Sunday, April 15, 2007

The mid-April lament

I wish that some day soon, I will have a TA or three of my very own. And they will grade all of my students' tests and papers, and I will be kind to them and occasionally even buy them coffee, or cookies, or candy.

It comes down to this. Here I sit, once again, in my P.J.s at midnight on a Sunday night, stacks of essays on three sides. My only consolations are one glass each of coffee, iced tea and water, several pillows, a blanket, a pint of Haagen-Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream, and a spoon. Even the cats are avoiding me, rather than assuming their usual nap spots nearby on the table and the couch, Tiger because I can't pet him while writing and Ford because I won't let him repeatedly knock my pencils and stapler off the table, chew on the students' papers, or even better, sleep on them. No fun at all, that's me.

There is no other way to say it: Grading end-of-term essays sucks monkey balls for all parties involved.

I think I'm gonna need a bigger spoon.


Kiosco Salo ConcepciĆ³n said...


Saludos de ConcepciĆ³n, Chile.

Luis Roco C.

Lainey-Paney said... a student, might I post this option:
don't assign end of term essays!
you hate grading them, and we hate writing them!

Down with the essays!


Oh, but for now, hang in there, and be liberal with the As!

Bridget said...

Ah, but there's the thing - I didn't assign them! I am but a lowly graduate student whose funding is dependent on my "agreeing" to grade what someone else assigns. For a class of maybe 30, max, no problem. But 60? Big, big spoon. And it's not the instructor's fault... she plans a course expecting a much smaller class, and someone (department? registrar? who knows!) neglects to cap the course enrollment!

"All parties involved" totally includes the students, too. Being an eternal student, I am no great fan of end-of-term essays and term papers, having written more than my fair share in recent years (including, um, now!) So I am almost too sympathetic for my own good. Can you form a coherent thesis, body & conclusion? Heck, that's at least a B right there!!