Category Archives: grading


I don’t understand people. Especially when you think you have someone relatively figured out, they appear stable, and then they do something completely out of the blue that makes no sense, essentially ruining themselves in the process.

As I am tabulating final grades, I have several students who have been diligently coming to class, doing all of their work, earning good grades, did well on the final, but have not submitted their final papers. Papers were due last week, and depending on the class they are worth 20-25 percent of the final grade. I even sent out a mass email last night to all of my students stating that I will give them until Sunday to turn in any late work for partial credit.

Why would someone expend this much energy all semester, only to totally drop everything at the end and receive a C in a class where they had an A in the week before?

I have some students that have been on and off all semester, turning in some things but not others, and then at the end they came through and managed to pass the course. None of that was terribly shocking.

But a couple of the students I am referring to are exceedingly bright, write very well, understand the concepts, and as I have to enter a C on their final grade it makes me cringe. Which is basically why I emailed everyone giving them until Sunday night to submit any late work. I am really hoping they take this very last chance to produce something grade worthy.

I knew grading would be stressful (and so far has been my least favorite part of teaching), but no one warned me it would be emotionally draining as well.

So Confused

Over the last few weeks I have realized two things about teaching. First of all, I absolutely love teaching! Love, love, love! Secondly, I hate grading. I am required to give them a certain amount of assignments split between in-class and take-home, which creates an exorbitant amount of grading on my part. In fact, I have been doing nothing but grading for the last three weeks, and will be doing nothing but grading for the next two weeks with only a one week repose before beginning again.

I don’t mind reading their papers. In fact I am quite happy with how much of the material they understand. I taught them the concepts they are supposed to be getting, and introduced them to different literary works, and thus have done my job. But someone down the line was supposed to teach how to write and at some point dropped the ball. ┬áSo I read their papers and they can explain Nietzsche. Great! But then they don’t understand how to use correct tense, verb form, or punctuation. Crap! How do I grade?
Do I grade them down because they don’t know that “he say that we don’t just not admit to doing something but we also deny that we even want to do it and our memory help us forget our sin that way because we pretend that we would never do that” is not a proper sentence?
(The above is in reference to the quote: “‘I did that,’ says my memory. ‘I could not have done that,’ says my pride, and remains inexorable. Eventually the memory yields.'”)
I only quoted one sentence of her paper, but the rest is definitely an admittance to understanding. The concept is reiterated there, as Nietzsche intended. In fact the entire paper demonstrates a grasp on the themes discussed. But the writing… oh the writing…
What am I supposed to do with this??