Yes, I’m out of ideas, mainly because the only thing I can think about right now are the twelve papers that must be graded tonight… and all the other things I would prefer to do.

It may come as a surprise to some of my readers that I detest assessment. I hate grading. It’s not that I can’t spot the flaws – or that I can’t come up with some way to assign points (in fact, it’s the rubric I finally put together for this assignment in a previous quarter that makes it possible for me to grade at all). I worry a lot about being absolutely, completely, 100% fair; and I find it almost physically painful to read a bad paper. I start to feel discouraged and wonder whether I could perhaps have explained differently, or taught differently; sometimes that is the case, but other times, when all of them are fine but just that one dreadful one, you are pretty sure it isn’t you. And those dreadful papers generally come with some kind of emotional upset from their creators either before or after you grade them. That also is draining. Sometimes, it’s that the person just completely disregarded the directions and then you are left trying to figure out what the heck you do have, and how in heaven’s name you can give it any points. Good papers really almost grade themselves.

So as you can see, I really put myself through the wringer over all this stuff. I wonder if, from now on, maybe I should stick to workshops – the teaching part is fine with me, but that would get rid of the assessment. And when I was a student I thought the teacher had it so easy! Ha!