Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why I Love Grading Papers

Okay, there are lots of reasons to not love grading papers (it's tedious, time-consuming, frustrating, etc.).

And a lot of the time, I'd rather be doing other stuff (going on a walk, doing yoga, playing "10 Days in Europe" with my kids).

But there are some things about grading I really do love (beyond the obvious: the excuse to drink fancy coffee, and seeing my students improve).

I like that when I have papers to grade over a weekend, I pack in a bunch of other things around it(this weekend: hiking Mount Ashland, and taking my boys fishing, and having the kids' friends over, and going to breakfast with my good man).

I structure my time, when, usually, I'd be all over the place. Going nowhere. Getting nothing done.

Also, I get to practice what I'm teaching. I get to use the techniques I'm talking about in my own writing. I have to ask myself, Is all of this relevant? Is the story as tight and clean as humanly possible? Are my sentence beginnings different?

And, while I am firing up my neurons, so are my kids. They're doing their homework and playing guitar and building amazing things with Legos. Even The Husband will at least scan Sports Illustrated.

And, the biggest plus: I don't have to cook! I can sit on the sofa or at the table or in bed, and read incredible essays about other people's fascinating lives.

50 papers about "The Most Significant Time of Your Life"?

I'd take that any day over having to fry up a bunch of chicken.

2 comments:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Can I just say, YOU ARE NUTS!!! But I love you anyway. LOL. :-)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It's good to see you, sweetie!

I wish I had enjoyed grading papers as much as you do! If I looked at it from this point of view, I probably would have. But I made it a chore, you know? That's where I went wrong. You've made it sound magical.