ProfHacker has had an ongoing series on grading “jail” this semester. Grading jail, for the unfamiliar, is when you either are or feel you are grading all the time. It can also be when you voluntarily block off a couple of days, hours, etc. to grade papers; in that time all you do is grade. At the best of times, there’s a lot of anxiety attached to the process of grading. It’s most teachers’ least favorite part of their job. Essay grading is inherently subjective, and there’s no perfect rubric to make it less so. And students frequently only see the number at the bottom of the grade sheet, in large part because our culture emphasizes that number so much and not the process by which a student crafted their work. It’s difficult to explain to students why I want to see their whole process (drafting, etc.) when they’ve been told repeatedly that the end result is all that matters. At any rate, go read the insightful discussion while I grade comp essays. I’ve decided it isn’t grading jail; it’s a way to learn things I didn’t know before. Most of my students have vastly different experiences than I do. Each essay I read teaches me a little something I didn’t know.
Oh, and if the ProfHacker series doesn’t keep you occupied, here’s the Approval Matrix, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me‘s Sandwich Monday post on a $777 burger, Jim Schutze gleefully detailing more of the political underhandedness better known as the Trinity River Project, or this great mental health break from Andrew Sullivan: