I was going to start by saying it's the grading jail time of the semester. But really, other than the first week or so, it always feels like the grading jail time of the semester. (I tend to give small, low stakes writing assignments spread across the semester, so it's my own fault. But I think these assignments are valuable to students.)
I'm reading poetry papers right now. I gave them three topics to choose from, and many are writing about the poetry book we read (whose author skyped with our class), and mostly, these are really good.
Yes, some could use a stronger thesis, and many could do better if they embedded quotations to give them context.
But their writing really shows that they're reading these poems as poems, and thinking about them well. And that's very good.
One of the things that strikes me about these papers is that they tend to read grief as "depressing" rather than as "grieving" or "deeply emotional." For me, "depressing" is more existential, more a matter of despair and hopelessness, while grieving, even deep grieving, is less hopeless and more just dealing with loss. I think. I'm not sure how to express this.
Is Lear depressing? Or deeply emotional? or something else?
Does grief feel depressing to you folks?