. I have yet to hear back. If I don't hear anything I'm going to start lurking in the dark corners of the hall and accost her when she's least expecting it.


I could write it - but would anyone believe me?

Emma said...

Hey, hope the re-sit went well..?

Tokyo Tintin said...

Emma, the resit was fine, I guess, but given that I didn't feel as though I did badly the first time around, I can't really judge.

What a horrible man! Out of all the foreign students, there were only three who actually passed the test! Discrimination much?