rough notes

Reports for Schools

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how arnoldian.

it is the middle of march, the ides of march, the day of saint patrick, and all the conscientious students are at the library. myself, i spent the day at home marking their papers about metaphorical and physical blindness in either king lear or oedipus rex. i’ve so far encountered the standard grade distribution (not a forced curve, just a duly noted observation) where most papers fall into the B-range (mostly B- and B), with 10-15% hitting the As and 20%, tops, landing in the Cs.

marking is not a pleasure – it never has been, and I never expected it to be. aside from reading some really, really poor papers, I must contend with the fact that I am standing in for, or have actually become The Man, that stuffy patriarchal figure who works day and night to keep all these Good Kids down for no better reason than that they were born into the plebian ranks. I pity the poor teacher, I really do. Good ole’ teach, as middle-class as the rest of us, yet entrusted with a sworn duty to criticise, to mark down, to lecture these poor students who have done nothing except to have been born in a poor region of the nation with an impoverished school district. Billy and Susie and Johnny surely don’t deserve that C- or the C+: they don’t understand that every contention should be supported with evidence from the text, or that theses should never summarize the text but rather argue a point. Yet here I go, enforcing a 2.5 GPA on some 19-year-old punk when really I should be placing that sour note on the South-West School District of East Hants and the Nova Scotia Department of Education themselves for failing these students, our “future leaders,” the province’s “next generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs”. I suppose it all comes out in the wash – anyway you cut it – the students fail. They fail either by way of the grades I impose, or by way of the the poor primary and secondary education they received before heading up to Uni. And really now, what’s an A grade if you don’t have a couple failures to compare it to?


Written by mitchellirons

March 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

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