Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Scourge of Optimizing Behavior

I am now coming from a Student Success Program (SSP) class. Taking this class is one of the conditions of my probation at UPEI. The class is not worth a credit, and in fact there will not even be a final mark published, merely a P or F.

To this end I have no interest in putting any more into the class than what is needed to get a P. So I put a question to the instructor, "What is the minimum mark I would need on my final paper to get a P?" The instructor told me that he wanted to get me out of such optimizing behavior. And this is not new to me as I experienced similar resistance to optimization while in the military.

The entire SSP course is about giving new tools to get through academia. But just like my instructor's comments, the tools are more geared to putting more into your studies than getting more out.

The common theme here is that if you are not optimizing then you are wasting. And they want you to waste, so long as they receive the excess.

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