David White's  Instablog

David White
Send Message
David White is a software/firmware/marketing professional and a long time investor. He has worked in the networking field, the semiconductor equipment field, the mainframe computer field, and the pharmaceutical/scientific instrumentation field. He has bachelor's degrees in bioresource sciences... More
  • Some Are Challenging My Veracity Re A Grade Challenge In College. 33 comments
    Dec 18, 2012 12:59 AM | about stocks: SPY

    Some gossip seems to be using an old grade challenge in College (U.C. Berkeley) to try to say I am not truthful about my stock calls, etc. Hence I think I need to clarify this.

    I challenged about 20% of a full professor's answers on one final exam. To support my claim I got a letter from an expert in the field of each question. One letter came from one of the editors of a book titled "The Kidney". He was widely regarded as an expert on the kidney; and I talked to the biggest expert at Stanford too, who agreed with him. Another letter came from a UCSF professor who was doing research on the exact topic of the question. I located him through a highly esteemed full professor in Biochemistry at U.C. Berkeley. In other words some professors at U.C. Berkeley agreed that I deserved to win my challenge. That UCSF professor later became head of the UCSF Biotech Center. It would seem he was really an expert. A third professor did not fully agree with me on another question. However, she did think I had sufficient reason to challenge my grade. She did seem to believe that my grade did not reflect the actual level of my knowledge. I later heard a rumor that she started a research project to investigate my contention. I heard she end up proving me correct. I heard some comments about my advancing medical science to get my grade changed. Much of the rumors about the third case above was just rumor, as I have stated. However, there is probably at least a 75%-80% chance that what I heard happened exactly as I have stated.

    I further point out that I did not get my grade changed based on these disagreements. I only got the three professors involved (one especially) to agree that my test was not a fair test of my knowledge or performance. My argument was: the professor could not possibly have taught me how to answer the questions correctly, if he could not answer them correctly himself. I thought then and I think now that this was a fair argument.

    I won the right to take another test. I had to wait until the class was taught again to make it a fair situation. I got my grade changed to reflect my performance on that test and on the previous two test in the original class. I ended up with an A-. It was only that low because I didn't realize exactly what the professor was asking for on a large question on the second test. I had actually known all of the things the professor wanted me to write down. However, I did not understand that he was asking for all of that data. I gave what many would consider a stock answer to that question. That's the way it goes sometimes.

    At least two of the professors were very amicable throughout this process. They even seemed a bit grateful to me for updating some of their course material, although they were not grateful for all the extra trouble. I would say we were generally on good terms after this was all over.

    David White

    Stocks: SPY
Back To David White's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (1)
Track new comments
  • Macomber T
    , contributor
    Comments (376) | Send Message
     
    The days of college are gone - thank goodness! The professors I found was someone to yell at in my youth. There wasn't a day that they did something right! Four years later, that was enough mental torture. Still can't believe - but someone has to give them a job!
    23 Jan 2013, 04:06 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some are now apparently saying I just kept complaining until they gave me a grade I was satisfied with. There is probably some truth to that. However, as I see it, my claims were all justified.

     

    Further my dean told me almost before I started, that the department in question had managed to ignore just about everyone who had made complaints in previous years. Hence my strategy of getting written opinions from people who were really the foremost experts in the US in the subject of the question they were providing an answer for. When the next step in the complaint cycle is a complaint to the Academic Senate of the University, not many professors would want that to happen, if the complainant has letters agreeing with his complaint from the foremost experts in the country.

     

    I also point out that there were many other people in the class who did not complaint. It was my impression that they did not know enough to want to seriously question the professor's answers. The fact that I did would tend to indicate that I did know what I was talking about.

     

    In fact one of the more friendly of the three professors involved asked me how I was so sure I was correct (before I potentially made a fool of myself by asking true experts for their opinions). I answered him honestly. Apparently some students had heard of my complaints success, and they then wanted their grades changed. There were clues in the course and elsewhere that indicated the professor's answers were wrong. However, I do acknowledge that the cases involved were "wrong" due to leading edge scientific development.
    21 Dec 2013, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » There now seem to be some who want to say this isn't so. However, the experts who wrote me the above cited letters are still around; and they are honest. The clear implication of these new rumors is that somehow they "GAVE" this to me. However, I probably knew more than the main professor involved about several aspects of the course. I went to the next iteration of the class in case the material changed as part of the process. During that time, I had more than one student tell me that they thought I knew the material better than the professor teaching the class. I think it is safe to say that I deserved the grade I got, when I got it. In fact, I probably would have gotten a higher grade except that I did not realize the professor wanted as much detail on one question as he apparently did. Such things happen, and there is little one can do.

     

    I would also point out that the University dismantled that department not too long after this. They spread out the professors in other departments. I know of at least one that left. I am sure part of this was due to fact that many of the professors in that department reached retirement age at about the same time. I also believe that there was some outrage from professors in other departments, who had had their good students have trouble in that department. These "good and concerned" professors had really known that there was some "cover for the other professor regardless of whether a student gets hurt" behavior going on. When my complaint pointed out clearly that these professors had been correct, I am sure they were more angry. Keep in mind that some professors were actively helping me. These professors may have had a hand in the eventual disbanding of this department.
    12 Apr 2014, 04:43 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should also point out that people should not always focus too much on GRADES in such cases. If I proved 20% of the professor's final exam answers wrong, did the people who got A's deserve to get A's? How did they come up with wrong answers to match the professor's? I tend to think the professor fed the answers to the known good students in his department. This would explain why professors from other departments with good students in that class and other classes in this department seemed angry at this department. Of course, this last is just supposition on my part. I can only guess that the department's reply to their anger was likely that the courses were just harder. That must have made those professors just that much madder.

     

    As for other classes, I took another in this department in which the professor described one process 5 different times. He gave one description 3 times, and another incompatible description 2 times. He was one of the older professors. Some students taped his lectures, and they agreed with this dichotomy. There were a lot of areas for confusion in the lectures. When you add in that many fewer processes were not well understood at that time, there was even more room for confusion. In other words, the professor could not have accurately described some of the processes given the current knowledge available at that time. Yet students were expected to answer questions on them on the tests.

     

    I should mention that the Provost Dean of Letters and Sciences attended all of this last professor's lectures a few years after I took that class. I had little to do with that. I assumed, since the Provost Dean was a very busy man, that he was attending in order to assess a variety of different complaints about the lectures. I attended a class near that one, so I did personally see the Provost Dean going to the classes myself.
    13 Apr 2014, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The rumor mill in reply to this has in some cases said that I am just mad that the last professor did not feed the answers to me.

     

    I was and am mad; but not for that reason. I am mad that he was feeding them to anyone. I was working very hard both in and outside of school at the time. Therefore I was mad at being treated to some poor and confused lectures. I should clarify that many professors at CAL do give good to great lectures. I was madder that the professor beyond the first week or two just refused to answer my questions. I at first thought this was just a personal dislike, especially when he started insulting me to other students. I later realized (a couple of years later) that he was in all likelihood just scared of my questions; and he was trying to scare me away by hazing me. I was mad that he seemed to be suffering (in my estimation and I have seen a lot of alcoholics) from acute alcoholism. I was mad when a couple of my friends who were pre-vet (and had jobs at the nearby horse racing track) told me that he was spending a lot of his time at the track. So yes, I was mad.
    14 Apr 2014, 05:23 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Further rumors talk of two twin sisters I referred to a specialist. First they were friends of my sister (and to some extent my friends). They were very beautiful. There was some talk of one of them dating me. My sister felt I should know about a family trait that caused them to look less good later in life. Since I had been studying that recently at CAL, I knew that the problem could be solved; and I told my sister to explain the whole thing to them (I explained it to her). I referred them to a doctor at UCSF Medical Center who specialized in that medical problem. She had been a guest lecturer in one of my classes; and I was impressed with her knowledge of the subject, etc. From the recent rumors, they are still beautiful as a result.

     

    I also have heard that all I did was hang around the gym then. This was true to some extent when I got my first degree. I played on a varsity athletic team. However, during the time I was getting my second degree, I spent little time in the gym, although I still worked out a little. This situations above both occurred during the second degree period. Any slur implying that I just "played" is a completely FALSE slur. I was a full-time student (and I generally did very well). I worked part time; and I did volunteer work on top of that. I consider implications that I was lazy in any way at that time to be complete slander. There may still be a connection to the gym. In the first degree, the team I played on won a Western States Championship. Therefore my picture was still hanging in the gym for many year afterward. The university tends to display championship team pictures for a long time. If people recognize you from the gym (your picture), it does not necessarily mean you are there all the time. It was partially my impression that this professor did not like guys who were smarter, better looking, and college athletes on top of all his other problems with me.

     

    The main other professor in question was more athletic and I think good looking, so these things did not seem to be a problem with him.
    16 Apr 2014, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Now apparently some are wondering why the beautiful women did not find out what I told them from their own doctor. There are several likely explanations:

     

    1. At that time the treatment for the problem was relatively new. A lot of doctors probably did not even know there was a solution. The class I took was a semi-advanced endocrinology course. About one third of the lectures were given by expert specialists (MDs) in specific fields from UCSF Medical Center. Apparently the professor did not feel expert enough to teach them (or perhaps he intended to use their material the next year).

     

    2. When you go to see a doctor, there is usually a patient history chart to fill out. Esoteric problems like this one do not normally appear on such history questionaire charts. Therefore most doctors who see their patients for very short periods of time would not know there was anything wrong with what would appear to him/her to be a beautiful and healthy female. The doctor would simply not know there was anything that needed treatment unless he did a very comprehensive history. Most times this would not happen unless a patient complained. If that patient thought there was nothing that could be done about it, the patient would be unlikely to complain. I had the advantage of my sister trying to warn me that the woman I might date might not be as beautiful all of her life. Therefore I knew something was wrong. Due to my education, I also knew it could be treated effectively. Therefore I referred them to a specialist who could do so. I am happy I was able to help. They are both very beautiful and very nice women.

     

    3. Since this was relatively new science at that time, it is very possible that many doctors did not know what I knew. Therefore such doctors would not have known that it could be cured.

     

    This is not the only instance where I have done something like this. For instance, my uncle was arranging a trip of a group of doctors to the Philippines one time. I heard him tell one of the other doctors going (over the phone) to take chloroquine to the Philippines with him. This is an anti-malarial drug. Since I had recently taken a course in parasitology, I knew that there was 10% chloroquine resistance in the Philippines. I had the most up to date information. I suggested to my aunt that they actually take mefloquine. This was a new drug -- a chloroquine analog -- which had the same mode of action. However, the malaria strains in the Philippines were not resistant to it at that time. I believe they took my advice. This was many years ago. Apparently most doctors were not familiar with this drug yet. I like to think I prevented one or more doctors from coming home with malaria. The bottom line is that doctors are human beings. They don't know every new development as soon as the knowledge becomes available. Hopefully they keep learning; but that requires effort on their part that they do not directly get paid for. Some are better at continued learning that than others.
    16 Apr 2014, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should add in case there is any question, these two identical twins were two of the most beautiful women I have ever seen (at least at the time I last saw them). Each one could literally make Miss America look bad.
    16 Apr 2014, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should also add that CAL could easily screen for the type of behavior that I believe the "hazing" professor was practicing. They could get their computer science department to write programs that would be able to easily correlate GPA data, whether the student was in the major or not, and performance in a class. If no low GPA students in the major did well in a class, that would probably be a tell. If the non-major high GPA students did considerably worse than the high GPA students in the major, that would be a tell. The professor would in all likelihood be feeding answers to good students in the major. If this happened in many of his/her classes, the odds of "feeding the answers to students" would increase dramatically. In other words, with the current computer technology, CAL has no excuse for not preventing the type of behavior I have described. The exams are supposed to be FAIR to all students in the classes, not just easy for the ones the professor decides to favor with his/her benevolence.

     

    If they want to decry me for what I have said, they can. But they are then only really insulting themselves by failing to admit that this is probably still happening in some cases (and consciously covering it up).

     

    For the "hazing" professor, I was aware that he was checking grades for many students. In fact the few times I was in the head of the department's office (where the departments grade records were being kept then), he came in an inordinate number of times in order to inspect people's grades. I am sure the department head saw a lot more of him. For her to claim that she had no idea what he may have been doing is extremely hard to believe (if not impossible).
    17 Apr 2014, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some are apparently saying that all I did was make those professors worse. However, I am not sure they could have gotten much worse in how fair (unfair) they were to many students. Some of the professors were actually good professors, if some of their material was a bit out of date. They did give good lectures, and they were generally fair. However, virtually all of the professors in that department did seem to cover for a professor who made serious mistakes, and/or mistreated students, and/or fed answers to the "higher GPA" students in their department. Then too there were many times exam questions that were very vague. Some other answer made perfect sense to the questions; but the professor would accept only the one he had come up with. In other words they were sloppy about what questions they asked and about how they asked them. Yet they expected their exact answers to be provided by the students (perhaps easy if you were fed the answers). Many students, especially those not fed the expected answers, were hurt by this.

     

    My general take on the one who did the hazing of me (and fed answers to the "good students in his department") was that he got "experts from UCSF Medical Center" to guest lecture for his class. Then he used those same lectures in future classes himself. The problem with this was that he seemed to have only a surface level knowledge of the topics. This likely accounted for his sometimes confused lectures. It likely accounted for him not wanting to answer questions that required a more "in depth" knowledge of the material. I ended up concluding that this was likely the reason for his hazing and shunning of me, although one time he did turn beet red at one of my few questions during a lecture (revenge?). He had been unable to answer this question, and he was apparently embarrassed. This was perhaps more embarrassing because he was nearly bald. His whole head turned beet red.

     

    I hadn't early on tried to be anything, but pleasant to him. Naturally when he started hazing me, my opinion of him fell dramatically. However, it took me some time to realize what the likely explanation for this was. When later my pre-vet friends told me he was spending a lot of time at the track, I thought my conclusions about him were even more likely to be true. He was not just betting. He was spending a lot of time around the stables trying to get tips from the various people working at the track. This level of betting takes a lot of time.

     

    I also heard that some of the professors at UCSF and Stanford that I talked to about the second professor's test would not talk to the professors in that department. I had nothing to do with this. That was entirely their issue. I had my own friends at UCSF and Stanford. Plus one of the biggest experts, I "cold" called. I did not know him. I had never met or talked to him before, although I did like him right away.

     

    Further a couple of friends did volunteer to write letters for my complaint. However, I asked them if they considered themselves experts in the field. They did not. Therefore I kept searching for "true experts". I was satisfied that the people I eventually got to write me letters were in fact "real experts". My impression was that the CAL professors thought my selections were experts too. They were a bit embarrassed by my having spread their questionable behavior to other schools, although this was never my intent. I was merely searching for "real experts".
    21 Apr 2014, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Apparently some people are now saying the department could have just abused me more the second time because they had nothing to fear. I guess I am just one of those people whom you can only push so far. My next step would have been to appeal to the Academic Senate of CAL; and I think they would have ruled in my favor. I could really prove a significant portion of the professor's expected answers to his own test were wrong. Second I may not have had much money at that time; but I knew a lot of lawyers (even a bunch Harvard Law School educated lawyers). Some were my parents age. Some were people I knew from playing tennis and squash. Some were friends from other areas. I even had a semi-local relative or two to call. I am fairly sure that one or more of them would have been willing to sue for me on a contingency basis. If some person or persons want to believe there was nothing to worry about, that is their prerogative. However, that person or persons is almost certainly wrong. With the case I had (and the kind of lawyers I knew) I almost certainly would have won a lawsuit. I just chose not to sue if I didn't have too.
    22 Apr 2014, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should also mention mention that I had previously complained about the class where I later found out part of the problem was likely that the professor involved spent a good part of his time at the nearby horse racing track. I went up against a panel in that case (4 people within the department and one professor from a different department). The psychology professor basically said to me at that time that he fully expected that I would win the next complaint I made. In other words, he essentially agreed with my complaint, although I admit now that it was poorly presented. He didn't think I would mince any words the second time. He didn't think I would back down a second time. He was right. I had tried to be too polite the first time. That has no place in a courtroom or in a serious complaint.

     

    The second time they didn't bother with a committee. They stonewalled me until they knew they could no longer do so. Then they essentially gave in to anything reasonable that I asked for.
    21 Sep 2015, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some now say I only managed to convince the psychology professor. However, they missed my point. The professor heading the complaint committee had been legally required to get two students appointed by ASUC. Instead she selected two of her own graduate students, who were never going to vote against her, if they hoped to get their Ph.D.'s. Second she selected two of the oldest professors in the department, who probably were slacking off as they neared their retirements too. In other words two who would only feel sympathy for the professor involved. From the moment I walked in the room, I never had a prayer. I knew that then, and I didn't bother with much of a defense. The psychology professor merely read me. It wasn't so much evidence. He knew I had a valid complaint from his read. He knew I thought because I had a valid complaint that they would be likely to grant my complaint. He knew I was naive. He probably also knew the reputation of the Physiology department for turning such complaints down. My take is that he thought I was intelligent. He read that I was convinced I had a valid complaint. In point of fact I did not present a number of damning details that would have likely helped, including one full answer on a midterm question that was a fully legitimate answer to the question; but it was not the answer the professor wanted. He had asked a very ambiguous question. My answer was knowledgeable; and it answered the question completely. I just did not "read the professor's mind about what he was asking". In ENGLISH, my answer was a good and valid response; and it wasn't a lack of knowledge of physiology that prevented me from understanding that he wanted a different answer. I did not also present a letter from another student, who supported my contention of malice toward me by the professor. I thought it was prudent since he was himself a Physiology major; and I thought the deck had been clearly stacked against me.
    The only reason I did not try to make that committee look as bad as they deserved was that the woman in charge of it was actually a good teacher. However, that was again a mistake on my part. She was not setting the committee up to be fair (in my mind). She was not following the rules. Instead she was just listening to the professor who did not show up. I thought he did not show up because he knew I could bait him into showing his animosity. He knew he would never stand up to cross examination. He probably gave her some excuse like he didn't want to embarrass me. He knew how to play the system; and I hope by now CAL has a computer program that is able to detect people like him. He was unfair to a lot of students over the years, I am sure.
    After I wrote the my comments about this second case in these comments, I heard the former ombudsman was upset that I didn't let him know about what was going on. Thinking back, I should have. However, it was too late for my complaint by then.

     

    I also heard that one of the guys who wrote me a letter for my next grade complaint had a son who also had trouble with this guy. I believe this was after I did. Since the father (who wrote me the letter) was both brilliant and hard working; I am inclined to think the son was too. I should apologize to him for not trying to make the university do something about the professor then. As I stated previously the Provost Dean of L&S was attending all (or most) of his classes one semester. This was presumably to review him. However, one must realize that the professor probably just prepared a bit better (worked a bit harder) while under the watchful eyes of the Provost Dean.

     

    The class was an interesting class, but I would never take a class again from that guy if I had a choice. I took many classes at CAL (many more than most people). He was an embarrassment to the University in both his attitude toward students and in his preparation. He of course disguised his attitude by being "nice" to some students. However, to me this was just his way of putting himself forward as a big man controlling students lives. It fed his ego. Otherwise he was not nice. Instead he should have prepared better; and he should have been fair to all students.
    22 Sep 2015, 05:10 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should add that later I found out that the professor had been spending all of his time at the horse racing track chatting up the people who worked there (grooms, jockeys, etc). I was madder, so I asked my friends to help him make a few bad bets for me. I later heard that this had gotten out to most of the racing community. Perhaps his subsequent losses kept him from spending as much time at the racetrack(s)?
    22 Sep 2015, 05:27 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A few unkind souls are apparently now saying people like me always have an excuse. I know I have had many; but as many people can attest I seem to polarize people more than most without really having to take any action at all to do so. People either really like me; or a number seem to have violent negative reactions to me. This includes people I have never really even talked to appreciably. Yes, both of these cases are excuses; but should I in one case have to answer 20% of the credit wrong in order to get credit for it? In the other case, a couple of years later the Provost Dean of L&S was attending each of the professor's classes a couple of year later. Clearly other people had complained. Clearly many of his lectures were confusing, especially in the case of the topic he described three times one way and two times the other. On top of that he apparently in some cases expected students to automatically know what he wanted, even if it could have been more than one thing from what he wrote as a question. Plus he clearly had a significant amount of animosity towards me. I may have interpreted it more as hatred of me than it deserved at the time; but that was how it appeared. He may have instead just been more trying to keep me from asking questions because he knew he would not likely know the answers. In my opinion he was not preparing. I concluded he likely re-gave former guest lecturer lectures without learning much of the underlying material himself. Therefore he hated students like me who asked probing questions. Should students feel like it is a crime to try to learn the material by asking questions. There can be little doubt if the Provost Dean was attending his classes a couple years later that more people than just I were finding his lectures confusing. When I later found out the amount of time he was spending playing the ponies, I came to a logical conclusion about why that was, especially since he seemed also to be suffering from alcoholism at that time.

     

    If someone is so callous as to lump all such things into the category of he/she always has some excuse, they are likely trying to hide from their own failures as teachers. By excusing another professor's failure, they can then feel less guilt for poor performances they may have given.
    23 Sep 2015, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Now I hear two more things: 1) they spent a lot of time on me (that they did not spend on other people); and (2) that I actually got one grade changed, where most people had no success in doing that at all.

     

    In answer to the first, I can say that in the 2nd complaint two professors who really had presented fairly good lectures did spend time on me; and they were reasonably nice about it. However, it was mostly only after I had built a case that I could have taken into court and won with. Plus they knew my next step would have been to go to the Academic Senate of the University. What professor or group of professors wants to go in front of the Academic Senate when I had letters from the top experts in the US on each question I was debating saying that the professor was wrong? Further the people who are saying such things are completely omitting the fact that it took a lot of my time to find the experts (and to get them to write the letters). Writing such letters was a bit risky on their part. Plus they had to trust me a bit to do it.

     

    In the unsuccessful case they made me waste a lot of time listening to sometimes very confusing lectures. They made me waste a lot of time trying to prepare for what they had said was going to be an impartial adjudication procedure. However, as I have pointed out above, it was not. First the woman in charge of the committee was a friend of the guy I was complaining against. He also seemed to "play her" by effectively lying to her in a way she would tend to believe.

     

    Second the committee was supposed to be made up of 3 professors (her, a professor outside the major with knowledge of the subject matter, and one other Physiology professor) and two students appointed by ASUC (probably undergraduates outside the major or at least graduate students outside the major so they couldn't be influenced). Instead she did get one professor from outside the major, who did seem to be open minded. However, she stacked the committee with one more Physiology professor than was supposed to be there (and both her physiology professor selections seemed to be very old -- might tend to sympathize with an ill prepared professor). Plus she selected two of her own graduate students, who were likely to follow her lead. She did not make sure the professor I was complaining about attended, which should have happened. In every sense she subverted what the system was supposed to be. There should have been at least three non-Physiology department people on a committee of 5 (not 6). The idea is that would make it impartial. I was naive. I should have presented my case in stronger words to start with. I should have presented all of the evidence at once. I should have gone to the Academic Senate. It would have been better for the students who followed me; and it would likely have turned out better for me.

     

    Instead I gave up too easily. I thought I saw that she was extremely unlikely to decide against the professor as soon as I saw the committee makeup. I further got the impression that she had cases where she had emotionally hurt students; and she did not want finding against another professor to make her feel more guilty about that than she did. She wasted my time. She wasted others' time. She subverted the system. I have little respect for that. She hurt me. She wasted a lot of my time. I had passed the class; and I was only asking that they change my grade to a Pass, given that the professor had been hazing me (and had graded me unfairly in more than one case). I did not present the alternate answer argument (it was completely valid and sensible) in the written complaint; but I was intending to use it in the oral presentation. I just gave up too quickly. I was torn between showing respect and not trying to hurt the committee chair's feelings. I should not have been. I should have presented everything. I should have appealed to the Academic Senate if they had not found in my favor. Perhaps I should have gone to court if that didn't work.

     

    The professor in question clearly had continued to spend a lot of his time playing the ponies. At the time of my class, he also seemed to be suffering from acute alcoholism. His lectures were confusing.

     

    How did other people do well? In the class with the 20% incorrect answers on the final, the professor had to be feeding the answers he wanted to selected students. He was also teaching a "lab class" that I was not taking. He may have presented some of the answers he wanted in that class; but if he wanted to test on those presentations, he should have made the same presentations in the lecture class. I had Black Lightning Notes (verbatim notes provided by ASUC for big lectures), so I knew certain things were not mentioned in the lectures.

     

    In the pony playing professors case, he clearly was checking the grades of the Physiology students to make sure he gave good grades (or at least decent ones) to all of the students with good GPAs. For the non-Physiology students, he could not do this. This is why I believe my Dean had such a negative opinion of him and the Physiology department in general. I even remember one graduate student in the class who clearly stopped asking a question after class (several times) when she saw that the professor was the least bit uncomfortable with it. She apparently knew he wanted people to "suck up" to him (and not to embarrass him).

     

    While it is normal for professors to be nicer to students they like, this guy seemed to insist on students "sucking up to him" so he could feel more powerful. Given the poor quality of his lectures (many professors give high quality lectures), this was particularly offensive. It was also wrong that he should effectively determine grades by feeding answers to certain students. Of course, if you were one of those students, you probably liked that.

     

    As I have mentioned before, I guessed that he had had "expert lecturers" present many of his lectures in previous years. Then he had simply copied those lectures to present in later years himself. However, due to the pony playing, etc. he did not seem to have learned much if any of the underlying material. Therefore he would become extremely upset with anyone who challenged or questioned too closely anything he said. If "sensitivity to questioning" is mostly due to failure by a professor to prepare, the university should act to prevent this. The students deserve better (not just me). I wish I had learned about the large amount of time he was spending at the horse racing track sooner. I would have been more likely to take the most appropriate actions not only for myself, but for future students. He was a tenured professor; but the university does have the ability to insist on good standards. Most future students would have been better off if I and the many complaints that apparently followed mine had been more successful sooner. Again the Provost Dean/Executive Vice Chancellor (Roderick Park) did not make a habit of attending every one of a professor's classes just because one or a few students complained about the professor. It had to be a lot more than that.
    26 Sep 2015, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I should add that the answers to the contested questions were not apparent from reading the main textbook for the class. In fact if anything the textbook indicated answers other than those the professor gave.

     

    Second the textbook was roughly 1500 pages long; and those were huge pages. They probably contained area of at least double a legal sized paper. The pages amounted to 2-3 pages of material from a normal textbook. As a rule of thumb most people in those days allowed about an hour to digest every 10 pages of a technical book. If this book effectively had 3000-5000 pages of technical material, that would have translated into at least 300 hours of work to digest those pages reasonably fully. That translates into 20 hours per week for a 15 week semester. In other words students would have had to work roughly 7 hours per class day in order to read that book carefully in its entirety. Obviously requiring that they know everything in the book was a non-starter. I had read about two thirds to three quarters of the book by the end of the class; and I am relatively sure I had read a lot more than the professor.

     

    A normal expectation is that a student spends 4 hours per unit per week on a class (or 60 hours per week for a 15 unit schedule). If 1 hour is class time (3 classes per week) and one hour is review of the class, that leaves 6 hours per week to read the book. Yet the students would really have needed roughly 20 hours per week to do that. Obviously requiring that students know everything in the book was a non-starter; and the book didn't contain data that would have led you to the professor's answers in the contested cases (as far as I was able to discern after looking carefully at the relevant parts after the exam).
    27 Sep 2015, 07:48 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some people have also attacked me for my GPA. I won't say exactly what it is overall. I do not know. I had a lot of family problems during my first degree (and afterward). Also I played on an athletic team, which took time and energy. I wasn't as good a student in that degree. However, I was an honor student at UC Berkeley (for two full years) in my second degree, which was not repeat work. With my ending work at UC Berkeley and other undergraduate classes and graduate classes elsewhere that I took subsequent to my first degree, I officially had a continuous GPA above 3.6 for more than four full years of work (perhaps higher). Some people will want to insult you. In my case they tend to mention the GPA because I have a high IQ; and few people challenge that. I regard the whole GPA approach as FALSE. I believe I have substantially defeated that argument with a long record of good performance (even just in classwork). However, for people who WANT TO ATTACK YOU, even a long ago proven FALSE thesis is attractive. Since most of the people who have done this have substantially lower IQ's, I tend to discount it. Usually the people with the highest IQ's will evaluate you on your logic and your work. I have known a number of National Merit Scholars, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists. I cannot remember one who was insulting in this way. I also didn't get insulted at Stanford, where the other students tend to have high IQ's.
    29 Sep 2015, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I am now starting to hear that what I have been claiming was wrong was actually not known at the time of the test.

     

    In one case that may have been partially true. However, in that case there was nothing in the "verbatim" Black Lightning lecture notes from ASUC that covered that topic. In other words the professor had not lectured on the topic. Further my careful inspection of the book on that topic after the exam did not lead me to the professor's answer. It led me to a much different answer.

     

    In two other cases the answer was known. In one case I had learned something a few years earlier that led me to believe that the professor's answer was wrong (and hence mine more correct). In fact the guy who taught me that put me in touch with a UCSF professor who was working specifically in that area. The UCSF professor later became head of the UCSF BioTech center. One would presume he was highly knowledgeable and highly respected. He impressed me.

     

    In the other case the heads of the Nephrology departments of both Stanford and UCSF (both top guys in their field) espoused the same answer. At least 5 other professors who did not claim to be experts in the area of the question agreed with me. I do not remember talking to even one who disagreed with me. This would seem to have been known at the time of the exam.

     

    Instead what I saw was a professor who might be said to specialize in Reproductive Endocrinology "winging it" in writing his exam. I am not trying to say he was incompetent. He was probably good in his field. However, he was careless and arrogant. He tried to espouse views in fields in which he was not expert in that did not jibe with logic or the latest knowledge. He apparently thought everything he said had to be accepted because he was the "professor".

     

    The next year he had a biotech oriented professor give the lecture which was applicable to the biotech question he had asked on the previous exam (that I had contested). I am not sure what he did about the Nephrology question; but the heads of the Stanford and UCSF Nephrology departments were much more knowledgeable than he in this area; and their answer for the question made a lot more sense. It was directly opposite the professor's answer. On top of that even the lecture material from the class indicated an answer opposite the professor's answer. Of course, my answer was also opposite the professor's answer (partiality?).
    30 Sep 2015, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Since a number of people seem to be curious (or disseminating incorrect information), the final grade I got in the Physiology class that I challenged with the help of a number of top US expert opinions was an A-. I knew the material extremely well by then; but on one high value question, I did not realize the detail the professor wanted. Further the value of the question was raised after the test from what I had on my exam. It was a bit hard to contest this. Such things happen. I should have given more detail; but what I did give might be considered a "normal" answer to the question. This was probably another case where the professor likely "clued students in" about what he wanted in the lab class, his office, or elsewhere.
    1 Oct 2015, 11:10 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some are apparently now saying that I had a problem in Physiology. I don't believe I had any particular problem with the material. In the class of the complaint above, I was doing well through the first two midterms (first two professors). I just had trouble with the third guy. Since I did prove his exam answers (and he had any resources he wanted and he got to choose his questions) were significantly wrong, I do not think that shows any problem with Physiology on my part. In the other class I did get upset because the guy seemed to hate me. I now think he did to a degree. However, a large part of the reason he maltreated me was that he wanted to avoid my tough in depth questions. Many who have taught me know that I like to understand the material. I believe he had in many cases just copied lectures he had gotten experts to give. I believe the lectures were sometimes confusing because he: 1) did not prepare well, 2) was an alcoholic, and 3) in some cases did not understand the material well perhaps because the lectures were copies of a previous year's expert. For the latter cases I do not believe he had bothered to learn the material in any depth. Therefore he was stuck whenever he was asked to explain it in any depth. In sum my opinion of him was that he drank and played the ponies (my friends who worked at the track were specific about this). Hence he did not prepare. He also studied students grades an awful lot during the quarter (Physiology students). I never saw another professor doing that that much. He hated me because he thought I would see right through him; and eventually I did (a little late). I did not so much have a problem in Physiology. I had a problem with professors who just made up answers that one would not normally be able to answer from the course material (or that were just wrong). The guy who basically refused to answer my questions also asked questions on exams that had more than one answer; but he insisted you give him the one he was thinking of. I believe both of these two guys were feeding particular students answers. I also think that there was a good reason that a lot of people from outside the department seemed to have complaints about the department. To some extent those complaints from outside the department may have contributed to the department being broken up not too long after that.

     

    I should also note that I took one Physiology class at another UC campus. I did not have any particular problem in that class or with that professor. In fact I liked that professor. I also generally liked two of the three professors who teamed with the third guy in the "exam challenge class". Even for the third guy, I didn't think there was a large amount of animosity, even after the complaint. Finally part of the reason for the complaint was so that it wouldn't look like I had a problem with Physiology.

     

    In general there was often less specifically "known" in Physiology than in other sciences. I believe some professors relied on that being the case. They "winged it" in many cases because they thought they could get away with it. I had trouble with this type of professor, not the subject matter. I would have loved to take courses from the likes of the head of the Nephrology departments at UCSF and Stanford. Both those guys really knew their stuff. Neither would be put off by a tough question, even if he did not know the answer. Of course, that probably didn't happen too often for those guys.
    6 Oct 2015, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Now I hear comments about whether or not exam question material was contained in the lectures. It was not in the cases I contested. I had the Black Lightning notes, which were a verbatim record of the lectures provided by ASUC to those who bought subscriptions. In some cases the 20% wrong professor apparently thought he was asking made up theoretical questions. However, his answers to these questions were not contained in the lectures. They were not for the most part contained in the book. Then how were students supposed to answer them. Perhaps only by talking to the professor (being fed the answers by him). As it turned out, things he expected to be theoretical were actually not theoretical. People had done research that he was not aware of; and his answers were largely wrong. I am sure the people who got A's by being fed the answers were happy. However, their answers were wrong along with the professor's answers. In one case I was directed to new research by an eminent biochemistry professor at CAL to a professor at UCSF, who was doing the research on the topic. The CAL Biochemistry professor is a reviewer for PNAS. Perhaps that was part of the reason he was aware of it? I knew a particular part was wrong due to something I had learned from the Biochemistry professor in his class. In another case I cold called a guy at UCSF who was one of the most eminent people in his field in the country (top 5 by my estimation). Another very eminent guy at Stanford agreed with him completely. Virtually no one would think the CAL professor (who gave the test) knew more than either of those guys, much less both of them in agreement. They both agreed with my general thesis on the question, although I was not 100% correct. I at least had the major idea correct, which was something the CAL professor had failed completely at. The CAL professor again had not presented correct or comprehensive coverage of this area in the lectures or in the books. He had even presented some lecture material which directly disagreed with his own exam answer to the question. In still another case, the question was very much in question, although I mentioned a research project above. I do not believe this question should have been on the exam at all. The lectures did not cover material that you would need to answer the question. The book (to me) made you think that an answer other than the professor's answer was the correct answer. Presuming the above mentioned rumor about the new research project outcome was correct, the book would have led you in the right direction. This would have disagreed with the professor's answer.

     

    In none of these cases was material presented in the lectures which would lead you to the correct answer. The professor was being "cute" -- too "cute". He thought he could just wing theoretical junk out there that no one could challenge. It wasn't as theoretical as he imagined. I resent that he likely fed the answers to the people who got A's to start with. I am not sure how else those students could as a group have come up with the answers they did, since the professor's answers were in fact WRONG.
    23 Apr 2014, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The latest complaint is that the professor who had so much of his exam wrong was teaching the "current science" of the time. This may be his claim; but it is not so. One kidney question was dramatically wrong. My answer was correct in a gross sense; but it missed on a few details. The professor's answer was completely WRONG. I had the question answered by the head of the nephrology (kidney) departments of both UCSF and Stanford Medical Schools. The CAL professor was more of a reproductive endocrinologist by specialization. There is simply no question his "current science claim" is just propaganda on his part. In another case the CAL professor made a glaring mistake in a Biochemistry/Molecular Biology area. The eminent professor in Biochemistry who helped me in this area knew that I would know this was wrong, since he had taught me why a few years earlier. The guy at UCSF that was doing research on that exact topic eventually became the head of UCSF's Biotech Center. He also knew much more about Biochemistry issues than the CAL professor who wrote the question. Another question that I noted the rumor about the new research about just should not have been on the exam at all. If my arguments spurred new research, that means to me that the answer was not known adequately for anyone to answer the question well. Further the CAL professor did not cover the topic in his lectures (I had verbatim notes from ASUC). That is was on the exam at all was a travesty. According to the rumor, the answer that I espoused caused the "expert" I talked to at UCSF to start a research project to investigate it. According to the rumor I heard, she proved me correct. Regardless, if it wasn't in the lecture notes at all, it shouldn't have been on the exam. Again this was an area that was not in the CAL professor's specialty area.

     

    It should be obvious why I think he winged it with supposedly hypothetical questions. It should also be obvious why I think he fed the answers he expected to the "good students" in his major. How else would they have been able to reproduce as a group answers that were wrong? If they did not do this, how did they get A's when they got 20%+ incorrect answers on the final exam. There is simply no way the professor in question did a good job on this test. In my mind there is no way he was not feeding the answers to quite a few students. I consider this a completely unfair way to conduct classes and exams. CAL should be ashamed; and the dismantling of that department (at a later date) would seem to indicate that CAL as a whole was unhappy with how that department was conducting their business.
    24 Apr 2014, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I have heard more than one person accuse me of lying about my GPA as a result of this grade change. The class was a 4 unit semester class; and a large grade change can have a significant effect on a GPA. This was actually applied to a 2nd degree that was only 2 years worth of courses, so the effect was even bigger. The reality is that I have not been the one lying about my GPA. Rather those who have accused me of lying (and asserted some lower GPA) have been the liars (or slanderers to be more technical).
    13 Jun 2014, 10:54 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Apparently some people are still trying to debate whether the head of the nephrology departments of two of the top medical schools were correct about the kidney question. I actually talked to several MDs before I got to either head of nephrology. Every one of them agreed with my contention that the kidney would regulate in that case. Among the list of people I talked to is the now world famous diet and wellness guru, Dr. Michael Roizen. He has written numerous books, etc. He is now the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. He and the perhaps more famous Dr. Oz have partnered on books. The Cal professor was quite simply wrong.
    3 Jul 2014, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Apparently some are now trying to discredit me by saying I shouldn't have been admitted. However, I was an honor student at CAL. This above problem was a problem of faculty abuse. It was my problem. I think such attacks are misplaced.

     

    I have known successful professors (who made a lot of money). They then seem to think badly of anyone they know who does not become extremely rich (or at least follow the path to ever higher learning). I spent a lot of time in universities (some of the best). I admit I could have gotten higher degrees. However, I have seen too many people with high degrees that were almost meaningless. My cousin's husband used to joke that he had more degrees than a thermometer.

     

    My overall take on all of this is that CAL expects me to become hugely monetarily successful. I am a higher profile graduate than many. Therefore I have more expectations on me. Perhaps I will eventually become as rich as they seem to want. However, at this point I am interested in enjoying the journey. Perhaps part of my problem is that both of my parents died fairly young and generally unhappy. I enjoy the markets. They are fascinating. I like to think I help other people make money in them.

     

    I think some people resent my philosophy. They want to see me fail because I do not conform to their "you should work hard to be miserable" philosophy. Perhaps I am gifted enough not to want to do that. Perhaps they are not as gifted? When I see the news about prostitution increasing in the Silicon Valley, I think I am glad I left. The philosophy seems to be that they are too busy earning money to have time for relationships. When a likely psychotic prostitute allegedly kills a Google executive with drugs, you have to wonder what is going on. The woman is thought to have killed others. You have to wonder just how sane the Google executive was to pay to spend time with the psychotic woman.
    17 Jul 2014, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • Macomber T
    , contributor
    Comments (376) | Send Message
     
    David the only problem I have with you is that you live in California, JOKE
    18 Jul 2014, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some are also challenging how I did at Stanford. First I should say that for the type of student I was they give you the effective status of a visiting graduate student so you can take classes there. The only requirement is that you maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. However, in reality they do not give you grade points (unless you pay essentially twice as much for them). A lot of people (me included) therefore prioritized their work for their respective companies ahead of their coursework. You were effectively taking the classes pass not pass, except for the one requirement. I actually had jobs where I was generally required to do more work than the average engineer. Sometimes I really got loaded on because I had worked on a lot of projects; and old ones would keep drawing me back in. Then too I can remember someone else's tasks being dumped on me at the last minute. This could be very grating. In one case I had specifically stated a year earlier in a main meeting that the guys who took on the task should say right then if they didn't think they could do it. Instead, they waited a year, while I had done many other things to fill my time, then they dumped it on me at the last minute, when my schedule was already full. Yet you still have to do your Stanford work around this. Since I was then a critical path, that made Stanford work less important to me at that time. I also at the same time had to deal with my mother dying of leukemia. It all wasn't fun. Earlier in another class I had to deal with my father dying. They both died rather young. I am sure these events had a negative impact on my grades; and I was that much more glad I didn't have to worry about them that much.

     

    Some people have claimed that they all did better than I did. I am sure that is not true of the entire class at Stanford. I am sure in general it is not true of the people who were taking the classes I took at the companies I worked at. However, at one company, it may have been true for the class during which my mother died (plus I had a lot of extra work at the company dumped on me at the last minute).

     

    I know for example that in one of the core courses at Stanford, they gave a whole slew of D's and F's (I got a B+ and my father died during that class). I believe that was the last software course required for EE's at that time. It was a 5 unit class at that time, so at least some of those bad grades were likely people who did not do all the work. In any case, I think that one course makes my point.
    31 Oct 2015, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some may ask how I knew how everyone else did. The simple answer is that they typically posted Computer Science grades without names, but with student ID numbers, on the walls of Tressider Union in those days (less sensitive times). I could see everyone in the class' grades.
    31 Oct 2015, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I now hear that a professor I complained about at Stanford got dismissed. First I only complained that he sent an unreadable (for some questions) exam to my work. I felt that impacted my ability to do well on the test. Donald Knuth suggested I take all future exams on campus in order to avoid this problem. He also questioned me about the professor's lectures quality. However, I said I thought that he generally gave good lectures. I added that I did think it inappropriate that he was touting drug use at the beginning of every lecture. I told Donald Knuth that he could hear this for himself as the lectures were on videotape in the Math Library (in case someone missed a lecture). The touting of drugs was always in the first 5-10 minutes, so I thought Donald Knuth would have no trouble hearing this for himself, if he so desired. However, I did not try to get him removed from Stanford. I merely thought it inappropriate that he should be urging mostly young men and women to use drugs. I thought an appropriate word from Dr. Knuth would probably put an end to that. In the recent rumors I am hearing, he was dismissed. According to the rumors (I have no knowledge of this), he was also selling drugs to students. That was what he was dismissed for. Since that is both illegal and inappropriate, I am not surprised to hear this. However, I only informed Dr. Knuth of the "talk about drugs in the lectures". I at no time urged him to dismiss the professor. If he was actually selling drugs to students after hyping them in his lectures, he brought his dismissal on himself. For some people to now claim that I hurt him is inappropriate. He can only be said to have hurt himself. Perhaps instead they should say that I helped many years of students some of whom would not start using drugs at a professor's urging.
    2 Nov 2015, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I would also like to answer certain other questions. First some are slurring that if I had been an honor student at UC Berkeley for my second degree, I would have graduated with honors. The simple explanation for this is that there was also a requirement for 62 semester units at that time. I only took 61 units. If I had realized it would cause this much trouble, I would have taken another unit.

     

    Next some are slurring that I did not or could not get admitted to a degree program at Stanford. Since I did not apply to either the graduate program in EECS or the graduate program in business, I will never know for sure. At the time I left Amdahl, I got bonus money and separation money. Plus I got some money when my mother died. I was considering going to graduate school in business. The main programs I was considering were Stanford, UC Berkeley (Haas Business School), and Santa Clara University. My GMAT score was in the 98%. I did/could get good recommendations from former bosses at Amdahl. I heard some positive feedback via the rumor mill about getting admitted to both UC Berkeley and Stanford. It was my impression that even President Hennessey (an ex-engineering professor) knew about my possible application to Stanford Business School; and it sounded like he was in favor of it. Keep in mind they like to have a diverse student body; and they like to have their graduates be interested in more than just money. With a strong background in both medical sciences and engineering, I fit their diversity qualification well. Plus I had worked part time for several years at a "free clinic". Stanford likes things like that. I also heard positive rumors about getting into UC Berkeley. Recently I heard rumors that if they were considering letting me join the faculty recently, they would have let me into the business school. Further in times past I had lived across the street from Walter Haas, so there is a good chance that I could have used some of the Haas' influence to get admitted. As far as Santa Clara goes, they make a habit of admitting almost all of the industry folks in the Silicon Valley who have good test scores. Mine were above average for Santa Clara. Plus I had good grades from my last degree (an honor student at UC Berkeley). Since I ultimately did not apply to any of these three schools, I cannot say with any certainty that I would have been admitted. However, given that I have been nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economics (I didn't win), I think it likely that at least one of these schools would have admitted me.

     

    Instead I have taken some business classes through the University of Santa Cruz Extension. I did get an A+ in Macroeconomics (and A's in all of my economics classes). Plus I have studied both the markets and economics extensively in the last 10+ years. My former boss even at my first engineering job as a professional can tell you that I was interested in the markets even at that time. Since I now have a worldwide reputation as an economist, a lot of people can probably tell you that I am quite knowledgeable. Plus I like to think that I am continuing to improve. I also have a large number of followers on SeekingAlpha.com. A lot of these people are very knowledgeable professionals themselves. Any number of them have contributed to increasing my knowledge over the years. When you write on SeekingAlpha for 10+ years, you get the benefit of the combined knowledge of the lawyers, the economics, the traders, the executives, the analysts, the investment advisers, the fund managers, the long term investors, etc. This can be considerable. Plus you learn a lot doing research for articles. I believe I have learned a lot. I am nearing 1000 published articles on SeekingAlpha.com. I am not a neophyte any longer; and I like to think I have earned a lot of the respect I generally seem to get. I want to thank all of those who have contributed to the increase in my knowledge. I continue to strive to improve.
    4 Nov 2015, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some people are now saying they thought I was smarter due to a different test result. I make no specific claims; but I do a have blood vessel that floats around in one eye. It was supposed to have disappeared (deteriorated/dissolved) by birth. That makes it easy for me to misread things. Depending on how much it floats in front of the vision path, I may misread more on any one test. I have tried hard to learn not to do this; but it is still a factor. Hence for a guy who does not test well for a physical reason, the 98% is a pretty good score. However, my IQ is likely higher, if you are talking in terms of sheer brain power.
    7 Nov 2015, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • David White
    , contributor
    Comments (4629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some are now re-hashing the same old Physiology grade argument. My reply is all stated above. However, some are now saying that many knew more than me. For 20% of the credit 2 of the professor's answers were definitely virtually the opposite of what he had said. A third answer was probably not completely known at the time of the test (according to experts). I proposed my theory to the expert I talked to. I later heard a rumor that stated, "can you believe this guy? He advanced medical science just to get his grade changed." I presumed they were talking about me (probably 75%-80% certainty they were). For two of the answers the people in the class who got A's originally would have had to answer as the professor had in order to get credit. In one case the heads of Nephrology for both Stanford and UCSF Medcial School's agreed that his answer was essentially directly the opposite of the TRUE answer. The lecture material supported a different answer too. The book supported a different answer. The only way I can see that they got to the professor's answer is that he fed certain students the answer he wanted to receive on the exam at some venue other than in class. I attended them all. Plus I subscribed to the VERBATIM lecture notes provided as a service in large lectures by ASUC. For the second answer, a guy who later became head of the UCSF BioTech Center supplied my expert answer. He was pointed out as the expert in the field to me by a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the Biochemistry Dept. at CAL. The CAL professor really knew the answer was wrong too. He had in fact taught me the answer was wrong. Again I thought the question was a bad question to start with. It indicated the professor did not understand the material he was lecturing on. Since the next year the Physiology Dept. had their relative expert give the lecture that was in the area of this question. That would tend to verify what I have said above. Again I don't see how other students could have arrived at the professor's answer from the lecture materials; and the professor's answer (at least the part I challenged was wrong). The third case was definitely not covered in the lecture material. I checked and double checked. I came to a different conclusion from reading the book. If the rumor I heard some time after I had talked to the expert in this area is true, the professor's answer in this case was wrong too.

     

    Essentially none of the three answers were obtainable by the lecture material (or really the book). In order to get the same answers as the professor, he would have had to have fed some students the answers outside of the lecture for this class. Also at least two of his answers in this case were definitely wrong; and the third was later proven wrong, if the rumor was correct. If some people are saying the other students new more than me, how did they get A's in the course. To my mind the most any of them could have gotten was a B of some kind, if they had really given the "correct" answers. They knew only enough to spit back what the professor had told them outside of class at some time. To argue that any of them knew more than I did is ludicrous. Perhaps someone did; but the argument is a ludicrous one to make based on that exam and its grading.

     

    Further I only argued that the exam evaluated me unfairly. This is unquestionably true when you have to give the wrong answers to questions in order to get credit for your answers. I eventually took another test; and my final grade was based on the result of that test along with my two midterm test. I believe I had an A- grade going into the final exam. I really have little excuse for not ending up with an A. However, I just did not realize the detail the professor wanted on one question on the second exam. I knew the material cold for that exam. Unfortunately the world is not a perfect place.
    1 Dec 2015, 12:48 AM Reply Like
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers

StockTalks

  • to give people bad advice.
    3 days ago
  • The bond fears are easily spreading to equities. Today that fear seems to have abated; but it could come back at any time. I just don't want
    3 days ago
  • trouble in the bond market both here and in China. The fear of major problems with a slow down / recession may dictate market direction.
    3 days ago
More »

Latest Comments


Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.