As many of you have written me to point out, I have been a bad blogger this past week. This time the culprit was a mountain of midterms and other assorted assignments that demanded my attention. My mind has been so fixed in grading mode that even now I can't help wondering to myself what mark this blog entry deserves. I'm leaning toward a C+.
How much better our education system would run if only teachers and students could switch places for a day! I remember as an undergraduate thinking my professors slackers if they did not promptly return my assignments. It was a recollection that came vividly back to mind this week as my students asked with barely masked contempt if I had their papers yet. Shaking my head, I could not help but whither for a moment beneath the weight of their tacit condemnations.
But those of you who have taught can empathize with my travails of late. Students think only of their own work, embittered at their teachers for their sadistic affinity for doling out homework. If only they took a moment to reason through our arithmetic! With 60 students, every time I assign homework, I brace myself for at least 60 times the amount of work I require of them. Multiply that out to three classes a week and you already get a sense of the deluge. Moreover, I teach writing, which means that I must meticulously edit each paper, or my students will be deprived of the personalized nuance of instruction.
It's almost enough to make you long for standardized tests (which, incidentally, are the cornerstone of the lazy man's curriculum - not an attempt at educational parity as the Board of Ed would like to dupe parents into thinking they are).
But enough about me. There's a lot more important things going on in the world. Let's get to 'em.