I’m caught up on a lot of grading, but today I now have to explain while they got so much wrong. The mean on the last exam was 75, which isn’t bad, but a lot of students are certain they deserve an A on everything, so I have to tell them today that the grade they got was the grade they deserve, and then explain how to solve the problems correctly. Many of the errors were due to invalid assumptions. For example, some people were confused by the term “wild type” — they had it in their heads, largely from their introductory population genetics course, that wild type was simply the most common phenotype in the cross, so for instance, whatever the phenotype of the heterozygotes was in a simple hybrid cross, that was “wild type”. Yikes. So now I also have to reset my brain and stop assuming they know all the basic conventions.
Next bit of fun: we’re wrapping up a standard complementation assay in the lab, so I have to talk to them about writing up a lab report, which means that, while I’ve finished a painful backlog of grading, I’m about to tell them to create a lot more work for me.
Somehow, in all that, I also have to teach them about deletions, duplications, and translocations this week, and then next week we plunge into the happy world of recombination and gene mapping, and more math. Sometimes I wonder how I can keep going, since I’m pretty sure that by the end of the semester all of my students hate me.