Monday, December 18, 2006

Grading papers in the shadow of my own insanity

Moooweehahahaha! Hahahaha! Ahhhh hahahaha. [cough. cough.] I’ve been grading papers all day, and I mean ALL day. I’m now officially insane. I really loathe grading papers. Well duh! You’d think this makes no sense, something like a plumber saying he loathes getting his hands wet and dirty. The problem is, I have self-initiated ADD. When reading papers, I’d rather be doing anything else. Of course, this is exactly why I put the task off until the last minute. I’m always hoping I’ll be in the mood to grade a stack of long papers (as if that has ever happened.)

My method, which has always been successful, and which worked again today is as follows:

1. Go to coffee shop first thing in the morning. (Avoids any distractions, like the Internet.)
2. Get *totally* jacked on caffeine and sugar. (Pharmacologically increases reading speed!)
3. Grade papers until I note hunger. (Often greatly delayed by coffee with cream.)
4. Order food at said coffee shop. (Never dare to leave and accidently find pleasure.)
5. Goto 2 while any papers remain.
Note well that some papers are most excellent. But here is the strange thing: Given a 2-3K word paper, I think I can now tell (after more than a dozen years of reading such) an A-level thesis defense paper by reading the first full page, and then by reading, at random, a single additional page from that paper. Suppose this proves correct 90% of the time. Should I used the method? I don’t know whether I *should*, but I’m not going to run the experiment, because I know that I *would*.

There is a way, however, that other professors have recommended [1] to take away all of my chores of essay grading.

Get behind me ye doers of evil!


[image]Dan Henck, Artist Site.

[1] Daniel J. Solove, A Guide to Grading Exams, Concurring Opinions Blog (Accessed 12/14/2006)


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