Posted by: unlikelygrad | February 13, 2010

Dear Seminar Committee,

You have every right not to give me a passing grade on my performance. You have seen more students present seminars than I have, and I assume you therefore have a better idea of what constitutes a passing seminar than I do. However, I do have a couple of requests for you.

First of all, if you think that a student has given a less-than-acceptable performance, please don’t compliment her on the way out, telling her how well she did. If half of the evaluators give immediate positive feedback on the student’s performance, she might get her hopes up.

And secondly, if you are going to hold a student to the departmental seminar guidelines, it would be a good idea to send her a copy of those guidelines several weeks before she actually gives her seminar. One day’s advance notice just doesn’t cut it. After all, the seminar should be more or less ready to roll 24 hours (or more) before presentation time.



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