October 13, 2005

Numbers going through my head while I sit at home grading papers

This semester, each of my students will produce about 33 pages of writing for my class. I have 60 students (three sections of 20). That means by the time this semester is over, I will have read and responded to 1,980 pages of student writing.

17 comments:

Mona Buonanotte said...

Have you tried to figure out how many semesters worth of reading you will have done by the time you retire? Or perhaps that's just too scary to comprehend....

Professor Bastard said...

These are the times when, as a humanities guy, I am pleased I don't naturally think in terms of numbers.

As far as I am concerned, I have only one page a semester to read: the one right in front of me at any given moment.

Lying-Bastard-to-Himself Professor Bastard

Nels said...

Why are you doing that to yourself? There's a reason you didn't major in math. It just won't help you!

jo(e) said...

See, Nels, here is what I'm thinking. If I had gotten a degree in math, I could be grading calculus exams right now. Or better yet, my TA could be grading calculus exams. That has got to be way faster than reading all these essays ....

Phantom Scribbler said...

You could bring them over to the bar and I'll do 'em for you. The only catch is that you'll have to sing "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to Baby Blue 1,980 times while I'm busy.

jo(e) said...

Phantom: Oh, that's a deal. Playing with a cute baby is so much more fun than grading papers.

Will she mind that I can't carry a tune?

wolfa said...

33 is such an unusual number, somehow.

You could try to count it in number of novels. Or perhaps in number of haikus.

jo(e) said...

Wolfangel: But when I read novels, I don't have to stop every paragraph and write stuff like "Good point!" and "You need to be consistent with verb tense" and "This paragraph needs more details" or "Didn't you already say this? Several times?"

If only my job consisted of reading novels ....

Running2Ks said...

Yikes! Maybe you can get an assistant to read them all so you can have "papers on tape". That is just too much!

Jane Dark said...

Oy. I haven't calculated it before, but, okay, 35 pages per student times 44 students this quarter...so 1420 pages, I think? Not counting freewrites and such. The thought of your 1,900+ just makes me want to curl up and scream.

Danny said...

I was going to make a comment, but my mind is stuck computing numbers, how many words I (a pastor) write per sermon, how many pages per year, how much I read, how much you read, how many comments you must write, how many words those 1,900 pages equals ... but all I'm getting from my brain is Error 404.... I think maybe it's better to not think upon such things.

frog said...

No, see, that is math you should NEVER do...

BrightStar said...

okay, so let's not assume grading math is easier... I've done both -- math and papers -- math is just hard in a different way. When you grade math, you have to try to get your head inside of funky (A.K.A. way wrong, but potentially have some validity in some way) solution strategies, which makes your mind turn inside out once in a while. Also, you have to make sure you're consistently giving a similar amount of partial credit, which hard, too.

just jumping in on behalf of the math peeps. not that I grade a lot of math now...

BrightStar said...

I think I'm the 60,000th visitor!!!! WOW!

bitchphd said...

I'm SO glad that I read this post after I'd finished my grading (finally). B/c it's precisely thinking of the "big picture" that makes it seem so imposible to start...

Lucy Tartan said...

The fun never stops.

This semester I have eighty students who each write 4000 words, 320,000 words! Arrrgh!

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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