Grading papers is the worst. It’s not the number or even sometimes the content. When it comes to projects, we spend weeks writing and editing only for me to take them and have to read them. I read all hundred and thirty or so. I get how much work they’ve put into writing them, well how much work some of them have put in, but man, reading them takes forever.
Imagine coaxing over a hundred people into putting forth a lot of effort. Getting them to exert themselves takes effort. You repeat things over and over only for people to forget things, sometimes forget to do them at all. You give suggestions. You argue with some people just to get to do it at all after which they basically do the bare minimum or worse.
Then, they hand them all to you, or in my case, upload them all at me. It’s like a digital barrage. I figuratively drown in non-existent paper. Sometimes I have trouble getting myself to open the program, but if I don’t the number of ungraded things stares at me like a judgemental, motherly eye. Just finish me they seem to say. In my head, I throw the silent adult equivalent of a toddler’s temper tantrum.
When I do finally get to grading them, usually the first thing I’m greeted with is an inevitable barrage of mistakes that could have been fixed with spell check but for some reason hasn’t. How you make spelling errors in the age of spell check and the red squiggly line is beyond me, but every project there is always someone’s paper with prose that must have been littered with red. How lazy do you have to be not to right click and fix it? It literally fixes it for you.
One paper in and I’m reading most of everything. By paper five I’ve had to reread things several times because my brain has inevitably wandered mostly because I’ve managed to find three papers where the writer seriously thought I wouldn’t notice that doing zero thought or editing was totally cool.
It’s not cool! Reading writing that makes no sense is not cool and it doesn’t make you sound smart to massacre words.
Then, I see it. A child who’s work should be great. They always write beautifully, and, you know what, they did. Except, that I’m still reeling about the person who honestly thought that riting is a word that means to put words on paper. See. Spell check! So I know that I’m not really enjoying this story as much as I should.
Twenty papers later and I’m literally having to fight my brain to stay inside of my head. It’s not allowed to leave just because a student wrote a nonsense scene about a jerk throwing coffee at someone that for some reasons happens a page after this person also inexplicably does something that has to do with sports. By the way, the next page is equally as nonsensical and confusing, but he managed to fix some of the spelling so that’s at least something.
This is the point that I look at the clock and realize that I’ve already been at this for forty five minutes, and I’ve still got twenty more to go in just this class alone. I seriously consider slapping random grades for about twenty seconds before I click to the next one.
Oh good, they’ve forgotten that you had to double space. Never mind that it was written on the board, on the project paper, on the schedule, on every draft assignment, and on the final project, but that’s cool. You clearly didn’t need to read the stuff that told you how to get points. You clearly didn’t hear it the thousand times I said it in class or personally reminded you to fix it when I saw that you still hadn’t done it three days ago in class. I’ll just take those points back.
At this point, I’ve found a space on the wall that looks like a particularly inviting place to smash my forehead.
I know. I’ll grade my honor’s class.
Wait the first paper is forty pages long and the first four are description of the way the light perfectly falls on this perfect guys face, and how said perfect guy doesn’t know that the main character exists because she’s just so terribly shy. Well, the idea’s good except why has her name changed and is this guy supposed to be nice or a jerk.
Where’d that dog come from and why is he wearing a hat?
Well their vocabulary is good and the story mostly makes sense so. Next!