College and Cookies, or, that Pesky Participation Grade


One trend I am noticing as I start taking smaller classes is that more and more Professors are dedicating a percentage of the final grade to participation. Don’t get me wrong- I’m pretty sure creating a blog demonstrates how much I like to talk and, you know, generally participate in life. In most classes, I have something to say about almost every discussion (except the ones on readings that I…lightly skimmed). My biggest problem with participation grades is how much it puts you at the Professor’s mercy. Admittedly, as a history major most of my grades are pretty subjectively based on essays. I have resigned myself to the fact that, while most Professors agree on what a good essay is, the line between good and great is blurry and extremely dependent on the Professor.

I can never tell with participation. Is great participation speaking several times every class? Does it have to do with speaking…at all? My best idea of good participation is having the Professor know your name within the first couple of weeks. My dearest friends, we are nearing the end of my ‘couple of weeks,’ and let me tell you that I have a certain Professor who still did not know my name. How, you might ask, do I know that? Well, let me tell you.

This Professor likes to pick students out of the class. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, half the time she does this she isn’t even asking a question; she might just want to use your name in an example to illustrate her point. Well, during our last class she called on the girl next to me twice, the girl behind me three times, and one girl (whose name is a super-rememberable Glynnis) at least five times. How many times did she call on me? None.

Coming into this week I had a strategy. This morning, after my 10:00 class was over I pulled butter out of the fridge, and after lunch, I made cookies. I made 36 beautiful golden brown chocolate chip cookies, and I arranged them wonderfully on a plate. I covered it with foil and marched it across the street to the history building. Throwing open the door triumphantly, I announced to the half-empty classroom that I had made cookies. And the rest, as they say, was history.

oh yes, I kept tally

and this is what I brought home...

In other news, I finally finished my second sleeve! Victory is MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for the fact that, you know, I still have to block the sleeves and seam the whole business. And then there’s that collar that I still haven’t decided on. Well, I’ll try to record that for you guys, and I’ll post those as soon as I get to it.



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