in solidarity

Jimbo's grading log is truly comforting to me. As are the comments there from Scrivener, Dr B, and so many others. I've finished grading the papers I have here at home with me, but tomorrow's going to be a truly ugly day for me, grading-wise. Some of my undergraduates turned in final projects that involve constructed items in addition to papers -- these are too unwieldy to take out of the office, so I have to get through 12 of them tomorrow. Plus finish 2 letters of recommendation that I've been dragging my heels about. Add to that a faculty meeting and a desperate attempt to make it to yoga class. Tuesday I give a final exam, whilst grading the last of my grad student exercises. Then grade the exams. Then, somehow, I'll be done, I suppose on Wednesday or at least by noon on Thurs when my grades are due.

But there's something really comforting to know so many others are in the same kind of position right now. Grading really is the worst part of the job. And when I was an undergrad, I had no earthly idea. I appreciated getting written comments from those (few) profs who gave them; and I liked it when we got papers back in a reasonable time frame. But beyond that I never really gave it much thought. As a grad student, I was teaching, so I had a much better sense. And therefore more reason to be frustrated by the lousy commenting/grading that most of our profs did. Some wouldn't hand back your seminar papers at all. So I do understand that it's important, for at least some students. And it's important to me to have fair and reasonable documentation for the grades that I assign -- even though, before I even grade those final papers and exams, I can usually predict 90% of the students' final grades. But because of those few who do improve dramatically or flake out abysmally, it's worth the attention. If only it didn't seem to turn my brain cells to jello...