Sunday, 12 June 2016

Marks and Women Getting Those

I was here remembering the day I got my first ten out of ten from my dear professor Roberto, from UNESA, my model when it comes to teaching: Basically, he had the habit of marking exams in front of his class, with us all watching him. I found that really great, once more. 

He would then be making remarks as he marked and graded each one of his exams. He had beautiful exams and also had a special method to award grades. 

Basically, he went on marking mine after marking a few and all exams before mine had mistakes, so that he happily graded them 6, 7, and at most 8. When it got to mine, he could not stop ticking right, but he then started to become upset because he had nothing to say, different from the others, and he then started spending each time more time reading and assessing the answers, and that we all noticed. When he got to the last question, his semblant had changed quite a lot, like he started so happy, but, in the end of it, he was like all frowned forefront, eyes down, and this sort of thing. He then became silent. It was Monique, the more talkative in the class, but also the worst student, who said: Go, Roberto, give the grade. He did not move for a while, double-checked, and this sort of thing. His blue eyes, Paul Newman's eyes, this time had a bit of rage in them, quite sincerely, but, after he drew his one and zero, very reluctantly, he starred at me, still very serious, and said ten out of ten. He was silent again, and slowly passed to the next one. When he finished with the entire pile, he turned to me and said, now a bit less upset: 10, Marcia 10. That then became my best memory of him, quite sincerely. 

There was still one day on which he was really happy that he had finally found a mistake in my exam, but again the worst student in the class, one that once even kissed him on the lips in front of us to get a pass mark without deserving upon his request, said to him that I was right after he explained why he thought I was wrong and I addressed his issues and argued to the side of why I was right. It was funny because bad students usually don't like good students. I guess that was a joint fight or something. Perhaps it was important for her that at least one of us won or something. I remember her saying: Give, Roberto, give. Then it was me who starred at her in disbelief. He again would say: 10 Marcia 10. This was all because he really did not like giving tens and apparently had never given that many or any before. I became a legend for him since I always got a ten out of ten: When I like a professor and their classes, I tend to excel, since I think that getting good marks is ALSO paying them. In Brazil, they actually have laws as to state that the professor can only make a certain percentage of the class repeat the course, like nothing beyond that percentage is acceptable: The teacher will be badly regarded and may lose their job. Certain things are very well thought in Brazil, as said before. People like Prof. Darcy Ribeiro contributed quite a lot to the national education system. 

Anyway, my dream was definitely professors like Deborah Brown and Barry Jones when I came to Australia: Oh, how easy for them was giving tens. They were just like me! I did not watch them marking, so that I do not know how they felt, but I myself ADORE giving tens and only tens. I plan my exams with basis on the Bloom's Taxonomy, which became my passion since I learned about it in my CSTJ classes. As said before, there is no better education than that given in the Catholic establishments in Brazil: I actually had professional researchers teaching me Sociology during my college, so good they are. Anyway, I could not believe how easy it was for Brown and Jones to give me my ten: That was First World! In compensation, as I told Trevor, NAATI, for instance, had under-marked my exam by much. I was positive that I deserved much more than what they gave. To their side, it is all pretty hard, since they must hire the person in full blindness, like they don't speak that language and others. Against them is the fact that the person who marked my exams probably marked quite a few others and graded them just the same, which is a typical sign of laziness. Lots of teachers have I met in Brazil who did not bother not even marking their exams: They would always distribute grades around the pass mark, believe it or not. A teacher whose classes I watched, and that was inside of the public system (Catholic schools are private and usually very expensive), just because I was doing probation, used to teach, with no lie, exactly the same class over and over. He had like two or three weekly encounters with the students and he would teach the same topic in exactly the same way (board, chalk, and printout, same printout), give the same exercises, and then leave. When I asked him why, he said that I would see that they would not learn not even those. It is impressive! Hyde did not plan his exam and he was teaching me, an overseas person who was aiming at becoming a professional researcher (I told that to Priest). That was at least irresponsible. He could however have so much practice that it would not matter much. He actually passed all questions via board or even dictated, and he seemed to have a lot of difficulties to even elaborate them as he passed those to us. That was horrible for me because I intended to do research exactly on this topic, and he actually knew that. The marks I got from his class could actually determine my future. It was fortunate that I passed, but it was unfortunate that I did not get as much as I deserved. He came up with only discursive questions and therefore ultra personal ones in terms of marking. The contents were not well distributed and definitely did not reflect our interactions during the course. Assessment would have to be the most important part of any course we do: That is when we get to know how much we learned and that is all that will count for us in terms of the future. 

I think I already mentioned one guy in Brazil called Carvalho who once gave me 5 out of 10 in EPB, Brazilian Problems Study. The issue is that his classes were not classes, there was no content as such, and his exam was also not an exam. I was a top student and that was not acceptable. I did complain and he did change the grade to 7, but again I deserved more. He was trying to harass me whilst I conversed with a female fellow in the atrium of the university, as I think I described somewhere, and he then asked us how old we thought he was. I said 54, if I recall well, and he then confessed that that was exactly his age, but he was furious that I guessed. My fellow said 30 and something and she got good marks straight away. In Australia, similar thing happened between me and Gary Malinas, not that he harassed me, I don't think so, but he gave me 5 out of 7 or something. It was Matthew that observed that I would need one more point or something because there was H1 and H2, whatever. I went after him to learn about my exam. He then said he gave marks to us based on our faces and attendance and he actually did not bother doing anything else, not even reading. It could be OK for him to say that, but I am sure that he could have been fired in Brazil just for that one. He ended up giving me a 6. 

I feel that it is really hard to get properly appreciated if you are a woman, this regardless of your achievement, and I feel that is really easy to get appreciated if you are a man, this regardless of how ridiculous it is what you do. I know lots of people say this, not only me, and I also have already referred to that on another blog post. Men get applauded even for climbing a wall, basically. Nowadays the media is changing a bit, and I finally saw a few women getting the same attention for doing the same stupidities, but it was all like that until recently. I don't see any value in climbing a wall, and I do think media is a scarce resource and has to therefore be very well used, just like it is when we have only a few vacancies or items in general, this considering almost everything else. Instead of showing that person selfishly climbing a wall, the press could be talking about how it is more rational to live by the couples, and faithful couples, for instance, I don't know. We could be talking about healthy food, optimization of human effort, and things like that. We could be solving and preventing crime. We could be saving people from extreme violation of human rights, so say from slavery, brainwashing, castration, torture, and others. 

Of course, were it my boyfriend, I would like to see him in the news because he climbed a mountain somewhere, since nothing else could be a reward for that effort, like why would anyone else think that he did something good or great, right? In special, I would like to see him there because he would probably have left me on my own during leisure time to do that, I reckon. In not being my boyfriend, however, I wonder what social gain is happening there instead of social loss. I watched the news about the woman who lost her life for the crocodile and I learned that there could be crocodiles in that area. I also learned about the signs and where they could be putting them. I also learned about the time of the day, that they are more likely to come over us during darkness. This token of information can save my life and the life of others, but I don't see how the information about the guy who climbed the mountain could do any sort of good to human kind, basically. Media time is scarce. Our personal resources, especially time, are scarce, so that... . 

I think it is actually very easy to tell when an educator is fair with the grades and when they are not: When there is fairness, we notice that the students are not revolted, they accept their marks. When the exams are well planned, and all things are well explained, so say that the exams are good for them to find out how much they have learned, how much they have studied, etc., the students are actually OK with their marks, I reckon. I had different rows of questions, supervised my students extremely well during the exam, down marked if I caught them cheating, and all that. Even so they seemed to be all fine with all, as I was myself with most of my teachers: I guess we just know what is fair and what isn't. 

Oh, well, and why did this all come to my mind? Because I was thinking of why I end up suffering all these atrocities: I achieved too much when they expected that I achieved too little, basically. It seems that there is a generalized expectation in what regards women from lesser countries: They will still beg for their marks. A VUT fellow from research, still acquiring her credentials, like me back then, actually told me that she had looked in many places in Australia before finding her supervisor, that we had to like them. I immediately understood that she meant on a personal level. That is when I got scared, but there was another one at UQ that had already given me this impression. I also had met women in Brazil whose graduation and employment in Academia seemed to be directly connected to how well they connected to their supervisors on a personal level. I actually concluded, as I told Trevor in that end of 2001, that knowledge and information in Science are protected by keys of power: Nothing of that is necessary and the way it was in the beginning is the way it should always have been. The entire system is devoted to supporting harassment and guaranteeing that the student will not have what they deserve or earn the rights to have; that they will get only what the other party, so say the supervisor, wants to give instead. 

I had achieved highest at UQ, had solved a problem of millennia. The own academic, Hyde, told me so with all words. I think I have no doubts about what should have been my future. Instead, the same academic started by threatening me (a male): OK, you have solved it, but then it is going to take your lifetime to write your solution. I definitely took that to be a life threat: Why would that be so? The solution was so simple! I knew how to write and had proven with exams that I could. The other rejected accepting the topic and gave me no alternative that be not him or the first one. That is how it all started! In the second university, I solved another major problem, this time something that was thirty years old. The researcher who supervised me seemed to not have liked it at all, but things seemed to have progressed to death threat quite quickly instead of reward. In searching for alternatives, I was asked to produce my first solo paper, and so I did. That who asked also did not like the fact that I succeeded or so it seemed, so that I started getting one of his fellows to threaten me as I left his room after that. When I tried the third one, I selected one of his papers and found a problem with it. That was the conjecture: I could prove that it was not true quite easily. I then thought I was going to gain his support if I proved that I could be useful to him in terms of research. I showed all to him on the hope that he was finally going to stop being nasty and snob and support me. That far he was my co-supervisor but had never ever talked to me about research. In fact, he rarely talked to me. He accepted that I was right, and then told me that he was going to do his own research from that moment onward, like he needed to work more on his results because it had been a horrible shame being proven to be wrong or something. Basically, the more I achieved, the worse it was. That also happened in the third university, as incredible as it may seem, and we now had both men and women playing assessors. Finally, I am here, more than fourteen years attacked gratuitously in First World by the race of all losers on earth because they could accept losing for me even less and human kind did not bother defending any piece of me or my rights against them, despite the so much I begged to be defended against them (more than eight world authorities, the entire Australia TV press, this just in that end of 2001). I find it impressive. As I keep on thinking, those males from UQ could simply picture me wearing masculine clothes and being called Marcio, like inside of their own heads or something. What is the big deal? If they had done that, I would obviously have presented my solution in full in that 2000, they would have toured the world with me and it, and I would get offered a chair somewhere. It is incredible. Instead, because I am a woman, I am punished more and more all these years by the entire human kind: Full deprivation of my every basic constitutional right for more than fourteen years in First World democracy. 

Joke, it would have to be. Brazilian men never accepted women in research, like at most lesbians would ever publish in an adequate manner or to an adequate level. Since this all started or even before that, IMPA, for instance, started having only males in its board. It is incredible. The men would say they let this all happen because the women did it. I say they could not even have started, not even 1999 or whatever it was, 1998, UFRJ, was ever acceptable. It can only be a  joke: Born with the wrong gender or something. Joke. 




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