Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I am shifting the schedule in both classes because I need to get some distance on these essays. That's how bad most of them are. I cannot bring myself to grade them right now because most of them make me so damn angry that I will not offer helpful comments.
Not all the essays suck ass. In fact, several of them are quite good for what they're supposed to be (in-class essays for which they had the prompt for a week and could bring in a page of notes if they did pre-writing outside of class), and they will be able to revise them for lovely out-of-class versions. But some are so...full of fallacies and falsehoods that I simply don't know how to address them. We're talking fundamental human flaws, a complete lack of knowledge of basic history, etc. Really, really bad. I can point out where they'll need to strengthen their argument, but I can't make them all of a sudden turn into rational people.
What I will have to do is make sure when I'm lecturing on this that they understand that there were people who did well whose positions I agree with, and some did well even if I disagree with them. Similarly, people did poorly despite whether I agreed on the basic stand they took. It's all about the argument. But still. Some of the things people say are so...fraught with issues.