Thursday, May 12, 2011


I have a stack of assignments to grade. And so I start. My habit with an assignment like this is to read through several, and get a feel for the lay of the land, writing marginal comments, and then set about grading. It's not ideal, perhaps, and it would be different if I made up a rubric, but it does give me a sense of how well I've communicated the assigment to the class.

And the first paper, pretty good.

And the second paper, abysmal. It's horrid in all the ways an upper level college paper shouldn't be: it doesn't say anything, and when it uses sources it just puts in the information and then lists the sources below, rather than indicating which source has to do with which information.

Bleargh. I'm frustrated, so then I checked facebook, and looked at some blogs. And then I graded another, and it's almost equally abysmal in many of the same ways, with a bonus of all website citation.

At that point, I thank my stars that I get to talk to a new major who's enthusiastic and pleasant.

And now I need to turn back to grading. But I have no momentum, or worse, backwards momentum. Looking at the names, I'm pretty sure I've read the two worst assignments, since they come from a couple of students who are pretty intellectually uninvolved in the class.

It's hard to restart when you've started with a couple of really crappy ones, you know?

I need an intervention!

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