For the “free response” part of their AP exams, students are given green booklets that contain the questions and pink booklets in which to write their answers. They can scribble whatever they wish in either book, but the pink ones get sent off to be scored while the green ones end up in my file cabinet. How do I know which ones should end up in my file cabinet? The students write their names on them, and just underneath their name, they’re supposed to write their teachers’ names.
This is were things get mildly amusing. My Great Burden on this Earth is that of having a name that is often misspelled and mispronounced (I have misspelled my name just once ever, just to prove that I could). Well, this year’s batch of green booklets featured the most diverse array of misspellings I’ve seen yet. I was compelled to tabulate and analyze data. I wish I knew an algorithm for determining variance from a correct spelling so I could start measuring how far off these misspellings were. Alas, I’ll have to make do with simple percentages and pie charts.
Here’s what I learned at lunchtime today:
- 53.7% of my students managed to spell my last name correctly.
- Juniors were twice as likely as seniors to spell my last name correctly (77.6% vs 38.2%).
- 8.2% of my students wrote “Mr. V.”
- Seniors were just under twice as likely as juniors to use that nickname (10.1% vs. 5.2%).
- The most common misspelling (25.2%) of my last name is phonetically acceptable: “Viscarello.”
The pie chart below is based on the 68 failures to spell my last name correctly:
A college buddy once proposed that as a test of competence, voters should have to correctly spell the name of the person they wished to elect. If that ever came to pass, I think I’d have to change my last name to “V” in order to win anything. But then I wonder how many folks that would confuse.