Tap Dancing Feet
Image by nofi via Flickr

November 14, 2011

12:00 a.m.

It never fails…. the  deja vu I sense while marking the same errors on the same students‘ essays. Bleary-eyed and brain-dead, I endure late-night and  wee-hour grade-a-thons , marking  assignments  that I put off grading  for weeks.  Yet, as I slam out one essay after another, I can’t help wondering:   Did I only dream I covered this in class? 

These blunders are standard Freshman fodder:  grammar gaffs,  shifts  from “I” to “you”,  fragments and  other pesky critters that, like flies at a picnic, can spoil a worthy paper.  And text- spelling? Please.

Next, I see  formatting errors.  Even though their textbooks offer  perfectly good models,  these students  persist in the  “creative” approach: plunking headings down and  scattering page numbers wherever they please. 

Then there is the Big Bad Wolf — plagiarism. At the first of every semester, I do a  soft-shoe  about   MLA documentation.  Although I’d rather have water drip  into my eyeballs, I even give quizzes and assign exercises in paraphrasing and summarizing.   My shuffle-step on the evils of cut-and-paste plagiarism rivals any Vaudeville act. 

Now, with only two-and-a-half weeks of school, I have finally  had an epiphany. These students only seem zoned out. Truth is, they just  like to watch me dance!



    1. Don’t worry, Aurora, I don’t aim my red pen at anyone else but students. :-)) Thanks for the “like”! Hope your Thanksgiving was restful/happy/both (pick one or all)

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