A Case Study on Taking Risks

8 Dec

My last programming assignments was given a mark of 50% because it did not function properly due to a small error. This was very frustrating because I had spent quite a bit of time fixing that error, only to have it show up again when I read my feedback on the grading rubric.

As you may or may not know,  I am into exams and things are very fast paced. Teachers and students alike are eager to get out of here as quickly as possible and forget about the stress of exam time. I had a small window of opportunity if I wanted to protest for a re-grade on my assignment.

It is the morning of my final programming EXAM, and I know that my teacher is notorious for deleting emails from “whining” students and their gripes around deadlines. At this point I had a final exam to study for, I knew the chances of hearing ANYTHING back from my prof were very slim, and in the grand scheme of things this wasn’t going to make or break.  I began to talk myself out of wasting my time, and then I realized…

If it seems like it’s a big opportunity, don’t be afraid to fail. If you do it right you probably won’t fail, and if you do you are no worse off than when you started! –SecretSource

So what exactly did I stand to gain? About 4% added on to my final course grade, and more importantly, the satisfaction of knowing I had not “settled”.I began writing a positive email thanking him for introducing me to programming, getting me as excited as I am to learn more about it, and lecturing in an engaging manner. I asked him if he would consider re-grading my code, provided that he felt the new code was not significantly different from the old code that was submitted on time. A little while later he replied with a “Ok send it to me and I’ll consider it”.
After my Chemistry exam the next day I ran to the lab and emailed him the assignment. I checked back after a day, and there was no reply..

Well today I was rather pleased when I found a new grade had been posted online, of 97%. I can’t recall ever learning so much from a single assignment. Things like code writing strategies, debugging and effective negotiating.

My intent here is that the next time one of us is contemplating risk, we take the time to really weigh and consider what we stand to lose, and what we stand to gain.

After all,

Life begins where your comfort zone ends.





3 Responses to “A Case Study on Taking Risks”

  1. Mom December 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    nice story..thanks for sharing it with us. Now did you remember to send him a final “thank you” email for taking the time to regrade your revised assignment, or thank him in person? Its good to “close the loop” in my opinion…

  2. Sandra Murphy December 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    ANGUS, what a nice story. You made our DAY! You are learning quickly and your rational in this case was right on the mark! Keep up the good work and we will see you soon. Love & Hugs Grampy & Grandmother.

    On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 11:14 PM, GallowayNews

    • Angus December 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it Grandmother!

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