March 17, 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.

Stats: 23 students in the class (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.

SOLSC Day 18. Click to return.


  1. What will happen to the five that did not turn in a paper? Why is it that they are not doing the work? Is there any way for them to make that work up?

  2. They have up to three days to turn them in, with a 10% penalty added each class day. I expect all five on Monday when we return from Spring Break.


  3. I love that the wildflowers are blooming. I noticed today the cherry blossom trees are blooming here. Spring must be in the air.

  4. Grading messes with my mind too. I have to grade them all at once, so if someone is absent and doesn't complete a test, I have to put off the marking until I have them all. Otherwise, I end up regrading them all and questiong myself too much.

    I've never heard of that book. I'll have to look it up.

  5. I get it. My latest strategy is to just not give the late essays much time... and I make it known that I will not be able to respond to them the way I can to the on-time papers. It doesn't change much -- the late are still late, but it makes me feel a little better... :]