Sunday, April 29, 2007

Memo from Course Assessment

As some of you know, I (and some of you!) was lucky enough to participate in a course assessment in the past few days. Yes, it stretched out longer than expected with some of us bringing papers home to finish up. (But not until we'd self-medicated with vodka, watched some TV, slept a little, etc).
Here are some highlights from student prose that remind me of why teaching is often an (unintentionally) funny business.
  • "Throughout time, students have always brought guns to school"
  • "As I was in a situation where a drunken man holding a butterfly knife began to be irritated and angry"
  • "all of which makes a paper sound like a symphony"
  • "somewhat glib goes by many different names"
  • "I would like to end here so that you may reflect"

I also learned that I should keep my big mouth shut and just nod and agree (I've learned this several times, but it hasn't taken yet!).

Also: I don't like reading student papers. Also: the smell of magic marker lingers on the papers and gives me a huge f*ing headache. I would like to convey more lessons I gleaned from this experience, but that may take some more vodka.

I will end here, so that you may reflect.

12 comments:

Lisa B. said...

After reflection, I have concluded that I would like to cancel the 2010 assessment. (I needed no vodka, by the way, to make this judgement.)

jp said...

I've sort of learned to nod and agree. At least I'm better than I used to be (though some may say other wise). But of late I'm feeling disagreeable again.

Please tell me you're serious lisa b. Oh please make it so. We can definitely agree on this. And isn't that what really matters?

ErinAlice said...

That is hilarious!! Today is the day of the class I teach. Is there a rubric for incompetence???

Nik said...

I've avoided this post since every time I read it, it makes me think of the assessment I've got to do for both 460 and 420. I just compiled the files and the rubrics so I thought I could now venture in here to complain. We're trying to determine which pieces are "finished." By finished I hope we mean never to be read again by anyone, anywhere. Then they are all finished and we've done our job!

Scorpion's Tail said...

oh me god....so that you can reflect..on what? the drivel I try to pass as thought?
somehow reading this on May 1, workers day of the world (labor day everywhere but USA....in which country the day was actually chosen for but is now ignored...do I NEED more wine and then you can reflect on the drivel I'm writing????

Limon de Campo said...

Ugh, I'm doing an assessment of our program too. Blech. It's acceptable to drink vodka while doing assessment? That's good to know.

ErinAlice said...

Saying I need to reflect infers that what I just read was so deep and so profound that simply reading the words on the page will not suffice. Okay I don't think one should type after having Gin and Tonics... I will end here so you may reflect.

ErinAlice said...

Oh maybe that is just the line Middlebrow needs to finish his dissertation.

susansinclair said...

I really like student writing. But when I get the same paper back after three drafts, and it still starts with that same awful "Throughout history [insert platitude here]" sentence that I pointed out on draft one *and* used as a negative example for the rest of the class (with gentle humor, of course)...well, then...I need a cosmo.

susansinclair said...

I *so* should have finished the diss with that line! Maybe I'll use that as the final line of my statement at the start of the defense...tee hee...

Counterintuitive said...

"I will stop now so you can reflect" was one of my favorite lines from those shared at the assessment. Another was that it is well known that most lesbians like to drink. Certainly an important and valid statistical argument.

At least you cared enough to disagree. Often (not always) I prefer that to "whatever."

susansinclair said...

Oh, we lesbians do enjoy our liquor. Yes, indeedy. Honey, pour me another cosmo!