Astronomy 100 Frequently Asked Questions  
  Each semester there are questions that students will have related to the course.  This page answers the most common questions.  If you have a questions about the course - before you contact me - please read below... there is good chance that your question is answered here.  Have a great semester!    
       

  Is there a class curve and if so, how does the class curve work?
Is there any extra credit available?  How much is it worth?  How do I earn it?
I looked at the grade sheet and don't see my extra credit recorded.  Why not?
Do you return the extra credit to the students?
What do I do if I need to miss an exam?
I need to miss class on an exam date.  Is it possible to take an exam early?
I need help because I am not understanding the material.  What do I do?
I need to meet with you.  When and where do I find you?
How do I find out what my grade is?
Can I be given a grade of incomplete for the course?
I noticed that a grade you show on the grade website is different than the one on my returned assignment.  How can I get this fixed?
Why should I pick up all of my graded work?
How do I see a copy of the exam/quiz after it has been taken?
I am going to arrive to class late, what should I do?
Why don't you take attendance each day?
If I miss class, how will I know if anything has been assigned or if there is an exam coming up?
Where do I go to get the course textbook and lecture notes?
I cannot afford the textbook, what should I do?
   
       

Q.
A.
Is there a class curve and if so, how does the class curve work?
Yes there is a class grade curve.  The grade range based on the class curve is posted in your syllabus.  It is based on the class averages for the last 5 years.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Is there any extra credit available?  How much is it worth?  How do I earn it?
Yes there is extra credit available.  There is a total of an additional 3% of your grade that can be earned through extra credit.  There are a variety of ways to earn extra credit.  Consult your syllabus and/or the class website link "Extra Credit" for more information about how it works.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I looked at the grade sheet and don't see my extra credit recorded.  Why not?
The extra credit points are added at the end of the semester when all extra credit has been turned in.  If you turned in extra credit and you followed the appropriate procedure, then you can assume that the points will be added to your grade.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Do you return the extra credit to the students?
Extra credit is read and recorded but not usually returned to students.  If you would like it back, then let me know at the end of the semester and I will return it to you.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
What do I do if I need to miss an exam?
Each student is allowed to miss one exam and make it up at a later date/time.  If you are going to miss an exam you must notify me BEFORE the exam takes place.  You can call me, email me, speak to me in person, or leave me a note (carrier pigeon and smoke signals are also acceptable) to inform me that you will not be present for the exam.  The exam must be taken before the next class occurs.  Consult the class syllabus for more information about the missed exam policy.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I need to miss class on an exam date.  Is it possible to take an exam early?
Sometimes it is possible to take an exam early.  It all depends on how much time there is between the completion of writing the exam and when it is scheduled to occur.  See me and we can discuss your options.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I need help because I am not understanding the material.  What do I do?
You are always welcome to stop by my office to ask for help.  Please be sure to first do what you can to understand the material on your own (read the textbook, study the notes), but if you are still confused, then please come by and I will do my best to help you understand the difficult concept.  If you are still in need of help, there is FREE tutoring available through the STEM Center (3rd floor of the NS Building)
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I need to meet with you.  When and where do I find you?
I have regular office hours available each week.  The times are stated in the syllabus, on the door of my office, and on the class website.  However if these times do not work for you, please contact me to schedule a different time.  My office is located in the Natural Sciences building (the same building your class is located in) on the south side first floor: NS-110A (there is a map on the class website).
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
How do I find out what my grade is?
Student grades are posted online all semester long.  The grades are continually updated as new assignments, exams, and quizzes are taken.  The link to the grade website is on the main Astronomy 100 website.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Can I be given a grade of incomplete for the course?
The grade of "Incomplete" serves a very specific purpose and can only be given out due to special circumstances.  It is used when a student cannot complete the class due to an extenuating circumstance that will be remedied following the conclusion of the semester.  These extenuating circumstances include (but are not limited to) being shipped out due to military duty, a business trip that is unavoidable, an accident that precludes you from attending the final exam.  In most cases these circumstances mean that you are unable to turn in a project that is due at the end of the semester, or that you are unable to take a final exam.  You will be asked to show written proof of your circumstance before an incomplete grade will be considered.  The grade of "I" is then issued and the student has a period of time that they must complete the assignment or take the final exam or an evaluative grade (without those items) will be given.  The grade of "Incomplete" CANNOT be used for the following circumstances: Forgetting or neglecting to turn in an assignment that is due, oversleeping on the day of the final exam, wanting a "do-over" of certain assignments to see if you can improve your grade.  Incomplete grades are RARELY assigned since the circumstances that lead up to it are very unique and often avoidable.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.

A.
I noticed that a grade you show on the grade website is different than the one on my returned assignment.  How can I get this fixed?
Sometimes mistakes are made.  This is why it is important that you pick up your graded work and frequently check your grade online.  If you notice that the grade you earned on the assignment, exam or quiz is different than what is recorded on the grade website, then notify me right away.  You MUST show me the graded work that is in question.  NO EXCEPTIONS.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Why should I pick up all of my graded work?
It sends me a message that you care about how you are doing in this class when you pick up your graded assignments.  I work hard at grading your assignments and it is a bit insulting to me if you are not interested in the results.  At the end of the semester when I am assigning final grades, do you really want me to think "Hmm.. that students is very close to a passing grade... it is unfortunate that they didn't care enough to pick up their graded work.  Maybe I will just let their grade be what it is."
   
  TOP    
     
Q.
A.
How do I see a copy of the exam/quiz after it has been taken?
Once the exam has taken place, students may see a copy of the exam/quiz by coming to my office and requesting to do so.  You must bring the SCANTRON form with you so that I can provide the correct version of the exam/quiz for you to see.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I am going to arrive to class late, what should I do?
Please make every effort to make it to class on time.  It is disruptive to me and to the class when you arrive late.  Follow the "10-minute rule" - If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late then please consider skipping the class for that day.  However if you are unable to make it on time and you insist on attending class, please QUIETLY enter the class through the back door.  Be mindful of how your fellow students and your professor will be annoyed by your disruption.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Why don't you take attendance each day?
After the first two class meetings, I will no longer take attendance for the rest of the semester.  It is my firm belief that students should come to class because they have some desire to be there rather than the feeling of needing to be there to get their name on an attendance sheet.  There are no points given or taken away if you are present or not.  If you feel that you are unable to come to class on a particular day or if you just feel like you don't want to be in class, then PLEASE don't come to class.  Note:  Most of the exam questions will come from the material covered in class each day.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
If I miss class, how will I know if anything has been assigned or if there is an exam coming up?
If there is an announcement that is made in class, or if there is an assignment that has been given out, information will be posted on the CLASS ANNOUNCEMENTS webpage.  If you miss class, consult the CLASS ANNOUNCEMENTS webpage and look for the date of the class you missed.  If there is nothing posted for that date, then nothing was announced or handed out in class.  WARNING:  It sometimes takes me until the next day to post information so be sure to check a few times.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
Where do I go to get the course textbook and lecture notes?
The textbook and class lecture notes are both available at OFF CAMPUS BOOKS bookstore (a map to their location can be found here).  The Palomar College Bookstore ONLY carries the textbook - not the class lecture notes.
   
  TOP    
       
Q.
A.
I cannot afford the textbook, what should I do?
The college library keeps one reserve copy of the textbook in the RESERVE area.  However, it should be noted that this copy cannot leave the library.  If you cannot afford the textbook or lecture notes, the College has several ways to assist you through student financial aid.  I encourage you to seek assistance through the Financial Aid Office.
   
  TOP    
       
       
  RETURN TO ASTRONOMY 100 WEBSITE