U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

On Sat, 19 Jan 2008, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

The one I hate, and now say at every start up class, is the student that **emails** me and says, "Hey I missed class today, can you email me back what you talked about?" I told them I will NOT digest class on email. If that were the case, I would just email and not show up for class! And then there are those that ask for my Powerpoints--I say no because of copyright violations.

I have a strict attendance policy and elucidate it every semester on the syllabus, and still last semester I graded 6 students down out of ONE class of 16.
And Chris, it will probably get worse as the "thumbs do the walking" more and more. Tho a lab class is probably much easier to teach than a theory class.... On first day I gave out a sheet of general rules, including that attendance would be taken at 9:25 (class officially began at 9 AM), that three lates equalled one absence, and three unexcused absences (major illness, death in family, being held hostage in Peru, etc.) would drop their grade one letter.

This policy was so radical for "art school" (I don't recall another class where "attendance" was taken), it seemed to get their attention -- and I had actually done it a few times, which gave it some oompf.

Each new process got a worksheet with formulas and instructions in brief (seed of Post-Factory in fact), which they could get from me or a classmate. But, unlike theory, or history, the class was mostly hands on, with frequent class crits, ie., lots more fun than "curriculum."

Many did begin under duress -- "alternative processes" were not yet cool: They wanted to be in their darkrooms making C prints (I may have said that already), but mean and ugly as I could be, the appeal of the processes was irresistible, which made "discipline" much easier.

Chris & co, don't you find that after a while students take the "magic" of straight photo for granted, but, say, a cyano, or a gum, is magic all over again? I think the actual mixing up of the ingredients has a lot to do with it -- not just a box from a factory.

I would also argue, however, that MOST college classes are simply time serving. I recall a University (before art school) course in "religion" -- midwest standard brands. I handed in my highschool term paper (retyped) & got an A. Plus almost anything they teach undergrads in social sciences is going to be obsolete before the ink on the diploma is dry. I had a course in "psychology" that would be a joke today. As I have pointed out elsewhere ("Mutiny and the Mainstream") by the time an artist has achieved enough "success" to get a tenured position, his/her style/wisdom is useless to the next generation. (Or as Harold Rosenberg put it, "by the time there's a bandwagon it's too late to jump on it.")

Unless you have the luck to land with a very special professor. I did have one once at Northwestern: European Lit taught by Bergen Evans. A lecture hall the size of Yankee Stadium & you could hear a pin drop. His acting scenes from actual Shakespeare to contrast with imitation (bad) Shakespeare, for instance, was among the great moments of teaching. (He had a TV show for a while after that, tho I never saw it.) As for teaching art, however, see Rosenberg above.


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----- Original Message ----- From: "Katharine Thayer" <kthayer@pacifier.com>
To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 8:06 AM
Subject: Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

Well, let's just say I was a little late to class that day, and a little out of sorts when I got there. It might make a better story if I could remember what grade he got, but I don't. But since the class involved homework and written papers, which he hadn't done, and since I graded strictly on pre-designated points for the assignments, papers and tests, I can't imagine that he did very well at all.

On Jan 18, 2008, at 11:02 PM, Dave S wrote:

Wow, that guy had the nerve to ask it. I know teachers/professors hate that
question even when someone ask it after missing JUST ONE class.


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 1:35 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: math question verrrrrry off topic

While we're way off topic, once when I was teaching
statistics, a guy appeared at my office door just as I was
going to the classroom to give the last lecture of the term,
and said, "I haven't come to class all term; have I missed
anything?"  True story.

On Jan 18, 2008, at 10:04 PM, Dave S wrote:

Well, I am OT again. If it gets too much, just let me know. I don't
know, somehow as I grow older, I seem to like things on the lighter

Tonight I went to a meeting. I worked with university

students a lot.

Tonight I chatted to a young sophomore. He is really a smart guy.
During the
chat, I asked him how early did he have to go to school

(because it is

cold here in MI in the morning). He said it doesn't matter

because he

skipped most of his classes (he is an engineering student.


subjects are more standardized and "fixed" especially for
freshmen/sophomores so you can learn them yourself from

textbook and


Then he said, "for my 1st and 3rd semester I skipped almost all the
classes, and I got a GPA of 3.9. The 2nd semester I attended almost
all of my classes, and I got a GPA of 3.6; so my conclusion

is it is

better to skip classes."

Talk about making conclusion from statistical data, huh?   :-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Katharine Thayer [mailto:kthayer@pacifier.com]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 9:49 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Re: math question verrrrrry off topic


On Jan 18, 2008, at 6:23 PM, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

Hey Katharine,

I don't know-- maybe.  I honestly didn't read the other

answers.  :)

On Jan 18, 2008, at 8:43 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Hmm, I thought that's what we all already have said, isn't it?
That that theoretical probability (1/4x1/4x1/4) would

hold only if

assumptions were met,  and since assumptions are

obviously not met

(for example, judging is not a random lottery of course

but is done

on the basis of criteria, arbitrary or otherwise but

certainly not

random).  Also, no one has said whether the 600 entries

are 600 works

or 600 people; I was assuming that they are 600 works


fewer than 600 people, in other words people could submit

more than

one work, in which case, as I said, the number of works

submitted per

person would also have to be figured into the equation somehow.
Besides, if one person submits ten pieces and another

person submits

one, the ten pieces by the one person couldn't be considered
independent entries in the same way one of those ten could be
considered independent of the one from the other person, and
independence is also an assumption that must be met in order to
consider the probability of acceptance to be the same for all

On Jan 18, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

Okay, Chris.  Here is it-- straight from my resident



If they were the only 3 people from that institution

who applied,

AND if judging was completely random, then the

probability of this

is roughly 1 in 64 (key word: roughly).  If more than

that applied

from this same institution, and only 3 got in, then the


will be more complex.

Hope that helps. :)
On Jan 17, 2008, at 12:00 PM, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

Where else but this list can I ask these weird questions about
chemistry and math and computers and alt???

OK for you math people (Yves?):  If there is a show and 600
entries, and 150 are accepted, there is a 1 in 4 chance of
acceptance.  If 3 people from the same institution are


what percent chance is that--is it 1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4 or a

1.5% chance

or is it a more complex formula?

Forgive the off topic request but it does relate to

photo as 3 of

our program got into a photo show and I want to be able to
mathematically brag about it to the dept. head/dean.

Christina Z. Anderson
Assistant Professor
Photo Option Coordinator
Montana State University