So, I’m on the road, and I figured, “oh the hotel has free internet, I’ll keep posting.” Wow. I have never made so little use of a hotel room before. Anyhow:

We had so much fun with Lila and Susan, meet “Bobby” and “Ian”.

Bobby speaks in class every day. He’s not just BS-ing, and it’s clear he’s done the reading and prepared for class, but his contributions aren’t that deep. He might ask a question about something he didn’t understand in the reading. Another student makes a point and Bobby supports it with an additional example from the source—occasionally a different source, but that’s about as sophisticated as he gets. He’ll answer my basic questions willingly and well.

Ian speaks once about every two or three classes, usually with great insight. I’ll raise a complex multi-layered issue masquerading as a short simple question to offer the class several directions for discussion, and Ian will summarize all the layers in a paragraph-length answer. (Thus short-circuiting the discussion, leaving nothing for other students to contribute, and settling in 2 minutes a topic I planned to let take 20. Thanks, Ian.)

What sort of discussion grades do Ian and Bobby deserve? Assume they both come to pretty much every class and that attendance, in-class writing, etc, are not really relevant here.