Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

The last weekly newsletter we got before school ended told us that spring semester grades were due from the professors by June 13, and would be mailed out to us sometime between July 9th and July 18th. As of this afternoon, I can say with confidence that they were not overestimating the time it would take in between when the professors turn in the grades and when they'd be mailed. Because I have no grades yet.

And so I find myself a bit torn over what I know less about: what my grades will be (no clue), or why it could possibly take something on the order of a month for the registrar's office to do whatever it needs to do such that we can receive them (no clue).

Even assuming the professors don't have to send the grades in any kind of computerized or format, or bubble them into a bubble sheet that can then be processed in some electronic way, I still have no idea what could take so long. 3Ls get their grades before graduation (the "expedited" plan... which makes me wonder why if they can get them then can't the rest of us?), so there are about 1100 students left to have grades processed. Probably an average of 4 classes per student. 4400 grades. Even if there's only one person dealing with these grades, that's about 220 numbers to enter a day, if this man or woman works 5 days a week; about one every 2 minutes if he or she works 7 hours a day. That's an extraordinarily long amount of time. I've written this whole paragraph in about 2 minutes. Surely someone could type the letter "B" more than 30 times an hour.

And that's the estimate if they're inputting things by hand. If there's a computerized system, I simply have no idea what takes so long. The sheets they mail us have nothing extraordinary on them -- not even a calculated GPA... just a list of classes and the grades. I have no idea why this can't be done on the web somehow, so we could get them marginally quicker, but that's another issue entirely. They have our mailing addresses, the envelopes aren't hand-delivered, nothing could possibly happen in between the professors handing in the grades and the school sending them out... I simply have no clue.

Perhaps they need to verify that each class conformed to some curve. But how long could that really take? Perhaps they input them and then send out confirmation sheets to the professors to verify with their own records. Probably not. But even if so, could that really add more than an extra day or two. It's just a list of names (I mean ID numbers) and a couple of letters. Which are pretty much all Bs anyway.

I have no idea what my grades are, am more curious to see what I got than I am really concerned about the result. But I think I'm most curious why it takes so darn long.