Thursday, March 18, 2010


One advantage of [lame] students who don't turn in their work on time was shown today, when I began grading the stack of 101 essays. They are essays supposedly analyzing the complex themes and worlds found in Einstein's Dreams, a novel by Alan Lightman (I LOVE to teach this!). There were a few who couldn't hit the side of a metaphor if they had a telescope and a repeating rifle, but most were right on target. Blessedly so.

Then, as a teacher, you begin to wonder if you're grading too easily--letting them off the hook on comma splices, misplaced commas and faulty analysis. That's when I realized that no, the [lame] students just hadn't turned theirs in! Easiest day of grading I've ever had, not having to struggle through a forest of errors, badly laid logic and wild and woolly constructions.

So, when my husband called me from work and said, let's go and look at the wildflowers in Sycamore Canyon, I changed into my walking shoes and we were off, rather than me begging off because of Too Much Grading. We've had a lot of rain this year and supposedly the wildflowers are on target to be quite showy and spectacular. They weren't, but we enjoyed them anyway. Dave pointed out all the trails that Peter and he like in this canyon, including a few that have been obliterated by all the building of warehouses (off camera, to the right).

Grading Stats:
Number enrolled in the class: 23 students (a few have dropped).
Essays late: 5.
Essays corrected: Yep. 18 lovely little papers.
High score: 97%.
Low score: 72%.
Music of choice: Ratatat's Ratatat.
Snack: Ginger Chews from Trader Joe's and lotsa water.

1 comment:

Artax said...

I started grading papers -- yes papers! -- this morning, and it is depressing. I only have six grad students in my class, but some of these papers are very bad. Very depressing. I should go find some wildflowers to cheer myself up.