Gradin Papurs

For the none of you concerned, I think I fixed this place so’s your comments will show up immediately without needing my approval.  Sorry, that was a default WordPress deal, and I could never find the settings page until today (Web 2.0!).

I just got done grading a batch of essays.  I had them explain the hero’s journey with a movie of their choice.  Overall, I was pleased with what I saw.  My students actually did some analysis, and I think they looked at movies they knew well in a new, very literary way.  It’s fun to watch a student squirm his way through the archetypes of Back to the Future.

BUT, my heart sank a little at the sight of their grammar.  You know the feeling when you’ve got to clean up your room, but it’s so messy, there’s no real way to start improving it?  It’s exactly like that.  A few students grasp the basics and only mar up their essays when they stretch their grammar muscles beyond simple sentences.  Others, however, can’t seem to write a single line of words without seriously ruining what seemed to resemble a decent thought underneath a pile of unnecessary prepositions to that which of the idea is that they were not in a way very good writers to themselves.

Others just don’t seem to try–at all.  I hand back their papers.  They peek at their low grade and admit that, yes, they didn’t really try too hard on this one.  Well, thanks a lot, dumb dumb.  I stayed up late last night capitalizing your han solos and death stars and adding periods amid your one page-long sentences because I thought you might have sincerely needed to know this stuff.  Now you tell me you didn’t really try?  Forget, just for now, about the consequences your laziness has on your education.  Think about me: the guy who has to sit down and actually read the pile you threw together in twenty minutes the night before class.  I have to give this half-assery a fair chance at the grade it deserves.

How about we pretend you phoned in a worthless paper, and I pretend to seriously assess your abilities?  You get the 50 you’d deserve anyway, and I get an extra 20 minutes of my life back.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?  I really, really do.


3 responses to “Gradin Papurs

  1. just passin throu...

    Hey, so i decided i like your blog entries and read a couple of them. I found this one to be particularly funny and very relevant to me because i am actually procrastinating right now and trying to do anything to avoid making my 3 page essay into a 4 or 5 page one… i know its not that much more but man the hardest part is getting started on it again.. i finished the first 3 pages like a week ago when the roughdraft was due… hey, if i post my essay would u be willing to glance over it for any major flaws?

  2. David Rossel

    well i realized u probably don’t check this thing with too much frequency and rather than wait for a response I’m just going to copy and paste it here read it or don’t either way whatever i was just trying to take your advice and “Think about the guy who has to sit down and actually read the pile you threw together in twenty minutes the night before class.”


    Are you tired of how after just a few months, your brand new computer running Windows starts to, or already has been running increasingly slower and slower? Linux may very well be the answer for you. There are several reasons why, In my opinion, the Linux operating systems are superior to the Windows operating systems that have been put out by the Microsoft Corporation. Linux is a lot safer for browsing the internet, significantly more customizable, and free.
    Linux is far superior to Windows in many aspects, but if you are like most of the population, you’ve never heard of this “Linux” and have no idea what it is. First of all, Linux is an operating system. An operating system is the system which is responsible for managing the computers’ hardware and executing the applications and activities that the user chooses to use. It was the response of computer programmers whom wanted an alternative to UNIX, which was a very expensive operating system and required hardware that most people simply did not have access to. The first version of Linux was released in March, 1994 and has undergone much development since then. Linux is also an unheard of social phenomenon for its time. “It is baffling to many outsiders that something as successful as Linux could be developed by a bunch of unorganized people in their free time.”(PC update)
    Linux is safer for your computer to run than windows because of several factors. It is essentially impossible to get a virus because for one, most viruses are made with the windows operating system structure in mind and therefore have no effect on Linux operating systems. The Linux operating system is programmed in such a way that programs cannot self propagate; meaning that they cannot attach themselves to other programs, or spread through the system without your consent. It’s very hard to hide a process from the process table on a Linux system too, unlike Windows. Even if somehow you do manage to get a virus, there are constant updates that fix any problems that may arise and there is a community forum online that is constantly being checked by advanced computer users in which you can almost always find the answer to your problems, if not you can always post the question and will have an answer shortly thereafter.
    Linux is highly customizable to what the user’s needs are; for instance, if you have an old computer and just want to use it for browsing the internet and to run a few simple office applications, there are small versions of Linux that don’t install all the unnecessary applications and files and as a result can make the old computer work notably faster than while using windows. However, on the other end of the spectrum, for those people that are fairly good with computers and have computers with pretty decent hardware specifications, Linux has all the latest advancements way before Windows gets them.
    Did I mention that Linux is FREE? With our very bleak economy, and rising expenses in just about every industry, including the price of windows and all of the programs you have to buy to run on windows, the fact that essentially all Linux distributions, and all of the programs that run on it are completely free to the public is almost too good to be true. There are a few versions of Linux out there that have been packaged and edited by users that try and sell it for money, but most versions are free. Some cynics have proclaimed, “Sure Linux is free now, but the Linux People will start charging for it once it catches on!”. That statment is completely false. No single person or organization controls Linux, so that will never happen. In the unlikely case that Linus Torvalds (the author of Linux) adds some proprietary code and proclaims that all future releases will be some amount, someone will simply take the latest “free” version and rename it, then all the volunteer developers and contributors will work to keep advancing it and continue the free service.
    Although, all of these benefits prove, in my opinion, that Linux is much better than Windows, some users may still find that they prefer Windows because of reasons such as, but not limited to: Linux is too complicated, they are already too familiar with the windows operating systems and do not want to learn another system, they are skeptical and scared to venture forth and try linux, and because Linux can incorporate the latest technology that has not been extensively tested, it sometimes has bugs and can crash. Even with these flaws, I still believe the benefits gained from the security, customizability, and cost make Linux more appealing overall.

  3. sonnyharding

    Sorry I missed your comment. I usually get these things emailed to me, but this one didn’t for some reason (length, maybe).

    I’m certain any help I could offer is no longer useful. Overall, your essay looks darn good. I was a little worried when I saw the punctuation (or lack thereof) in your first comment. But you seem to have a good eye for when that’s ok and when it’s not.

    BTW: I’m an Apple guy, myself.

    Good luck with the papers, friend.

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