Think I'm kidding? I'm not.*
Somebody shared this website on Facebook a few months ago when I was in the middle of a typical quarter: Shit My Students Write. I read through seven pages of it before I realized I already had the same kind of writing to read, and it was sitting in stacks on my dining room table. I didn't need to read the funny typos and misunderstandings other teachers get in their students' papers, because I got paid
Don't believe me? Think the teachers on that website are exaggerating? I don't blame you if you do, which is why I feel the need to validate what you read there.
Here, posted entirely without permission, are a few first sentences from a stack of ad analysis papers I received from one class during one quarter. And let me preface this list by saying that these are not first drafts, and I gave strict orders to the entire class to read the first sentence of their papers aloud before they turned them in to me and make sure it was perfect.
- An engineer who had no previous experience created Skky Vodka in 1992.
- The capo and the tuner, two devices both known to the average guitar player as essential item need to play.
- While looking through the Women Health Magazine I seen that bathing suits were on sale for ten dollars per piece.
- Celebrities have a great affect when it comes to selling product weather there are there owns are someone else.
- In our society today women are so disturbed by the way there menstrual cycle makes them feel. I am a woman and I can tell you from personal experience that they are some of the most grueling pains you could ever imagine.
- Every women know what is is like to get their period.
I once asked an entire class -- around 25 students -- if they had read the papers they just turned into me. Almost all of them said no. They wrote the papers and then didn't even read them once to see if they needed to make any corrections. They came into class thinking I would mark every error on their papers, and then they'd just change the things I marked and they'd get an A. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Writing is hard work. It really is, and I'm the first to whine about it. My students were not stupid. Somebody failed them. And I failed a significant number of them myself, but not in the same way. I hated that because I wanted them to succeed -- but often more than they wanted to themselves.
Nope, I do not miss grading papers. Yes, it was a big part of my job. It's too damn bad somebody didn't start doing it sooner.
Don't even get me started on No Child Left Behind. Could George Bush pass my class? I doubt it. I really fucking doubt it.
* This is not about the students who do work hard and who do love to learn. Those students were often frustrated too.
I leave you with this spoken word poem by Taylor Mali titled "What Teachers Make." I promise I'll write about vaginas soon.