Number of papers marked this week so far: 50
Number of papers to mark in the next 10 days: well over 100, and then there’s the Baccalaureate and A levels to think about!
It’s obvious to anyone involved in university life that exam season is upon us. Hordes of students looking rather green around the gills are being followed by lecturers looking only marginally less stressed! The sun has come out as it always does when students are forced into stuffy exam rooms and I am forced to stay indoors marking. I think a former colleague of mine had the right idea when he told me his marking routine was to grade his papers sitting in his garden with a large gin-and-tonic listening to the cricket!
Joking aside though, I really enjoy marking. It’s an opportunity to find out whether all that hard work trying to transmit knowledge has actually paid off. Seeing students churn out parrot-fashion what you told them in lectures isn’t exactly rewarding, but at least you know they were listening! Sadly I haven’t got any great malapropisms to report yet, although a colleague recently had a great one: a student had confidently asserted that Richard E. Grant (the actor of ‘Withnail and I’ fame) had led the Union forces in the American civil war! He meant Ulysses S. Grant of course, but it made me chuckle!
I am such a fan of marking that I also mark papers for school kids: under both the Baccalaureate and A level systems…more on that in a couple of weeks’ time when those parcels start arriving at my door. The one thing that noone likes about marking is the accompanying admin tasks, the collating of marks, the filling in of fiddly record sheets and so on. I am unit leader on a course with 130 students and I have to account for their whereabouts in 2 essays and 1 exam: OK it sounds easy, but believe me, it isn’t! So you’d better let me get on with it!