Written/Essay Final (check!) 30 points
Vocab/Short Answer Final (check!) 40 points
MC Final (suspenseful music) 60 points
Open Response Final (super suspenseful music) 20 points

Multiple Choice tomorrow. 60 questions. 60 points. 60 minutes (roughly).
Open Response is also tomorrow–DON’T FREAK OUT–20 points. 20 minutes (roughly).

For the MC, review everything. Quizzes (your quiz corrections, more importantly) and notes on major components of term 2 will be especially helpful. Content from term 1 is important too, but makes a smaller appearance than term 2 stuff. Think about arguments, argument structures, logic, logical fallacies, ways to approach, analyze, and categorize arguments, etc.

I’d suggest aiming to finish the MC in an hour so that you have 20 or so minutes for the open response thingy. Again, DON’T FREAK OUT. To prepare for this–if you feel the need–think about our course thematically. What have we been doing all along? What connects what to what? How does everything fit together? What have you learned?

Your visual essays are graded and in Skyward. If you want to see your rubric, come get it. 

You’ll get your revision essays back before the semester ends. Maybe Monday? They have comments, but mainly they have end comments. As a summative work, there’s no “next time” and so, the feedback reflects that reality.

 You’ll get your MC test score almost immediately. I’ll run those pretty little scantron sheets tomorrow, and put the scores in Skyward post-haste.
As for your written final, your vocab final, and that “Open Response” thing, you’ll probably get your scores before our semester ends, but you might not and you need to be prepared for that. Grades aren’t finalized for a little while, so there’s this uncomfortable space where you’ve done the work…you’re done…you’re eager to know how you did…but there’s nothing you can do about it once it’s done, so you just have to wait and see. This is part of the AP-class-designed-like-college thing.

Anecdote: I took two classes at the U of M this fall and my grade for each class was based on 1 project and 2 papers. I finished one class Nov. 30th without ever receiving a grade or feedback on anything and had to wait over a month to find out what my grade was. A month. For the other one, I had received feedback/a grade on one paper by the time our class was done in early December, but that meant the project grade and the other paper grade were still up in the air and I would have to wait a solid three weeks before finding out where the chips would land.

Why do I tell you this? Two reasons: (1) So you can see that waiting for grades is the reality of a college environment sometimes, so get ready. And (2) so you know that I GET HOW IT FEELS TO NOT KNOW!!!!!!!! But sometimes you just have to wait. Also, none of your ungraded elements directly impact the next since these are summative, at-course-end types of things. This, of course, means that your grades are still heavily sitting on formative category points (many of which are completion-or-participation-based) and so things will certainly change as summative category items are added.

Your written final was 2 AP prompts (one real and one imitation) and I will score them according to the standard 9 point rubric, but modify the point values since yours are 15 points each. Earning a score of 9 = an A, and so forth. These will likely have few-to-no comments on them because I’m using the scoring guide with which you are familiar.

Your vocab finals won’t have comments on them either because really, what would they say? Funny sentence, but you didn’t really use the word right. How is that helpful for anyone? It’s not. No comments.

The “Open Response” mystery thing will probably take me longer to grade than I think it will… no promises on when you’ll get your score for that part or whether I’ll comment or not…probably not because it wouldn’t make sense to and since you have no idea what this is (intentionally, mind you) you have no idea what I’m rambling about right now.

Ah. Okay. On to the Blog Study Presentations. I will be using a rubric much like I did for the visual essay. Those will be available to you the day after you present. Next Wednesday is the last day anyone will present. Next Thursday is our last day of class. Don’t ask me about that day. I will say nothing. So this leads me to a couple of blog project things:

  • Read the assignment sheet 967 times. 
  • 8-10 minutes is the iron-clad time limit. You will be cut off at 10 minutes and have to sit down immediately because if you go over, you are effectively stealing time from one of your classmates, which is unfair and rather snotty of you. It says my presentation is more important than any of yours and rules don’t apply to me and … And since none very few of you would actually say that out loud, you must stick to your time limit. That means PRACTICE YOUR PRESENTATION! We have time for 8 presentations per day. We must get through all 8.

What’s the point of this project? Really reflect long and hard on that before you present. Why did I cook this up for you? What should you be able to do at this point in the semester? What should you be able to demonstrate? Pretend that this is your final; that this is your whole entire grade for this course. If you botch this up (as I said in a previous blog post) I will die. I will fall over dead (remember all that? I mean it!) because it shows me that you’ve learned nothing!

Okay, so now that you’re all hyperventilating and getting sweaty, because presentations are scary and you find yourself fidgeting and stammering whenever you have to speak in front of people (I totally get it, by the way), know that stumbling and fumbling happens to everybody and will continue to happen if you always avoid speaking/presenting in public. You’re all in the same boat here.

Am I grading you on dressing up for this presentation and on making perfect eye contact and having perfect posture and never saying “um” and “uh” and “like”? YEP! Well, only kind of. Don’t wear your PJs or that dirty old shirt you found behind your door this morning will looking for your missing hamster or some oddly contrived outfit that will make you feel uncomfortable and will be distracting to us. Wear clothes. Normal clothes. Clothes that are comfortable (but maybe not “comfy”). Make eye contact with us. You are taking to us not the note cards or power point or blog or the floor, after all. Those “ums” and “uhs” make us think you haven’t a clue what you’re saying. We all know that we all say these things; that they are pauses and placeholders, but be cautious and then don’t giggle when you catch yourself doing it. Stop being so meta, just talk. These are elements of public speaking and I do expect you to consider that these all influence (wait for it) ethos! We also studied speeches, ‘member that? We talked about pacing and cadence and inflection. These things matter, so in that respect, they do count and they are things I’ll notice, but these things are not the point in and of themselves. Rhetoric is the point. Style is the point. Demonstrating that you get it is the point.

So if you find yourself getting painfully awkward while presenting and avoiding eye contact with your audience, suddenly we feel awkward too and we question your knowledge on the content and your authority and your preparedness. See how that works? But you can recover! Take a moment, regroup, and go on. Think about this election season for a moment. When you watch the presidential candidates speak and they fumble and stumble and mumble and get all awkward…what is your response? Exactly. Likewise, when they are so stiff and scripted and repeat the same line over and over (the line that their speech writer so carefully crafted and gloated about) they sounds dumb and robotic and you distrust them and dislike them. Check out this article. Don’t stress about these things, but do keep them in mind as you’re preparing your presentation. Preparing for your presentation is the single best thing you can do to prepare. Weird, I know.