Letters to Holly

Friday, June 4

Making the Grade

I never mind helping Your Sister grade papers. It's glorified proofreading, but the kid will usually never see what I mark and write. These are the final papers, and they won't get them back. I don't agree with that personally; I would want to see the paper's marks if I was the student. The only way they will see them is if they formally request it the following semester. As I type that, it sounds wrong. Maybe they can see them if they come by during the teacher workdays after exams. Now I'm not sure.

Anyway, Your Sister reminds me of this and says I don't need to make marks after the first page or so. She suggests extrapolating the paper's quality based on the first sheet, but that doesn't sound right to me. I do the whole paper (minus the citations; that's hers). There was one paper last night that started strong and fell apart by the middle of page two. Another paper would have stood tall had there been any citations. That kid failed the paper, and it was the best written paper by a mile.

Parent and student shenanigans are par for the course. Your Sis has one pair arguing that her classroom is in disarray since she left and the sub misplaced the paper turned in by the student. To fix this, the parent called the sub during class so she could hear the student turn in another copy. This was to document that the sub received it. But this seems to me to document instead that the student has officially turned in her paper very late, and that leads to a hefty point deduction. They outwitted themselves.

Parents can challenge their kids' grades and request to see the final paper to ensure the student got they grade he deserved. That's why I mark it completely. The teacher who speaks to the parent may not be the one who failed the student, and I want whoever reads the paper to see all the marks that scuttled the grade. The biggest problem I see this year is sloppiness due to hurry. Sentences contradict themselves. Simple grammatical mistakes riddle the papers. These are works done in a rush, probably at the last nanosecond. I worked the same way back then. I know their pain. I think seeing those mistakes accentuated with marks could cement the need to pace their effort and give themselves a chance.

One consistent mistake I see is a lack of understanding anything about Africa. One paper last night claimed that 80% of adults and children have AIDS. There's at least one paper each year that thinks Africa has one government. They all think Africa is utterly backwoods. I hope they watch the World Cup just to gasp that paved roads exist there.

Fucking Awesome Scene of the Day
Is this a clue to a name we're considering? Mayhap. Is this one of the best moments in a great movie? Definitely.


Anonymous said...

Any child would be thrilled at the name Hackensack!

Did she steal Princess Leia's dress? Or was that really all the rage in the 1970's...and in future intergalactic empire space?

Gregory said...

Gossamer and sheer fabric were the rage for a time. It looked great under the stagelights used in the dozens and dozens of TV variety shows. What reality shows are to TV now, variety shows were in the '70s.