One grade will kill me.....

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Ayeshabelle
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One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:53 am

Duke Law just requested additional information about the skeleton in my academic closet: I received a D in the fall semester in my Classical and Medieval Political Philosophy class.

Maybe I should withdraw my applications from consideration..... life sucks today....
Last edited by Ayeshabelle on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:56 am

Ayeshabelle wrote:
Maybe I should withdraw my applications from consideration..... life sucks today....



Different approach! give them the additional info the requested

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vanwinkle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:03 am

Dwaterman86 wrote:
Ayeshabelle wrote:
Maybe I should withdraw my applications from consideration..... life sucks today....



Different approach! give them the additional info the requested

+1

They could have easily rejected you and moved on. The fact that they're bothering to collect extra information means they're at least still considering you. Think of this as a positive; they're giving you another chance to explain yourself, which implies that they want to take you if you can. They have chosen to take an extra step with you instead of rejecting you! Rejoice in that, and embrace the chance to explain yourself.

Tell them you got ill! Tell them what you told us (though phrasing it in a more appropriate way for a law school application). The worst thing they will say is "no", which is where you would be if you withdraw. The best thing they will say, on the other hand, is "okay, that makes sense, ACCEPTED!" Do you really want to risk losing that because you're freaking out a little right now?

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MBZags
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby MBZags » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:15 am

Addendum...

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:37 am

You're right, I should write an addendum. I just hate making any kind of excuse. The professor is not making this any easier. He refuses to reconsider my grade until the spring semester begins in February. If I appeal to the department they may change the grade but all of this takes so much more time than I have. He won't even let me see the grade I received on the final (though I checked my answers after taking the test and know I got the vast majority of them right).

Thank you for your help

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D. H2Oman
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:40 am

Did Duke just ask you to update your fall grades? If so, I don't think this one grade is going to make or break you.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:50 am

No, they explicitly asked me to explain the D grade:

Dear Ms. XXXX,

Thank you for your application to Duke Law School! The admissions committee has completed its initial review of your application. However, before we finalize our evaluation of your file, we would like to request some additional information.

Would you please provide a brief explanation of the circumstances resulting in your "D" grade in your political philosophy course last semester? It seems out of character with the rest of your record and we'd like to know a little more about your experience in this class. You may submit this to me by e-mail and I'll attach it to your file. We should then be able to complete our review pretty quickly.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this, other aspects of the application process, or the law school in general. Again, we appreciate your interest in Duke.

Regards,
Mark Hill

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D. H2Oman
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby D. H2Oman » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:52 am

I'm not an expert, but that looks kind of encouraging. Organize the thoughts from your first post, and send it to some people on TLS to review.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:18 am

EDIT

This is roughly what I have so far:

Dear Mr. Hill,

Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the D I received in Classical and Medieval Political Philosophy last semester.

Last semester I was chronically ill with what seemed to be either the flu or walking pneumonia. I had a hard time commuting two hours to my 9:30 am philosophy class and my attendance suffered as a result. Nevertheless, I did all of the assigned reading and got copies of the lecture notes that I missed from other students. I received a 92 on the midterm, and believe that I did well on the final, although the professor has not yet disclosed my grade. There were no other course assignments and my request to perform extra credit work was denied. The grade is currently being appealed, and the professor has promised to have a decision by the end of this week.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this additional statement. I wish you success in your mission to create the optimal class of 2013, and hope that you will decide to include me in that category.

Best regards,

XXXX XXXXXXXX
Last edited by Ayeshabelle on Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unitas
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Unitas » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:24 am

I'm not sure about that addendum, it seems like you are saying the grade is a mistake then going on to explain why it is your fault. It can't be both....

Can you afford to wait until the grade appeal is decided on? Then you can either focus on that or leave it out.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby neimanmarxist » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:32 am

....
Last edited by neimanmarxist on Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:33 am

your addendum needs to be more concise. focus on the factors that made the grade an anomaly and why exactly you wouldn't perform that way at Duke. also, like some others said, the tone seems a little too whiny.

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Panther7
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Panther7 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:42 am

i think it's rather ridiculous to sent a GPA addendum for a single class.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:43 am

Thanks for the input. Is it that obvious that the professor is evil? I tried not to make it sound like I was blaming the professor because I imagine a lot of their explanations about grades come as "the professor is a EFFIN TOOL," and it may strike them as immature...
Last edited by Ayeshabelle on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unitas
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Unitas » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:44 am

Panther7 wrote:i think it's rather ridiculous to sent a GPA addendum for a single class.


Read the thread, it was requested by the school.


neimanmarxist wrote:Yes. I would leave the second paragraph, about scaling back on your PT job, out. Leave it as a discussion of your midterm grade, your final exam grade, and the fact that there's an appeal. Don't give them information that they didn't ask for- lots of people work part time in college to pay the bills.


I wouldn't do this... Mainly because they would just ask for what happened with the appeal. So if you lose it will look like you challenged the grade for no reason and back to step one with a faulty appeal already against you.

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Panther7
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Panther7 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:47 am

Kakarot wrote:
Panther7 wrote:i think it's rather ridiculous to sent a GPA addendum for a single class.


Read the thread, it was requested by the school.


my bad. in that case, just state the reasons. just be as honest as you can possibly be without trying to beg/whine.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:56 am

Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the D I received in Classical and Medieval Political Philosophy last semester.

Last semester I was chronically ill with what seemed to be either the flu or walking pneumonia. I had a hard time commuting two hours to my 9:30 am philosophy class and my attendance suffered as a result. Nevertheless, I did all of the assigned reading, got copies of the lecture notes that I missed from other students, and studied hard for the exams. I received a 92 on the midterm, and believe that I did well on the final, although the professor has not yet disclosed my grade. There were no other course assignments and my request to perform extra credit work was denied. The grade is currently being appealed, and the professor has promised to have a decision by the end of this week.

Thank you again for taking the time to read this additional statement. I wish you success in your mission to create the optimal class of 2013, and hope that you will decide to include me in that category.

Best regards,

XXXX XXXXXXXX

Should I cut out the part about how I tried to make up for my poor attendance (getting classnotes, extra study, etc) It is meant to show that I was serious about the class even though I did not always attend.

hartfordwhalers
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby hartfordwhalers » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:03 am

You are getting terrible advice in this thread. The key here is to act as if the professor is right and you are wrong. The text should read something like:

"While my graded work in this course was in the A range, I received a D in the class due to violations of the Professor's attendance policy. I have apologized to the Professor and I am working with the professor to complete an extra assignment that would permit a future adjustment of the grade. However, it is possible that the grade will remain on my record as is.

I apologize for this lapse in judgment.


Sincerely,
XXXXXXX"

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eshort
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby eshort » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:07 am

hartfordwhalers wrote:You are getting terrible advice in this thread. The key here is to act as if the professor is right and you are wrong. The text should read something like:

"While my graded work in this course was in the A range, I received a D in the class due to violations of the Professor's attendance policy. I have apologized to the Professor and I am working with the professor to complete an extra assignment that would permit a future adjustment of the grade. However, it is possible that the grade will remain on my record as is.

I apologize for this lapse in judgment.


Sincerely,
XXXXXXX"


Not saying one way or the other is right, but if you do this you might include WHY you violated the attendance policy.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:12 am

hartfordwhalers wrote:You are getting terrible advice in this thread. The key here is to act as if the professor is right and you are wrong. The text should read something like:

"While my graded work in this course was in the A range, I received a D in the class due to violations of the Professor's attendance policy. I have apologized to the Professor and I am working with the professor to complete an extra assignment that would permit a future adjustment of the grade. However, it is possible that the grade will remain on my record as is.

I apologize for this lapse in judgment.


Sincerely,
XXXXXXX"


this is exactly why you shouldn't listen to people who wander in here off the internet and use extreme words like "terrible"

you of course will acknowledge fault, not blame the professor, but also make sure to make it clear that this was a one shot deal that wont happen again

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:15 am

I wish I could write something like that, except I don't know:

1)What grade I received on the final (the professor refuses to tell me and I had to stop him from giving me a lower grade I deserved on the midterm. It could well be that he gave me a 40 on the final just because he can.

2) What his official attendance policy is beyond "You must always come to class"

Do you think it is bad form to mention that I was sick? I don't think what happened was as much a lapse in judgement as it was a temporary lapse in ability.

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wakefield
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby wakefield » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:35 am

Ayeshabelle wrote:I wish I could write something like that, except I don't know:

1)What grade I received on the final (the professor refuses to tell me and I had to stop him from giving me a lower grade I deserved on the midterm. It could well be that he gave me a 40 on the final just because he can.

2) What his official attendance policy is beyond "You must always come to class"

Do you think it is bad form to mention that I was sick? I don't think what happened was as much a lapse in judgement as it was a temporary lapse in ability.



I think if you can explain that you were seriously ill without sounding like it's an excuse, you should mention it. Don't dwell on it, though.

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Unitas
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Unitas » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:12 pm

wakefield wrote:
Ayeshabelle wrote:I wish I could write something like that, except I don't know:

1)What grade I received on the final (the professor refuses to tell me and I had to stop him from giving me a lower grade I deserved on the midterm. It could well be that he gave me a 40 on the final just because he can.

2) What his official attendance policy is beyond "You must always come to class"

Do you think it is bad form to mention that I was sick? I don't think what happened was as much a lapse in judgement as it was a temporary lapse in ability.



I think if you can explain that you were seriously ill without sounding like it's an excuse, you should mention it. Don't dwell on it, though.


Problem with saying you were ill is that you still got A's (or good grades) in the rest of your classes so it is unbelievable.

hartfordwhalers
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby hartfordwhalers » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:16 pm

You don't have an excuse. Being sick a lot during the term isn't an excuse unless its a serious illness- and not "walking pneumonia"- I mean like cancer or something of the like. This is especially true in law, where you are basically supposed to drag yourself in to work unless you are near-death. That the class met at 9:30 and you had a 2 hr commute is not an excuse, because it both shows bad judgment to take a 9:30 AM class if you have a 2 hr commute and indicates irresponsibility, because once you enrolled you should have fulfilled your commitment to the class.

Law classes, at least at my T14, will have the same attendance policy as this class: "you must attend". However, since you might have 100 people in the class, this policy is enforced with calling- if you're not in your seat when you get called on, you get a little demerit. It happens two or three times, you're looking at a grade deduction (not to a D, but maybe to a B+ if you were A/A- range and to a B- in you were B/B+ range, which, on a typical T14 grade scale, is roughly tantamount to a D). To complain about the unreasonableness of a "attend or else" policy isn't going to go over well with the admissions people.

Now, I have no experience with LS admissions. But I did work in admissions at a non-law Ivy graduate program, and I can tell you that the letter you proposed sending would have made you an immediate autoding in our office.

Take responsibility for your [mess]up, demonstrate that you understand you made a mistake in judgment which will not occur again, and show the steps you've taken to fix the situation.

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Ayeshabelle
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Re: One grade will kill me.....

Postby Ayeshabelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:41 pm

Thank you all for your advice. I have taken everything into account and hope the ultimate statement will be favorably received.




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