Monday, March 26, 2007

Stacks...

of paper. With words.

At my most cynical, they represent incredible frustration: annoyance at improper comma use, and the rampant rape of the english language.

At my most hopeful, they contain indescribable brilliance: excellent syntax, unequaled understanding of tough concepts.

At my most realistic, they are both. And thus begins the long, arduous task of grading.

3 comments:

TDEC said...

The English language is a thing of beauty, and people are undereducated on the subject. All it takes to teach/learn it is some genuine enthusiasm for it; but enthusiasm is hard to offer once you get to the stage of grading papers. Or for that matter when students get to college without the right skills. Good luck with the grading, and I hope it brings you some great writing.

Practicing Idealist said...

TDEC, I completely agree with you on the beauty of the English language. If I had more time, and more patience, I would attempt to instill more love for it in my senior-level students. It's a constant balancing act - do I teach them life skills (such as good writing techniques), or do I teach them sociology? I usually settle for commenting extensively in their papers, and leaving the rest up to them. After all, I reason, college seniors should have a pretty good grasp of the English language, and as much as I'd love to teach English, that's not what I'm paid for. It's an unfortunate reality, but I can't make up for years of neglect by elementary and secondary school teachers, or years of apathy on the part of the students. Arg...

drek's officemate said...

I dunno, I just like the idea that your students are "raping the English language". It conjures this wonderful image that just screams Duke lacrosse players (I kid, I kid).

In any case, having had the same experience I completely sympathize. And if you ever get really tired of grading them, you can rely on my method of just throwing down the stairs and assigning grades based on which stair that they hit.