to begin . . . grading, that is

'Russian essay draft' photo (c) 2008, Quinn Dombrowski - license:’s the sticking point, opening the first one and beginning. Why is that so hard? There are all the rituals of arranging the desk just right and getting the right cup of coffee or tea; somehow tea seems more right. And then picking the right time–on the hour–miss that and wait for the next one. Past a certain hour of the evening (which varies)? Go to sleep and wait another day.

I ask why it’s so hard, because once begun, grading essays and writing comments is pretty interesting. It’s where I can connect to students one-on-one; it’s where some of the real teaching occurs. It’s where I can see if the project designs are working or if the readings and assessments and discussions are paying off. It’s where I can see what each student brings to writing that cannot be taught, that is just part of who they are and what they think.

And then there is a sigh of accomplishment when it’s all done, and suddenly the next round is upon me.

4/19/12–or then there’s some time researching whether there are machines that can grade essays:

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