Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If I Could Be Anyone...

Due to underfunded public schools and the fact that most teens curl up with an iPhone rather than a good book, many high school graduates don’t possess even the most basic writing skills. And as many of you know, a lot of these students end up in my college English class.

Because I sincerely care about my students’ education, I carefully construct lesson plans to keep them engaged. I write extensive comments on their essays. I use a purple pen instead of a red one because I heard that red ink intimidates students. I stay after class to help. And now I am grading the final essay—the essay I urged them to take seriously and proofread over and over because it represents the progress they made over the quarter –and guess what? THEY’RE STILL MAKING STUPID, CARELESS ERRORS!

Several students aren’t capitalizing the word I. They are sticking their semicolons in more random places than Tiger Woods stuck his, um, golf ball. One student even wrote that she doesn’t judge people based on their “raise.”

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

To balance out the terrible essay writing, Talli Roland's wonderful writing is being released today. Buy a copy of Willow on Amazon UK for £1.71, or on Amazon.com for $2.99.

30 comments:

Cherie Reich said...

Oh, wow! It's no wonder you want to be the Red Queen. Off with their heads indeed. :)

Shelly said...

I graded one not too long ago from a 7th grader. Not only did he have terrible spelling, he plagiarized from an old fairy tale.

He wrote, "He raped them all smartly on the butts", when the line he was trying to plagiarize was, "He rapped them all smartly on the butts."

Kelly Polark said...

I grades with purple and green pens when I taught too!
That new blog I started is to promote literacy. ( http://www.bookrecsthatrock.blogspot.com ) I figure these star obsessed teens (or adults) will see what their fave celebs are reading and maybe check the book out. These teens need to get off their iPods and do some reading for fun!

Shannon said...

I do judge people based on their raise. Especially if their raise is better than mine. ;)

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I can so relate. When I taught English Lit, it was all I could do to stop from smacking students and their txt spk. ARGH!

Great choice! Thank you so much for taking part!

Tere Kirkland said...

Love it! You are SO the Red Queen! I'm sorry you have to suffer through students like that without offing someone's head. ;)

Matthew MacNish said...

Thanks goodness for Talli! She's saving the world from morons one great book at a time.

I love your selection, by the way. How fun it would be to be the Red Queen in all her glory.

MsHellion said...

You know it took me far too long to figure out what "raise" she was talking about. I thought she was not judging people according to how much money they get--which I had to think, "She's a lot better than me in that regard." I'm a total reverse snob. But now I'm with the program.

Definitely off with their heads.

Crystal Pistol said...

I love that you use a purple pen. It's so much kinder. (Not that they deserve it.) :)

Liz said...

Every time I read your blog posts I think you're talking about 4th graders. Then I remember your students are in college and I want to cry...

Lindsay said...

Great choice. And a purple pen is awesome. I used to dread seeing the red pen on anything I wrote at school!

Stephen Tremp said...

How cool to have the power to say, "Off With There Heads." I mean, "Off With They're Heads." No, wait. I got it now. "Off With Them Thar' Heads." Ummmm .... "Off WIth Ther Heads?" Oh, whatever.

Alleged Author said...

Awesome choice! Plus the outfit is fabulous. :)

Ann said...

I am a purple pen lover too. Great choice.

Sharyn said...

When my son leaves stuff lying around the house I make him come back into the room to dispose of it properly. This might even include returning to the kitchen to throw away a piece of paper on the counter next to the trash can, right next to where I'm standing. I fantasize that someday he'll figure out that it's easier to put things where they belong in the first place instead of having to return to the scene of the crime and do something I could have done much easier but refuse to do for him.

It would be wonderful if you could keep sending back papers to students until they've discovered and corrected all their mistakes, but it doesn't seem to work that way. Are they too lazy / spoiled / uninformed / incompetent / uninterested to explore how to correct writing errors? Why do so many students seem not to give a &%#; about the quality of their writing?

James Garcia Jr said...

*stands and applauds*
*quickly takes trusty laptop over to teacher-wife to show her what you just posted*

-Jimmy

Jessica Bell said...

Hahaha! Nice slant on this :o)

Dylan Fitzgerald said...

How's this: I was exchanging emails with a friend of mine, who is a high school teacher, and he spelled "definitely" wrong. Not "typo" wrong. Just wrong. Off with his head.

Jessica Thompson said...

Yeah so true!
Come check me out =) alphabetalife.blogspot.com

Silly Mistress : ) said...

T-T Oh dear. I'm very sorry. Here I thought people not dropping the "e" before adding "ing" was bad...

Glynis said...

Great choice! Off with their heads!


There is a tag in my post for you today.

notesfromnadir said...

Blogging about your students is probably the best sort of therapy. It's safe for you, them, & we get to laugh.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm with you!

I could've chosen Helen Bonham Carter. There aren't many actresses who could play the wife in the King's Speech, The Red Queen, and Bellaxtrix Lestrange.

Maeve Frazier said...

Great Choice!

tracirz said...

:( I'm sorry.

Jessica Thompson said...

Haha great quote!

Murugi Njehia said...

Haha..I love your post and your blog. I am a new follower.By the way. great choice. :)

Lorena said...

Thanks for your ink-color sensitivity, MP. ;)

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...

"D" is for Dictionary. It's also the grade your students deserve.

(I'm curious where the curve lies in a class like this.)

Naina Gupta said...

That is shocking. When you are in college, the stupid mistakes are supposed to stop. The common belief here is that people go to college/university for the student life, rather than the education.