Saturday, June 7, 2008

Grading camp

Here I am at grading camp. It is the end of Day 3, and I've read about 360 essays so far, not counting the sample ones they use to make sure our internal grading scales are calibrated properly. This year the topic is about literary foils, or, as one student explained it, “In some novels the main character is befriended by someone of the opposite personality, creating a ‘good cop, bad cop’ type of unity.”

Lots and lots of essays about The Kite Runner, Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Don Quixote, Crime and Punishment ("Raskolnikov is a murderer, making it seem his morals are not good"), The Awakening ("This event completely throws Edna off her happy horse"), "1984 by Orson Wells," "the overexxagerated play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ by Scott T. Fitzgerald," &c. One on Harry Potter, and one on a Russian play so obscure I had to Google it. (The one about the Russian play was rather good; the one about Harry Potter, not so much.)

And one kid wrote a poem instead of an essay. It was the only poem I've ever read that rhymed "thirteen" with "crack feen." I hope never to read another.

Four more days to go, with overtime pay since a bunch of people didn't show up. Yay, I think?


Sisyphus said...

Hmm, I kinda like the student's good cop/bad cop buddy movie analogy and am sure I could be convicted of talking in just that tone to my students at one time or another. Heh.

Don't let your head explode from it all, ok?

Susan said...

Don't you wonder whether Raskolnikov's morals really are not good, instead of it just *seeming* not good?

Do you think the student who wrote the poem had ingested something before the exam?

heu mihi said...

Well, on the plus side, this was a very funny post. So that's something? Good luck with the grading, and be sure to share the best lines with us all....

kim wells said...

I shudder to think of what the grader of my AP exam might have thought about my essay on Sestina, by Bishop. I had no idea what a sestina was and just winged an interpretation. But I got a 4, so it must not have been TOO bad. :)

The really sad & scary part about this is that at least where I was, the AP exams were only taken by the honors/AP B honor roll type kids. And we practiced all year!

Fretful Porpentine said...

Kim Wells -- From what I understand, that's changing -- a lot of the students taking the exams haven't even taken the AP course. Texas, for example, picks up a huge chunk of the tab for the exam, so the out-of-pocket costs to students is minimal, and some schools seem to take the "what the hell, why not sign everybody up?" approach.