Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Help?

I just can’t do it anymore. I cannot read another student paper. Why on earth did I assign these? I made a rookie mistake, graded the good ones first. Now I am left with a pile of dregs, the stack refuses to grow smaller…Can’t. Do. It. Dying inside. Anyone…? Anyone willing to grade a paper or two…? Anyone…? Bueller…?

My Dog: No bacon. No cheese. No hamburger inside. F
Professor Nice: Very creative treatment of the topic! I appreciate your efforts to infuse your essay with pop cultural references, your use of Wikipedia is particularly novel. Your writing remains a bit disorganized, but much improved from your previous essay! B
My Red Pen: The editorial comments required to transform your musings into something resembling comprehensible sentences has left me depleted. I have bled my precious juice all over your paper. I am left weak, anemic, and in desperate need of a transfusion. Why must you hurt me like this? F
Athletic Department Person: A
Professor Blunt: Not good, consider withdrawing from class. D
Service Whore: Would you allow me to use your assignment for part of a study being conducted by the “Learning Rubrics Committee”? I have attached a permission form. B
Leigh Kino: The proportions are fantastic, but let’s look inside…Hhm, Leslie look at these dovetails, and these cabriole legs…something’s just not right.
Leslie Kino: While a beautiful piece, it has clearly been cobbled together from previous writings. C
The Sham Wow! Guy: I rolled up a wet sweater in your paper, I tried drying off Olympic divers, I poured coke on my carpet and punched your paper into it. More Sham than Wow! C

Thanks everyone. Six papers left, any takers? Anyone…? Anyone…?


  1. My cat Joey: Thank you for leaving those little perforations on the side of the paper you ripped out of your spiral notebook--you know, because your computer crashed at 3am when you were just getting started on your essay due at 10am and all you had was spiral notepaper, and you know, you didn't think it mattered too much if the paper was typed or not. That gave me, you know, something to play with when I got bored licking the ink from the page (though to be honest, it didn't taste as good as my Human's writing does: meow). F

  2. My cats Thing1 and Thing2: Excellent piece of work! We particularly enjoy the part where you spilled coffee and placed you EggMcMuffin on the margin while you went to the loo. The grease spot is delicious and contributes a lot to the sensory experience of the hunting game we play before we shred the paper to bits. We enjoyed your paper very much and regret that we cannot offer feedback on the actual writing as it is now in tiny pieces all over the living room floor, including the part with the grease spot which Thing2 has eaten and since threw up on the carpet. A++

  3. Dear Joey, Thing 1 & Thing 2: Thanks for the help, I'll put some catnip on my blog for you, it'll be down there on the right. Shit, looks like you found it already...well, it IS Friday, go on, get yourself good and stoned.

  4. And let's not forget the obligatory follow-up meeting during which graders will be accosted (except for the Athletic Department Person) with reminders that Student "tried really hard" and therefore "deserves" a better grade.

  5. Oh, I was catnipping away as I typed up that comment earlier today, but my Human is in desperate need of some catnip, so I'll let her know....

    Signed, Joey

  6. PeerReviewer: This is a fucking piece of shit. I have never read such horribly bad writing in my life. How did this thing even get past pre-review?!?!? This author obviously hasn't read anything relevant to the topic, including my 55 papers of which are NOT cited (Asshole 1907, Asshole and Butthead 1915, Asshole et al. 1925 to name a few). This paper is not appropriate for publication, period. I recommend the author take some courses in the subject field before attempting a half-assed review. REJECT.

  7. There was a friend who got me and another friend into a range of rather unacademic bands and then got a short-lived gig supervising in his doctoral school, much to our amusement; we always figured he would grade like this:

    Your essay has some potential, and addresses the reading in a solid, if derivative, way, but fundamentally lacked adequate use of wah throughout. The third and fourth sections would have been considerably enhanced by more confident use of the delay pedal, also. The whole piece needs to be louder; as I said in my classes, the best researchers in this area use Marshalls. The conclusion was perhaps the strongest part but even here the guitar and bass should have been more crushingly heavy. N. B. there has as yet been nothing written of which I would not say this. C-: try re-recording for revision.

  8. Prof. Compassionate of the Teaching and Learning Center (who has not been in the classroom for a decade): I assume that you have serious special needs and that your particular life circumstances and background make attending class, using a computer, reading the assignment instructions, completing the assigned reading, and turning the paper in on time difficult if not impossible tasks. No, please, you do not need to tell me about your particular problems. I am so compassionate that I can intuit them. I feel your pain. Clearly, you worked very very hard, given all of the obstacles that you must have in your life. That alone means that you deserve: A.

  9. Prof. Anal Retentive, of the Outcomes Assessment Cohort (who hasn't been in the classroom in two decades): Why is this instructor assigning essays? How can we ensure that quality is being maintained across the board and that every class is teaching the exact same thing if our instrucctors assign something so subjective as essays? No grade for student. F for instructor.

  10. AAaaahh! This is a fun game, thanks for the help everybody.

  11. I almost lost it by the time I got to service whore's grading, opened up the comments to compliment you, found Clio Bluestocking's addenda, and must say, together, you've nailed it. Clio's take on Prof. Anal Retentive hits so close to home these days that I felt a little chill after I'd finished laughing. I've added a link to you on my (new) blog, where I am cranky, but not, so far, witty. I'd be honored if you'd visit