Dear Anonymous

I was writing this as a response to a comment I received on my post Final Foibles '08, Part 1, and thought that it should make the main blog pages. Mostly because I'm curious about what the rest of ya'll think.

anonymous said...
Is this even appropriate? I wouldn't want some idiot teacher posting parts of my paper without my permission.

10:57 PM
Dear Anonymous,

I don't usually respond to people who call me idiots, (and, by the way, thanks for that) but I feel inspired to so today.

First of all, I could see your point if I had posted the names of the students who wrote these sentences. However these sentences, like your comments, are anonymous. Their identities, like yours, are protected.

Second, and you could not know this, but I tell all of my classes before they turn in any papers that I keep a file of funny sentences to use in later handouts as examples of problematic writing. They are fully aware that what they write may be later distributed to others (again, anonymously).

Third, and you could also not know this, but I spend a LOT of time working with my students' writing to help them become better writers. If I was simply reading, making little checks in the margins, and then handing their papers back with a letter grade, it would be cruel and heartless to then make light of any errors. However, I spend about an hour with each student's paper that I read. Each paper. Every time. So, you do the math and decide how seriously I take student writing.

In view of these facts, I think a little harmless fun at the end of the semester is, well, harmless.

Thanks, though, for your concern.


p.s. The blog is under a bit of construction right now, so don't mind the mess while I tinker with this new format to see if I like it. :)


At 4:46 PM Mimi said...

Well put.

And, God, if we can't enjoy the grading a little bit, how to get through it without drinking ourselves into a stupor? (Um, or is it just me who sometimes gets the urge to drink? After a semester of careful attention to writing instruction?)

At 8:48 PM AcadeMama said...

Ah students always benefit if I grade while drinking a couple glasses of wine.

And as far as I'm concerned with the posting of anonymous student writing:

"If you don't want to look stupid, don't write ridiculously stupid sentences!"

Hmmm..maybe I need some of that wine ;)


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