It’s Friday morning, and the essays my students turned in yesterday are silently judging me for avoiding them. I have a one week turn around policy, but I try to get things back to students much sooner than that, so that they can have the option (which most, sadly, will not use) to take my comments into account and, y’know, improve.
So, I settle in to my grading and, right off the bat, find an essay that quotes WHOLE PARAGRAPHS from the secondary sources. It’s an Intro to Comp paper, so on the bright side, the student actually cited. But paragraph after paragraph of quotes with no commentary by the student means this paper’s gotta fail:
I know it’s time to quit for the day when I feel something resembling glee because a student’s paper turns out not to meet the minimum requirements, despite appearing to do so at first glance. One less paper to grade, yes. But I’m really not a sadistic monster–I want my students to succeed!
Eventually when one has been grading long enough, one runs across a paper that fails to include any sort of intelligible thesis statement or forecast:
Sometime late Friday evening, I begin to despair of accomplishing everything I’d wanted to accomplish this weekend. Yes, I have to grade, but clean dishes and a hot meal would be nice, too. So I multitask:
By Saturday, I’ve resigned to reality: grading has taken over my weekend. The only thing to do is push through and: