TAT CN Header

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Totally Long Tuesday

I have spent most of the day today reading and assessing papers; these two batches I've been working on are called "process analysis" essays, which is a fancy way of saying "how to." "How to" essays can be somewhat dull and simplistic, but because they are an easy essay, they're a good mode to start with (I like to start easy and progress in difficulty as the semester progresses -- at the end of the term, these two classes will be writing arguments based on research). So, after a VERY full day of assessing process analysis essays, I have some step-by-step methods to share; thus, consider this a "how to" grade "how to" essays:
  • Consume as much caffeine as possible. This helps maintain alertness and helps keep you awake when reading. Of course, be careful not to consume too much caffeine -- it sucks to have your heart hammering away in your chest when your body must remain stationary, and it may make you want to hurl.
  • When it feels like your eyes may begin bleeding, pause and take a break. This may mean taking a few moments to catch up on blogs, answer emails, or changing a load of laundry; whatever the diversion, your eyes will bless you for the break.
  • Do not take out your feelings of anger and frustration when you have just read the 121st comma splice -- yes, the error may make you want to tear your hair out, but try to remain calm. This student only made the error 3 times -- it is the other 25 students with their few errors per paper that have compounded the feeling that no. single. student. on. this. earth. understands. sentence. coordination.
  • Consume more caffeine at this point.
  • It's a good idea to take breaks for exercise; as we all know, exercise helps lower stress and helps invigorate us, but if time does not allow for exercise, consider banging your head against the wall. It relieves pretty much the same tension.
  • Lastly, decide on a quitting time in advance. Yes, these papers may really need to be returned to students tomorrow, but are you willing to sacrifice a good night's sleep in order for Tommy to give his essay and your comments a cursory glance and then proceed to make the same mistakes on his next essay? Probably not. Therefore, determine for yourself: how late will you work? Is 10 late for you? Midnight? Decide this now. Your sanity will thank you later.

There you go folks -- now you are well-equipped to take on my grading for me. So...when can I get all of your addresses so I can start out-sourcing this stuff?


ws said...

When I was doing thesis research my advisor had me read blue books and grade statistics projects. I follow instructions well, though I don't like red pens...send 'em over.

David said...

No hablo Ingles

Jess said...

Wendy: You're in luck! I don't use the dreaded red pen. Expect the first batch in the mail!

Marcy said...

You're making me nervous even commenting. My sentence structure is horrendous. But I always did want to grade papers . . .I'll help!! And of course anything that has to do with caffeine is totally up my alley LOL.

Doug Cichon said...

You would probably hate me as a student, my grammar, tends to suck.

Luckily I don't, have English classes in grad school. Most, people who will read about research, I do can't even get the tense of a sentence right!

(I may or may not, have placed commas random,ly in this comment after writing it!)

teacherwoman said...

I couldn't imagine reading all those papers!

Comma splice? Huh? I bet you just love reading my blog and finding all the errors and my nasty habits/skills. hehehe:)

Wes said...

That's disgusting. Can't we get computers to do that? ;-)

Mendy said...

I can't imagine doing what you're doing. Like Marcy, I'm nervous about my comments. :-) only kidding... I know you don't grade us, well out-loud, that is.

Good luck Jess, and a perfect way to explain how your day (and evenings) go. Caffeine is a must!! Hip,Hip, Horray for caffeine - time for me to go get my coffee!!

J~mom said...

Comma splice? I, can't, even, imagine. I am the worlds worst comma abuser. I had a teacher tell me in 3rd or 4th grade that you put a comma in every where you take a breath and I believed it, for, years, and years.

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

Oh, I love grading, too! Who'd a thought, all you had to do was ask ;)