“The Little Professor” on Grading Exams

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She deconstructs “one of academia’s most sacrosanct rituals.”

I perform a sub-ritual that she does not mention. I count how many bluebooks there are, making sure that this number corresponds with the tally of enrolled students. Then I grade one. Then I count to see how many bluebooks remain ungraded, to see if the pile has shrunk by one, remained the same, or somehow increased in number. Then I grade another. Then I count again.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to “The Little Professor” on Grading Exams

  1. tmcgaugh says:

    I have a variation on Ann’s sub-ritual. I now actually number the papers in reverse chronological order so I always know how many more I have to grade. Next to that number, I also write the total number of pages of the paper. So as I pick up each paper, I know how many pages I’ll be required to slog through and how many more papers I have to read in that class. If I *really* don’t want to get started, I may arrange the papers in chronological order by exam number OR arrange them according to the number of pages in the answer before I number them in reverse chronological order.

    As for location, I used to live in a neighborhood that had 3 Starbucks on the same street. I would start at one and, after several hours, move to the other. After a few hours at the last Starbucks, I was done for the day and could go back home. I’m getting nostalgic just thinking about it. I should go to Starbucks tomorrow. And now that every street has 3 Starbucks, it’s a ritual that we can all enjoy.