a week of grading

As good fortune would have it, and as I now seek the consolation of philosophy to attend to that fortune, every one of my courses had papers due last week, which meant a negotiation between the themes of evaluation– fairness, seeking clues that things are happening, that the tricks of repetition are getting into sentences, and that those that should know better are doing what they should know to do, like place the period in the right place after crediting a source–and the pull of other concerns, such as Tunxis’ New Media program, more writing on space, Gawain, and graphical adventures, and life’s other great possibilities.

I like student writing, but often have to remind myself that writing is an act of disclosure and revealing through a particular form: the essay. And this form can be difficult, especially when students are ppressured into “learning” what they may not be given to learn on their own outside the abstract space of school.

One of the best things I can think of is talking to people and reading what they write. The papers hadn’t come on the same week by design. I had to delay some things, so there you go.

In brilit we will be transitioning from Wyatt to Shakespeare’s Lear, my favorite play. In Contemporary Fiction we will be heading into the worrisome space of violence and war, the irrational, terrifying spaces of the human lifeworld. In writing we will keep writing and in online lit we will be talking another of the great plays, The Tempest.

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Water pools on the leaf edges. Life is great.

4 thoughts on “a week of grading

  1. Susan

    And we thank you sir for deserved comeuppance when laziness seeps in to destroy our better knowledge of MLA rules. The time you spend on reading and looking for content and logic should not be burdened additionally by sloppy attention to details. We appreciate the knowledge and the dedication to pound it in our heads.

    By the way, negotiation does not have a “c” and that’s a severe run-on sentence you have there.

  2. Spinning

    From Spinning: “Sentence length also seems to impact tone and can advance action. In my school yearbook there is a note from a fellow student ‘To Susie Comma,’ a testimony to my paragraph-long sentences in which I offered my reader several short quick breaths by inserting commas everywhere to ensure readability without fainting from lack of oxygen.”

  3. Maureen

    Well, I am in a Shakespeare class right now and I can tell you it is not easy… There are no breaks for breaking MLA rules.. In a 300 level class [which Shakespeare is 314] or above, you better know how to write and cite…;)

    I just finished a paper on I Henry IV. I had to compare Shakespeare’s Henry IV with Holinshed’s account. It was quite fascinating…

    Clearly, Shakepeare focuses more on the son [Prince Hal] rather than the father…

    Also, Shakespeare inserts the comic foil of Falstaff [not found in Holinshed] to highlight or convey the virtue of Prince Hal… Often, the comic elements of Shakespeare’s plays are a commentary on the rest of the play..[or a commentary on the more serious characters…]

    From my own observation, Shakespeare, through I Henry IV, offers not the man who could be king…[for that could be Henry Percy (Hotspur)], but the man who “should” be king….

    That is just one of the things a writer can do with history…

    Most Graciously,

    *A Mayde in her own little woode…

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