One of the things I dislike most about teaching is the grading. Sure, I love standing in front of a group of impressionable minds, spouting off nonsense for fifty minutes as if I know what the hell I’m talking about. That’s a pure blast.
But at the end of the semester, when all the papers have piled up and my brain feels like doo-doo flavored Play-Doh, the very last thing I feel like doing is sitting down with a buncha student papers. First off, not many students actually improve in their writing through the course of the semester. Oh some of them do, but for the most part I can predict a grade just by looking at the student’s name, which is why I consciously avoid looking at the heading of each paper lest I am too easily biased. Also, by the end of the semester I’ve seen the same mistakes over and over again, and I can get pretty cranky. Truthfully, it’s the little shit that just send me into a right tizzy.
WE’VE COVERED COMMA SPLICES OVER AND OVER! FOR FUCK’S SAKE GET IT RIGHT!
I think next semester I’m going to strap on a katana before each class starts. Whenever someone screws up I’ll whip out the blade and smash it down on their desk, slicing their books and papers in twain in the process, while screaming “DEATH AWAITS YOUR NEXT GRAMMATICAL MISTAKE!”
Until then, I think I deserve a beer. Domo arigato gozaimashta, Mr. Bar-man.
I am so with you, brother! Grading finals the other day got me wondering what I actually taught this semester.