Post-Exam Nuclear Option

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Apex2109

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Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby Apex2109 » Fri May 04, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi everyone, I'd like to preface this post by saying (1) I truly do understand how brutal what follows is and (2) I've never felt the need to make a TLS account, but I'm really in need of your advice here. Please forgive me in advance.

I lost really close family member recently, so the school gave me a couple of days to go home and allowed me to reschedule my exam. I never thought of myself as an extended griever, but I haven't gotten any sleep for the past few days--and it's been impossible for me to focus. I really don't feel like myself. It's been I haven't been able to power through the mourning phase as quickly as I anticipated.

As I mentioned, I also happen to be in the midst of finals. I took my rescheduled exam this morning and completely blanked. It's not just that I didn't hit all of the points or catch all of the issues. No. I completely tanked and left multiple questions blank (and there weren't that many questions on the exam). I studied for this class really hard, went to all of the classes, and I know the material--it's just that my final exam won't show that. I am really worried.

I know that it's taboo (maybe even against the rules?) to contact professors before exams are graded, but I'm feeling pretty desperate. I just feel the need to contextualize the exam for them. Even if they don't consider it while they're scoring my exam, a part of me feels like I should say something just so my professor knows that I took the class seriously and that what I submitted isn't what I took away from the class.

An alternative is to reach out to student services, but I'm not quite sure what they could/would do.

Does reaching out to my professor sound at all rational?

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BasilHallward

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby BasilHallward » Fri May 04, 2018 7:19 pm

Apex2109 wrote:Hi everyone, I'd like to preface this post by saying (1) I truly do understand how brutal what follows is and (2) I've never felt the need to make a TLS account, but I'm really in need of your advice here. Please forgive me in advance.

I lost really close family member recently, so the school gave me a couple of days to go home and allowed me to reschedule my exam. I never thought of myself as an extended griever, but I haven't gotten any sleep for the past few days--and it's been impossible for me to focus. I really don't feel like myself. It's been I haven't been able to power through the mourning phase as quickly as I anticipated.

As I mentioned, I also happen to be in the midst of finals. I took my rescheduled exam this morning and completely blanked. It's not just that I didn't hit all of the points or catch all of the issues. No. I completely tanked and left multiple questions blank (and there weren't that many questions on the exam). I studied for this class really hard, went to all of the classes, and I know the material--it's just that my final exam won't show that. I am really worried.

I know that it's taboo (maybe even against the rules?) to contact professors before exams are graded, but I'm feeling pretty desperate. I just feel the need to contextualize the exam for them. Even if they don't consider it while they're scoring my exam, a part of me feels like I should say something just so my professor knows that I took the class seriously and that what I submitted isn't what I took away from the class.

An alternative is to reach out to student services, but I'm not quite sure what they could/would do.

Does reaching out to my professor sound at all rational?


First, I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I had something similar during second semester of 1L and it really rattled me. I proceeded with exams anyways, b/c my student affairs wasn't terribly understanding about extending my exam period. Unfortunately, there is very little that you can do IMO. Further, don't reach out to your professor. Operate through student affairs, but the exam is in and there is nothing they will do. There is no "contexualizing" your exam to the extent that it would incorporate your circumstances. Is this exam not graded blindly?

Second, relax. You just walked out of the exam. Everyone feels this ways to varying degrees. I just walked out of Sec Reg and feel that I was subjected to torture. Anyways, best of luck and sorry for your loss.

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bretby

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby bretby » Fri May 04, 2018 8:04 pm

Apex2109 wrote:Hi everyone, I'd like to preface this post by saying (1) I truly do understand how brutal what follows is and (2) I've never felt the need to make a TLS account, but I'm really in need of your advice here. Please forgive me in advance.

I lost really close family member recently, so the school gave me a couple of days to go home and allowed me to reschedule my exam. I never thought of myself as an extended griever, but I haven't gotten any sleep for the past few days--and it's been impossible for me to focus. I really don't feel like myself. It's been I haven't been able to power through the mourning phase as quickly as I anticipated.

As I mentioned, I also happen to be in the midst of finals. I took my rescheduled exam this morning and completely blanked. It's not just that I didn't hit all of the points or catch all of the issues. No. I completely tanked and left multiple questions blank (and there weren't that many questions on the exam). I studied for this class really hard, went to all of the classes, and I know the material--it's just that my final exam won't show that. I am really worried.

I know that it's taboo (maybe even against the rules?) to contact professors before exams are graded, but I'm feeling pretty desperate. I just feel the need to contextualize the exam for them. Even if they don't consider it while they're scoring my exam, a part of me feels like I should say something just so my professor knows that I took the class seriously and that what I submitted isn't what I took away from the class.

An alternative is to reach out to student services, but I'm not quite sure what they could/would do.

Does reaching out to my professor sound at all rational?


I'm sorry to hear about what happened - I hope you're taking what time you need and remembering that this is just one exam, one grade, and ultimately not that important. Now, to your question - Don't reach out to the professor - it puts him/her in a really awkward position. They cannot/will not grade you any differently. It's ok to reach out after grades are submitted and explain. If you really did bomb and it is out of keeping with your other grades, you should talk to career services about how to indicate this on your resume for OCI. This happens to people every year, and there are ways of dealing with it, but do not email the professor.

albanach

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby albanach » Fri May 04, 2018 11:37 pm

I'd echo the above, but also that you should reach out to student affairs first thing on Monday. Every school is different, add is every professor. It's unlikely they'll be able to do much, but the longer you wait the more certain that becomes.

Apex2109

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby Apex2109 » Sat May 05, 2018 9:28 am

Thank you, guys. I really appreciate the advice. You're right.

It's just frustrating because, after just a decent 1L, I worked hard to get strong grades last semester. Now it feels a bit like that and all the work over this semester is going to be for naught. This is one of those cornerstone classes, so I feel like a poor grade in it is going to make getting a clerkship this summer significantly more difficult (maybe impossible?). And it's not for a lack of preparation throughout the semester and during finals period, just a crappy life event and bit of mental/emotional fragility on my part, I guess. But I suppose there is nothing I can do.

Thanks again for the advice, and apologies for the melodrama.

nixy

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby nixy » Sat May 05, 2018 9:56 am

1) I don't think grades in "cornerstone" classes really matter much more than grades in any other classes. Really very few summer employers are going parse your transcript that closely. A bad grade is a bad grade, but don't torture yourself about it being worse than any other.

2) totally agree with the suggestion to talk to student services Monday. They may not be helpful, but if anyone can do anything, it's student services, not the individual professor. There won't be any "contextualizing" of the exam (you won't get a better grade) but there may be some kind of withdrawal/do-over option. (There may not be - don't count on this at all - but you never know until you try.)

I'm not sure your prof will even really match up the grades with the people in their class, but if things do end up badly, and you do want to talk to the prof, that's fine - just don't do it until after grades are in and everything is settled.

And I'm also sorry that you had to deal with this.

NYCounsel

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Re: Post-Exam Nuclear Option

Postby NYCounsel » Sun May 06, 2018 11:09 am

Just wanna absolutely echo what the other law students/attorneys have said, given it's not yet Monday and you may not have reached out to student affairs yet. PLEASE, PLEASE, if you reach out to anyone, do not reach out to the professor. I know you're going through a lot, but contacting the professor about it is one of the worst decisions you could make right now. If you feel so inclined, talk to them AFTER your grade is in. But for now only reach out to student affairs. Student affairs may well be able to contact the professor in your stead. But I strongly advise against doing that yourself.

Nuclear is a good word for contacting the professor, but it's more like you dropping a nuke on your own head. Finally, I hope things work out. I think if you actually follow up with student affairs they will.



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