Not All Credits Are Created Equal

Luke Johnson | SIPA Class of 2018

To all the initiated first years (except J-termers, you’ll have to wait until next semester), we know that not all course credits are created equal. There are some malicious credits which are dripping with problem sets, late nights, uncertainty, pop quizzes, 200 pages of reading a week with papers in between to make sure you actually did it.

Others just got back from a year at the beach and decided “you know what, these kids need a break. I won’t be that kind of credit.” These credits are a bit tired. A little slow. They prefer to make problem sets optional, papers done with an outline already made, and tests with no surprises. These credits decided that learning the material is enough — no need to separate out the wiz kids from the rest and add a fat curve.

You get enough of the beach-and-hammock credits all together and, all of a sudden, a numerical increase in credits does not equal an increase in work load. I need to adjust my original model to the following:

Pain to Credits

But wait! Maybe this is all wrong. Perhaps the credits on your shoulders are not a reflection of the course, but of yourself. “Difficulty”, after all, is all relative. If “what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly”; well, “what is agony for the quant-minded is a sunny day in Cozumel for the writer.” What is difficult for one, is easy for another…


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