90% of Success

Monday, first day of class, one of the points I hammered was that 90(+)% of success is showing up on time prepared for whatever activity it is that you are about to undertake.

Today I gave a quiz and maybe brought this lesson home for a few of my students.

They did know that a quiz was coming today. And they did know what it was over (had they bothered to check). And they did know (if they bothered to check) that I told them to know their section number to prepare … actually, they should have just known that. I put it on the board on Wednesday.

Question one: Write your name in the upper right hand corner. Below your name put your UIN (University Identification Number). Below the UIN put your section number. (3 points on a 10 point quiz).

Most seemed fine, a few seemed put out that I required the UIN and section number, and yes, there were a few students 10 minutes late to class when I gave a 10 minute quiz at the beginning of the day. Whoops!

“Can I come by your office later and take the quiz?”


90% of Success is Showing Up on Time and Being Prepared for Whatever Activity It Is You Are About To Undertake.

I solved the quiz problems in class immediately after giving the quiz. If you got them, you know you are right. And if you didn’t, then you hopefully learn something immediately, and in such a way as to embed the lesson on your memory.

Which is why I won’t generally give make-up quizzes. We take a quiz. We solve a quiz. I drop the lowest two in case you are absent, or have a bad day. But I don’t give make-ups.

There might be a side-benefit to the day’s lesson. A few might now be convinced that the nice lady who teaches their math class really is prepared to enforce logical consequences and will actually allow them to suffer now rather than suffer later. (We sometimes are under the impression that the nice lady is going to succumb to begging and whining. We are always disappointed and surprised when it doesn’t work that way.)