Frequently Asked Questions

Number 1
Question: I'm going to be absent from class on (insert date here)---will I miss anything?
Answer: No! Of course not! Well, unless you mean the lecture, examples, homework, demonstrations, discussion, and important announcements. I suggest that you arrange to get the notes from someone in class on the day that you were absent.
Number 2
Question: How can I make up one of the scheduled 1-hour exams that I have to miss because of (select as many as apply)
  1. university sponsored activity
  2. medical emergency
  3. family emergency
  4. abduction and gang probing by aliens previously scheduled
  5. selected for new "Survivor: Mars" show
  6. something else incredibly important to me
Answer: If you have a really, really good excuse other than medical, contact me BEFORE the scheduled exam and I will try to let you take it early. If you are suddenly ill the day of the test, please contact me by phone or e-mail as soon as possible, but well before the next class meeting, and bring a note from your health care provider.
Number 3
Question: How does the lab grade factor into my grade for the course?
Answer: Please see the course outline
Number 4
Question: What score do I need to make on the final to get a particular letter grade for the course?
Answer: Beats me! I won't try to do the calculation for you either, but due to my incredibly generous nature, I have made it easy for you to do yourself using the amazing automatic grade calculator that I wrote.
Number 5
Question: When/where are you going to post the scores for the quiz/exam?
Answer: I will hand your exams back in class just as soon as I grade and record them. Your semester grade will be posted on Banner just as soon as I grade the final---calling, e-mailing, or knocking on my door while I am working on grades just delays the process for everyone. Once they are graded, you may check your exam scores online.
Number 6
Question: Do you curve?
Answer: No. Since the average semester score for this course is fairly high, norming the average to a C (grading on a curve) would lower most student's letter grade.
Number 7
Question: Can you tell me what my grades are?
Answer: No. I hand all of your in-class work back as soon as it is graded and recorded. While I do keep a record, it is extremely time-consuming to look up and e-mail 60 or 70 people their scores during the semester. So, if you want to know how you are doing, come to class, pick up your work, and keep track of it yourself. Of course, you can check your online quiz scores or exam scores anytime.
Number 8
Question: Do I need to bring a bluebook or scantron for the exam?
Answer: No for the bluebook, but Yes for the scantron. You will need a couple of #2-pencils, a good eraser, a simple calculator, and your 3-inch by 5-inch notecard.
Number 9
Question: I have the correct answer on my returned exam, but I coded the wrong answer on the scantron. Can I get credit anyway?
Answer: No. Only if the scanner misreads your scantron can a correction be made after you have turned in your exam and scantron, so please make sure that you code what you intend, including your R-number.
Number 10
Question: I came to all of the classes and tried really hard, so can I make an appointment to see you after the semester to ask for a higher grade than I earned?
Answer: No. If it is fourth down and, even though you tried really hard, you wind up one inch short of the goal line, it still is not a touchdown. And once time expires, the game is over. Everyone has to play by the same rules. So, unless you can demonstrate an actual mistake in your grade, there is no need to schedule a meeting after the semester to ask for special treatment.
Number 11
Question: I didn't really follow the instructions on the grade calculator, but when I don't, it shows that I should be getting a higher grade than the one reported. If I send you email about this after the semester and waste your time, will I get the higher grade anyway?
Answer: No. If you contact me after the semester and you are wrong because you did not follow the directions, then you will drop to one letter grade lower than the one you actually earned---so you better be really sure.
Number 12
Question: I can't figure out how to do the homework, can you show me what I am doing wrong by email?
Answer: No. Dr. Gibson does not do homework or hints by email---it is a poor way to try and explain a problem and there is only one of me, so there is no fair or practical way for me to do this.
Number 13
Question: I just got around to checking over my exam from earlier in the semester and I think that my scantron was scored incorrectly. Can you dig through all the scantrons and regrade mine by hand?
Answer: Yes, if you have checked your returned exam very carefully with the answer key and it is within three class meetings of when the exams were returned. If I do this once and it turns out that your scantron was graded correctly, please don't ask me again.

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