Friday, December 5, 2014

Reading (Dead) Days

Here at UGA, next Wednesday (Dec. 10) is "reading day" or, as some schools call it, "dead day" -- that breather between regular classes and the beginning of finals, a chance for students to cram or catch up on sleep or recover from a hangover. Lots of universities have them, a day or even a week, but I found this column at Auburn interesting as it criticizes the university there for labeling Saturday and Sunday their "dead days."

Simply put:
The University shouldn’t call Saturday and Sunday dead days. Students have every weekend off, regardless of how it’s marked on the calendar. 
Agreed. And there's probably a decent story idea here, an analysis of how universities around the country treat the transition from regular schedule to final exams (hint hint, R&B), or perhaps just an analysis of the SEC schools to keep it simple and straightforward. I'd run that story on ... reading day.

As regular readers know, I'm a polling nerd. Hell, I teach our graduate Public Opinion class. So I noticed a SLOP at the end of the story, one of those self-selected (i.e., bullshit) polls that asks readers or viewers their opinion, in this case about reading days, relying on a completely biased sample. I answered the single question and was sent to this graphic for the results which, oddly, cuts off the percentage of people (easily the majority) who said they need more study time, and also manages to cut off the ends of the other two answers. Someone failed "how to crop a graphic" class.

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