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Student in trouble

by flying_postman (Novice)
on Nov 10, 2004 at 04:47 UTC ( #406602=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
flying_postman has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello to everyone,I am a student currently studying for my Bachelor's Degree in Network Management. The situation is this : I recently failed my mid-term exam in a Network Operating Systems (This is the first and LAST time that would happen)and this accounts for 25% of the final grade. I will have four Perl assignments to do soon (20% of the final grade) and this is my first introduction to the language and we would be using the Introduction to Perl text. I would like to post my code for the assignments so it can be evaluated before I submit it to my lecturer and possibly point out what needs to be improved because I really need the 20% to progress. I may post some code this weekend. Thanks.

Comment on Student in trouble
Re: Student in trouble
by tachyon (Chancellor) on Nov 10, 2004 at 08:33 UTC

    I may post some code this weekend.

    No doubt dozens of monks are pencilling in free code reviews for you on the weekend. Thanks for the heads up. We live for this sort of stuff ;-)

    As a hint, have a look at Tutorials and the how to ask a question stuff. SuperSearch for your topics here and you will probably find more than half decent examples that you can R&D. Finally use strict and warnings and Modules unless specifically banned.

    PS Don't expect people to give serious consideration to over a screenful or two of code. As the open source mantra goes, release early, release often so post something before you have 200+ lines of ..... ah ..... cruft is probably a good word.

Re: Student in trouble
by talexb (Canon) on Nov 10, 2004 at 14:14 UTC
      I recently failed my mid-term exam in a Network Operating Systems (This is the first and LAST time that would happen)

    Having been through University myself, just a gentle reminder that this isn't High School again. This stuff is hard, and have to know it cold.

    After failing the second half of second year, I was able to repeat it. I worked hard, then caught double pneumonia a week before finals (most of them were the 60% of your final mark variety). If you've never had pneumonia, I can highly recommend it if you like sleeping fourteen hours a day and coughing for the other ten.

    On the advice of my Academic Advisor, I wrote the exams anyway, without any studying, and failed with a 57% average. Since my mid-term results had been poor, I would have failed anyway if I hadn't written the finals. Luckily, I was able to appeal, asking for 'aegrotat', meaning pass due to sickness.

    How hard do you think I worked the next semester? Really, really hard. I hit the books every night, did my assignments as soon as I received them, read ahead in the text books, and went to bed at midnight, no exceptions. presentations, which were usually a nightmare, became easy. Why? Because I was prepared. What an astounding secret to reveal.

    I finished the term (first half of third year) with my highest average ever. Now, it may be too late for you this semester .. there's only a month left. But you can try, right?

    So, be your own parent: ground yourself. Turn off the damn TV. Stop playing games on the computer. Stop talking to your neighbours and friends on the phone. Focus on eating, sleeping, and working. Learn your stuff cold. Do it.

    And good luck.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: Student in trouble
by revdiablo (Prior) on Nov 10, 2004 at 17:18 UTC

    In the #perl IRC channel that I frequent, we have an oft-repeated mantra: don't ask to ask, just ask. This applies here. You're essentially asking if you can ask a question. Of course you can, the whole point of the Monastery is to ask questions!

    Of course, when you ask your particular question, it may be ignored, for a variety of reasons. That's not because we don't like questions, but usually reflects something particular about the question you asked. So, here's my advise: read the FAQs on how to ask a good question, then do it. Don't ask if you can ask.

Re: Student in trouble
by samtregar (Abbot) on Nov 10, 2004 at 17:26 UTC
    The Perlmonks are always here to help. When you do post your work, please:

    • Note that it is homework. Most monks will tailor their responses to point you in the right direction without giving you the answer directly.
    • Post enough code, but not too much. We can't help if we can't see the code, but nobody wants to read thousands of lines of garbage.
    • Post the exact problem you're trying to solve. Often students paraphrase problems and end up leaving out crucial information.
    • Consider telling your professor that you got help on the internet. If you don't you run the risk of being found out later and possibly facing negative repercussions. Many good professors will be fine with people getting advice on homework as long as they're doing the work.

    -sam

      Consider telling your professor that you got help on the internet.

      This is probably some of the best advice you'll get. What if your instructor is a monk and sees your post here? You can prevent a lot of trouble by being honest up front. :) And judging from your message, you need to make sure the rest of the term goes as smoothly as possible.

      Make sure you ask specific questions about the issues you're having trouble with and request pointers, rather than solutions, to prevent any question about who's doing the work. In doing so, you'll understand the material better.

      /Larry

Re: Student in trouble
by tilly (Archbishop) on Nov 10, 2004 at 17:51 UTC
    On my home node I have some notes about learning. You may find some of them useful, particularly Re (tilly) 1: Discipline.

    However I won't be answering your homework questions, and am likely to downvote people who do. I don't care how desperately you wish to get the grade, I don't like anything resembling cheating.

    What is the worst case scenario if nobody does your work for you? You may fail the course and have to retake it. That isn't so bad. If you belong in network management, you'll pass the second time. 5 years from now nobody will care that you failed the first time. OTOH if you shouldn't be trusted to manage computers, you may fail again. And while that may be painful for you, in the long run it is better for both you and for your future co-workers if you wind up in a field that you're better suited to.

    What is the worst case scenario if somebody does your work for you? You may pass without having learned the material. Meaning that all you've learned is how to beg resources from others. After that, even if you have aptitude, you'll wind up in the same situation again because you're now lacking the necessary foundations.

      "You may pass without having learned the material. " Amen. The point of going to school isn't graduating, the point is LEARNING.
      Oh, relax. He didn't say he wanted us to do his work for him. He said he'd post some code he planned to submit so we could help him refine it. Yes, he needs to tell his instructors that he's getting outside help, but that doesn't mean we should refuse to help.

      I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

      -sam

        I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

        Concur. The problem is finding a balance between not helping the OP at all and helping the OP too much. From past experience, though, I think we're pretty good at finding that balance.

        Edit: Perhaps a bit more diligence is required. :-(

        --
        Yours in pedantry,
        F o x t r o t U n i f o r m

        "Anything you put in comments is not tested and easily goes out of date." -- tye

        D'accord.

        One of life's great lessons is knowing when to seek help and advice. IMO, a much more important lesson than anything taught on any CS course.

        Another of life's great lessons is learning how to learn, and the greater part of that, is to know how to effectively research a problem.

        Many of us didn't have the internet through which to do our research, so we had to use our local library. Just as I would expect any half-competent lecturer to be able to recognise the difference between:

        • my have learned something from reading a text.
        • my having copied a text verbatim, or with just enough inconsequential changes to try to conceal it's origins.

        so I would expect them to be able to recognise when a student has learnt from code found (or solicited) on the internet, and code produced as a result of lessons learnt from stuff found on the internet.

        If I, as a lecturer, had any doubts one way or the other, then I don't think I would find it hard to pose one or two simple verbal questions of the student to decide one way or the other.

        The last, and possibly most important of life's great lessons involved here is that in the end, if you cheat on exams, it is unlikely to have ill-consequences for either your lecturer, or fellow students in the long term.

        Cheating on exams is ultimately, cheating yourself.


        Examine what is said, not who speaks.
        "Efficiency is intelligent laziness." -David Dunham
        "Think for yourself!" - Abigail
        "Memory, processor, disk in that order on the hardware side. Algorithm, algorithm, algorithm on the code side." - tachyon
        --I think it's important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community. I've seen far too many programmers fresh out of college reinventing the wheel simply because they had no idea that places like this exist!

        Reinventing the wheel is part of a proper education. I agree wholeheartedly that familiarity with support communities benefits the seasoned programmer, but I'd rather hire the engineer whose marks are reflective of his or her innate programmatic abilities versus his or her resourcefulness. That is, however, simply a personal preference.

        Given what I've seen happen before when people post some broken code, I'm not inclined to take a generous interpretation of what he's looking for. He may claim to be looking for refinements, but he'll likely get a complete rewrite that is an order of magnitude better than anything he could write - and he won't understand what makes it better. Given the levels of academic dishonesty on campuses today (not that it is a new problem), I'm not inclined to believe that he would tell his instructors that he got outside help, even if he said he would (which he hasn't).

        I agree that it is important for CS students to learn to get help from the programming community in appropriate ways. And my opinion is that asking other people to debug your code is not an appropriate kind of help to ask for.

        Knowing that not everyone agrees with me won't change my opinion. I already know that some don't agree with me, but I have reasons for my opinion and until they are addressed...

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