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Actually, it’s due next week…and we’ve changed it!

March 9th, 2006 at 06:15am

I had an assignment which I thought was due on Tuesday. I did a lot of work on this assignment, brought it up to and beyond my standard for finished assignments, and brought it with me to the class it was due for on Tuesday evening.

In this class it became apparent that the assignment is due next week…OK no problem, early submission is fine…but wait, the assignment is changing before my eyes, suddenly there are a bunch of new bits and pieces in it, suddenly I have to take my assignment home and rewrite th whole thing, suddenly a heap of my work, time and effort has been wasted. This is an issue, and it becomes an even more serious issue when you consider that I was up all night on the night before “submission” putting the finishing touches on this assignment, so that I wouldn’t have to do so in the afternoon after a very important meeting which would go for an unknown length of time.

Now I have to rearrange my schedule for the coming week, which is already looking busy, in order to rewrite an assignment which was changed with a week to go. It could just be me, but in my opinion all assignments should be properly defined when they are issued, they may have minor changes (eg. corrections) after that, but the entire submission format should not be changed, nor should vital aspects of the assignment.

I’ll admit that the due date error was mine and mine alone, but that doesn’t matter as nobody would mind if I handed in an assignment a week before it was due. What matters is that I spent good time, and put in a lot of effort to produce an assignment which now has to be rewritten and redesigned. I am not impressed, and my level of annoyance has not changed since Tuesday night, when this entire debacle of teaching methodology occured.

You may have noticed that I am being very bereft of specific details here, and there is a reason for that. The teachers involved know that I am not happy about this, various students also know it, however I feel that this was a mistake, I don’t think that the teachers in question set out to change the assignment with a week left. I get the distinct impression that certain details were simply absent from the original assignment sheet and the teachers didn’t notice. I therefore have no reason to “name and shame”. I have provided enough detail for you to understand the story, and for the teachers in question to know who they are. I see no point in naming the teachers, they know who they are and I don’t think it will happen again. The incident is regrettable and annoying, but these things happen, and there is minimal point in dwelling on it.

All I can say is that I am not expecting my second version of the assignment to be up to the same standard as my first version, I just don’t see how that will be possible in the abbreviated amount of time available to work on it.


Entry Filed under: Bizarreness,Samuel News,Samuel's Editorials

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  • 1. Kerces  |  March 9th, 2006 at 11:00 am

    Sam, do you not get a unit outlin at the start of the semester with the requirements, due dates and assessment criteria for each assignement for that unit in it? If so, then it is usual policy that nothing in this unit outline can be changed without consent from all students in the course.

    That said, some of my lecturers say you have an essay, here’s the topic and you’ll be told more details closer to the time (such as detailed assessment criteria and so on).

  • 2. Samuel  |  March 9th, 2006 at 11:59 am

    I admit that the due date error was mine, the thing I’m upset about is the change to the assignment without prior notice, one week out from the due date. If it weren’t for that change, I could have submitted my assignment a week early and nobody would have had to see or hear of this gripe of mine.

  • 3. cunninglinguist  |  March 9th, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    My 13 year old nephew with autism does not cope very well with changes like you do, he finds it very hard to just go with the flow.

    Samuel, do you think you may have Asperger’s (the “Silicon Valley” syndrome) to some degree?

  • 4. Samuel  |  March 9th, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    You’re the second person to ask me that in under a month cunninglinguist.

    I fit some, but not all of the criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • 5. cunninglinguist  |  March 9th, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    There are varying degrees of the syndrome, and not all people diagnosed with it have all of the attributes. You display a high intelligence, but certainly have some of the other characteristics. A friend of mine who works in the field of paediatric behaviour has been reading your posts and she is pretty certain (without meeting you in person of course) that you are in the spectrum autistic behaviour, perhaps Asperger’s. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, much of the population can have some of these behaviours to some degree without it being noticeable.

  • 6. Samuel  |  March 9th, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    See if you can get her to contact me cunninglinguist, I would be very interested to talk with her.

  • 7. gorie  |  March 9th, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    While I agree that it’s unfair, things like this happen every day in the real world in real jobs. Especially in the IT industry. Take the setback in your stride and learn from it rather than dwelling on it 😀

  • 8. demented_cupcake  |  March 9th, 2006 at 11:40 pm

    One of the interesting things about “Aspergers” is that it is NOT as clear-cut as classic autism.

    Sometimes, when I read comments like I’ve just read hear, I wonder if labelling someone “Aspergers” is JUST a put-down.

    My girlfriend has a son who is classic autistic, non-verbal. I don’t quibble on that diagnosis. It’s clear cut.

    But the definition of “Aspergers” is vague…and now seems to be used more as a way to put down someone who DOES do better with brains than someone who gets by being borderline ethical.

    Then again, I always wonder why we give too much credence to extravert people and think that’s the ONLY valid personality type.

    Cunninglinguist, I don’t want to see a comment like that again.

  • 9. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  March 9th, 2006 at 11:43 pm


    Samuel this site may be useful.

    I think it’s not right to say Sam may have a disorder from what we see on the web!.

    We would need to know sam in the flesh

  • 10. demented_cupcake  |  March 9th, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    These days, calling someone Aspergers seems to be used as a way to invalidate smarter people.

    Says something about the jocks who can’t handle someone with brains overcoming the skewed social crap we get fed by the more aggressive, overly-extroverted types.

  • 11. demented_cupcake  |  March 10th, 2006 at 12:00 am

    It MUST be time for another “Revenge of the Nerds” movie.

  • 12. Chuck A. Spear  |  March 10th, 2006 at 2:02 am

    I would go postal. Make them pay Samuel!

  • 13. lucylou  |  March 10th, 2006 at 11:43 am


    I would actually be annoyed to, this has happened to me before and it is frustrating. It presumes that all people do assignments the night before and is not condusive to learning. Apparently a unit outline is the contract for learning, which means once published it can’t be changed. Legally I think you would be well within your rights to hand in the assignment as is and have it marked based on the criteria given in the beginning.

    Here is some information about Asperger’s in case you are interested:

    Individuals with AS can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with AS show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with AS has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with AS may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. It’s important to remember that the person with AS perceives the world very differently. Therefore, many behaviors that seem odd or unusual are due to those neurological differences and not the result of intentional rudeness or bad behavior, and most certainly not the result of “improper parenting”.

    By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area. Because of their high degree of functionality and their naiveté, those with AS are often viewed as eccentric or odd and can easily become victims of teasing and bullying. While language development seems, on the surface, normal, individuals with AS often have deficits in pragmatics and prosody. Vocabularies may be extraordinarily rich and some children sound like “little professors.” However, persons with AS can be extremely literal and have difficulty using language in a social context.

  • 14. wonko the sane  |  March 10th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Well, you can check ‘soft clothing’ off the list. Witness the skivvy.

  • 15. demented_cupcake  |  March 10th, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    If it were a PROBLEM to have trouble coming to terms with the “real world” and its SPIN, then there’d be a LOT of aspergers syndrome cases.

    But it comes down to “judging the judgers”

    SHOULD one be bullied for having trouble trying to figure out the vagaries of “real word”, supposedly “cool” behavior? Should one be considered abnormal or have a problem because of people who think it’s “normal” to have borderline ethics, or worse, no ethics at all?

    I remember reading in the past couple of years that schoolyard bullies go into three areas: Business, politics and psychology.

    Three guesses, then, why it seems having higher ethics, naivette, or a desire to wish for a better world or people who REALLY live up to their stated values is being considered more and more “abnormal”.

    Or why there’s now starting to be an idea in pschology to have “aspergers syndrome” people medicated merely for the sake of some pharmaceutical companies’ profit.

    In this site, I see a person who has a lot of skills in a lot of areas the “cool” people don’t. So he’s NOT the world’s greatest artist…big deal. So quit the put downs of him.

    Perhaps it may well be some people don’t like the idea someone like Sam may be a more positive contributor to humanity than they would be.

    Again, quit the invalidation.

  • 16. flakey blondie samspam  |  March 10th, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Nothing wrong with seeing the world differently…the world DOES have a lot of CRAP to it, a lot of the time

  • 17. flakey blondie samspam  |  March 10th, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Without seeing it differently, we’d never achieve anything POSITIVE

  • 18. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  March 11th, 2006 at 12:37 am

    Demented Cupcake needs to realise that pyschologist’s cannot prescribe medication for starters.
    Pychiatrist’s can, they are medical doctors’ pyschologist’s have not had the anatomy and physiology behind them.
    Pyschologist’s are more along the lines of therapist’s. They are under the umbrella term ” social science”.
    Pychiatrist’s are doctors with a medical degree who have specialised in the chemical processes solely in the brain.

  • 19. wonko the sane  |  March 11th, 2006 at 1:49 am

    I’ve been reading this site daily for a month or so now, Demented, and most of the regular readers are encouraging and full of praise for sam’s individuality and unique spirit.

    Are you a psychiatrist? You seem convinced Sam has some sort of mental condition, and so therefore most of the readers who enjoy Sam’s site so much are here for the purposes of mocking the author — who is rendered by his condition helpless and not capable of engaging in a bit of persiflage.

    I for one am loathe to leap to such a hasty conclusion based on one (interesting) post copied and pasted from an online medical dictionary intended for someone none of us have ever met.

    For the record, I want to protest on my own behalf at this veiled accusation at anyone who has ever posted here.

    I am surprised and delighted by Sam’s blog almost daily. I find it stimulating and immensely satisfying, like a flat white on a busy day. For my own part, I hope my attempts to join in and add a bit of absurd humor to the proceedings haven’t been taken by other users, or Sam himself, as being malicious. It’s all in good fun. If there is one thing Samuel doesnt lack, it’s a thin skin.

    Plus, I am greatly enjoying the many talents of Sam’s correspondents on this blog.

    So, I say with the greatest respect, dry up, take a deep breath, and don’t take yourself and everything around you so seriously.

  • 20. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Wonko, try reading what I wrote carefully and in context first…I’m NOT the one trying to say Sam has a condition. In fact, I’m very much the LAST person who would call him anything negative.

    What I’ve written protests those who HAVE thought he has a condition. AND I’ve protested the ridiculous basis they’ve had for making such assessments.

    Seems to be some people want to make a negative out of his drawing skills.

    As I said earlier…why worry so much about his drawings, when he shows HEAPS more talents just in this site alone.

    Normally I like humor myself. And I don’t mind a little satire. That’s how I came to join the site.

    But I don’t believe in putting someone down or invalidating them with a term or a label.

    I have a girlfriend with a son with classic autism, also her son is non-verbal. He’s a kid with a gentle nature in spite of his condition. But he’s a clear cut case. But even him I’d defend if I saw half the comments I’ve seen in this topic used or bandied towards children with classic autism.

    I also have something against the type of labelling done in society by so-called “cool” people against the people who don’t fit limited definitions of cool.

    Cunninglinguist started a side-issue to the topic by saying something about Sam perhaps having Aspergers Syndrome.

    Unlike classic autism, Aspergers Syndrome is highly debateable and is more often a PUT-DOWN.

    If they did another “Revenge of the Nerds” movie in 2006, it’d probably have the plot of the Nerds being diagnosed AS simply to give the Jocks an unfair advantage.

    And Kooky_pound_puppy…that point you raised was to do with a SEPERATE discussion we had OFF-site. Kooky, you missed the point of what I was saying HERE.

  • 21. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 11:12 am

    Here’s the starting plot of “Revenge of the Nerds 2006: The Jocks Strike Back”. (Yes Wonko, I am taking a deep breath and now doing some satire).

    Having survived the machinations of the Jocks in the first three movies, the Nerds of 2006 find their efforts and successes denigrated as the Jocks enlist the help of jocks in the psychiatric industry.

    The nerds find themselves suddenly labelled as “Aspergers Syndrome” cases. Their successes ignored as the Jocks concentrate on the things the nerds aren’t good at.

    Most of the jocks are in politics, business and psychiatry.

    The nerds decide to fight back and come up with LINUX.

    Could be a comedy, could be a drama.

    How’s THAT for taking a deep breath, Wonko?

  • 22. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Now….Kooky_pound_puppy…does a psychiatrist having all that lot of qualifications you mentioned make them absolutely correct, or infallible?

    I cite a case of a psychiatrist I heard of. With all that training and all those qualifications. Yet, let’s go by his results.

    He had six patients who suicided in the space of two months. He had one patient who NEVER improved, no matter what was tried. Years later, the patient isn’t any different or any better of, no matter what medication is tried.

    On that patient…when handed over to OTHER psychiatrists, his LATER psychiatrists ADMITTED they didn’t have GREAT precision on the subject of chemical imbalances. If it’s SUPPOSED to be chemical imbalance, then there should be a logic that IF you know what chemicals are OUT of balance, then it should be possible to RE-BALANCE. When such logic was put to such psychiatrists, they ADMITTED it wasn’t that simple and that the stuff they talk about isn’t THAT precise.

    Kooky, you believe such shrinks blindly, the rest of us will use a bit of CRITICAL analysis (and proper scientific application) and NOT believe them so blindly.

    Going by the results cited…sounds like the psychiatric industry is in heavy need of REFORM.

  • 23. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 11:37 am

    While we’re on this…one should look at the history of one or two of the major pharmaceutical companies.

    Over a hundred years ago, one major German pharmaceutical company invented HEROIN…and marketted it, originally, as a :”cough suppressant”.

    Over sixty years ago, that SAME pharmaceutical company joined with ANOTHER major pharmaceutical company, and a chemical/recording media company in Germany and came up with something more insidious…Zyklon B gas.

    Are we to presume these companies STILL running today have any MORALS or ETHICS?

    Not judging by their history.

    They’re mainly PROFIT oriented. Patent oriented. They make business by there being MORE problems, not less.

    And they fete doctors these days to get them to prescribe their products, whether they TRULY do any good or NOT.

    Can’t see such companies putting themselves out of business by REALLY curing anything.

    Now, back to my regular-scheduled SATIRE and COMEDY.

  • 24. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Wonko, my apologies…I now realize you were taking kooky and the other girl to task.

  • 25. flakey blondie samspam  |  March 11th, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Most of the jocks are in politics, business and psychiatry.

    More like homeless, in jail, and living in the past.

  • 26. flakey blondie samspam  |  March 11th, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Let me rephrase that ..That’s where the jocks should be!!!!

  • 27. Kooky_Pound_Puppy  |  March 11th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

    demented cup cupcake codiene heroins legal “brother” is still used as a cough suppresant it works.

  • 28. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    I rest my case, your honor

  • 29. wonko the sane  |  March 11th, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Demented… have it your own way. Also, my sixth grade English teacher taught me to use capitalised WORDS only SPARINGLY because it points out your weakness with the English langauge. If you need to capitalise a word for emphasis, you’re probably using the wrong word for the job and need to think more carefully.

  • 30. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Hmmm…it’s not easy to use italics here.

    I’m also a comic reader, where they usually do have some way of emphasizing words, either by bold or otherwise, so I’ve probably picked up some of that.

    I remember an English teacher who told me not to write essays over 300 words…yet, thanks to that, I didn’t have good preparation for the following year at uni, where 2000 words plus was the average.

    Be nice if some teachers could make up their minds…

  • 31. Samuel  |  March 11th, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    It’s easy to use italics…either use the (i)text(/i) or (em)text(/em) tags (replacing the brackets with the angular brackets of course).

  • 32. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Mind you, though, if we worry over-much about style over content….

  • 33. demented_cupcake  |  March 11th, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Sam…

    By the way, you’ve been very quiet during this.

  • 34. wonko the sane  |  March 12th, 2006 at 4:01 am

    Demented, why would you use ‘over-much’? What’s wrong with ‘too much’? I’m no writer, but verbosity and flowery, emotive language for the sake of it I find irritating.

    Any valid points you made during your long, rambling, purple rants were lost in flurries of inexplicable capitalisation, parroting of first-year phych lecture notes, bewildering tangents which don’t seem to have anything to do with anything. launching into a rave about evil drug companies does little to support your original argument about nasty people ‘invalidating’ Sam’s artwork; in fact it muddies any rational thought you had gathered together in the first place. Which wasn’t much.

    I understand you feel very passionately about the evils of drug companies, bullies, and discrimination against people with disabilities, but is a blog devoted to persiflage the place to get all placard-wavy?

    Also, somebody that appears to treat humour like a cup of tea

    (‘Normally I like humor myself. And I don’t mind a little satire’) is clearly lacking in a sense of one.

    And, last of all, anybody that uses the old ‘you shouldn’t concentrate on my spelling/lack of articulation’ argument to defend their semi-illeterate posts needs to have rocks dropped on their heads. Seriously. I cried about this when my sister laughed at me for calling her a ‘lair’ instead of a ‘liar’ in a bitter note concerning a dispute over a 1927 tape back in 1985.

    I’m sorry, but for some reason demented really sh*ts me.

  • 35. demented_cupcake  |  March 12th, 2006 at 10:49 am

    Initially, Wonko, I made the apology because a friend pointed out your comments may have been toward Kooky and LucyLou.

    A close look at the commas in your introductory line show you were taking ME to task.

    So what did you miss, Wonko? How did this line of thought start? With Cunninglinguist suggesting Sam may have Aspergers, based on some vague reasoning.

    It’s not the first time it’s been suggested…if you were aware of some of the other sites Sam’s known on, you hear that and a few other crap comments.

    I usually just have a mild, joking post to some of the other topics, but never take a dig at Sam.

    The tangent on drug companies came because of the job Kooky does. Kooky and I were having a discussion during the week on what she brought up, but I felt it had no relevence to what I was talking about here.

    Actually, I wasn’t parroting anything. Not lecture notes. I was talking from experience.

    If you look carefully, Wonko…I’m in support of Sam. But I don’t think you’re reading that, are you?

    This is why you’re concentrating more on my style.

    You’re not reading what I’m actually saying.

    I’ll reiterate…I’m not the one thinking Sam has Aspergers. In fact, I consider him very normal and talented.

    By the same token, Wonko, my girlfriend’s son DOES have classic autism. I consider my girlfriend’s son a worthwhile human being.

    So…I don’t like people making someone NORMAL out to have a condition they don’t really have…and I don’t like people who put down those who really DO have a condition.

    Try getting your head around that concept.

    Or are you deliberately misinterpretting?

  • 36. demented_cupcake  |  March 12th, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Maybe I should start writing a screenplay of that “Revenge of the Nerds 2006” plot.

    Should I add you as a character, Wonko? Your choice of which side, Nerds or Jocks. Or perhaps you want to play a jock pretending to be a nerd?

    Oh, and I’ll market myself as a Laxette!

  • 37. Samuel  |  March 12th, 2006 at 11:52 am

    Alright I think this post has gone beyond serving a useful purpose, comments are now closed on this post.


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