Monday, May 05, 2008

That hit the spot.

Well, the bloodbath that is the research paper is all over. Five zeroes on plagiarism, but many of the cited papers are nothing more than rearranged, warmed-over websites. In fact, the difference between the cited papers and many of the uncited papers was so negligible that I felt it unjust to give the cited ones a shot at rewrite and not the uncited ones. So, after chatting with my department head, I'm giving even the plagiarists a shot at rewrite for 50% credit. I believe it's academic...they probably won't take me up on the opportunity.

See? It's sentences like that last one that make me feel like the icky veteran teacher who's mailing it in due to feeling disconnected. I start thinking of my sophomore classes using sentences that include the words "pearls" and "swine." It's a bad place to be mentally.

In that mindset, I got an email today from a kid who was in my AP class and on my debate team at the start of the year, but moved away in January. Great kid; huge loss to my class and team. Here's what her email said:

hi mr. refpoet. just thought i'd say hi to you from california and see how things are going and tell you that i really miss your english class and that my former classmates are lucky because they have an amazing teacher. anywho, i have to go because, haha school starts in a few minutes so yeah, well i'll keep in touch.

Bless this kid's heart. She's no swine...she IS the pearl. Maybe there's worth to this year after all...

and maybe I just need a couple of nights sleep after a weekend of grading-crappy-papers-while-nursing-a-fever.

It'll all be OK. I guess it's good that I'm frustrated...it means I care.

1 comment:

Paula said...

You win some, you lose some. I sent a letter to a former student in rehab and it was returned "no longer at this address." Then I texted her. She was kicked out. She's in Texas. Wasted.

Then I think of my many former students who are now teachers, and I smile...