Week 13 Retrospective

Fisk GIR 2020 + 2023
3 min readNov 8, 2020


What went well:

There was a lot less work to do because the semester is wrapping up. I think not having to make a project lightens the load by a ton, and also I didn’t have to make any homework assignments. Definitely a light load.

At least two professors showed up at the machine learning tech series talk. That was cool.

I set up professional success hours for the students because that’s a requirement at Fisk, which I think is actually pretty awesome, and so the students who attend my tech series can track those. The downside is that the platform being used, MyVoluntier, requires approval one at a time, so there’s a lot of clicking to do.

One of my students is amazing at debugging, he blew me away.

What could be improved:

Fisk has a policy where students can withdraw with a pass or fail, and it won’t affect their GPA. I’m not sure whether the policy is always like this as they’re able to do this up until a week before the final. Around 7 or so of my students wanted a WP / WF (withdraw pass / withdraw fail), and that didn’t feel great. At the same time, I knew they couldn’t catch up at this point. One student who was going to take a WP / WF did change her mind based on the data (aka grades) that I shared with her along with what she’d have to do to pass the class, so that felt good.

I’ve been allowing my students to go back and fix any of their assignments. A lot a lot a lot of students are requesting assignments and projects to be reopened, and I’m going to have a lot of grading to do. Mimir sucks for this sort of tracking because it doesn’t tell me which students updated their code and not only that, it automatically autogrades the new code which is bad because I want to see it before the new grade is given out. I submitted a bug for Mimir to fix, as they agreed with me that this behavior isn’t acceptable — they actually thought the new code would tell me that it needs to be graded, but that’s not the case. I probably should’ve realized this earlier, because I’m pretty sure I need to go back and check all of these assignments again.

I had a quiz retake and on it, I had a function is_chocolate() which would return which items were chocolate. The two students who did the retake both asked me which given items were chocolate (I had Kit Kat, Tootsie Roll, Twix, and Milky Way on the exam). I did not think about that, cultural differences! Wow.

I ignored Discord and email on Wed and Thurs for the most part and had 45 emails and 20 Discord messages on Friday. Oops. I did scrape through all of them though.

I really need to make that final exam.

My quiz on complexity was bad, because I had to delete a question. I graded it incorrectly — it slipped my mind that string concatenation is O(n + k) — and I also had code to read with negative indices which I didn’t teach my students because it’s very Pythonic. I didn’t realize that because my code ran and worked correctly, so I didn’t step through the code to see how variables actually change. I ended up going through everyone’s quiz to delete that question. Complexity continues to be difficult.

The student who sent me that long email way back started crying when I was helping her. That didn’t feel so great, but I was pretty nice to her so I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to do here.



Fisk GIR 2020 + 2023

Hey there! I’m Andrea, teaching as a GIR at Fisk University for fall '23 / '20. Beyond excited and grateful for this opportunity. Recording my journey as I go!