This is finals week. Breeze, man, breeze. I have a $14,000 paper due today. Literally: if I don’t get at least a B+ on the paper, I lose my fellowship for next year. According to English department rules, grad students with less than a B+ in the composition training seminar cannot be employed to teach composition the next year. No teaching = no funding = no schooling. Bad. Everything in the course has been pass/fail so far (I’ve passed) save for one graded assignment, on which I got an A. And this paper, on second read-through, is pretty good.
I went in a slightly experimental path. We were simply told we had to write “One 8-10 page scholarly paper on the idea of argumentation and the teaching of writing.” No other guidelines. So, I wrote a paper arguing that we should through out essay writing in entry-level writing courses and instead make students author blogs. It was fun to use the professor’s book to argue this, but now, I’m a little nervous about the wisdom of this particular argument. Then again, last year, one of the students got an A on a paper arguing that composition programs — that colleges in general — should be thrown out, that grades should be eliminated, and that students should be freed from the master/slave relationship they inspire. Which — yeah, wow.
Anyway, so, that paper, then office hours today, then final workshop tomorrow, then… nothing until everyone turns in their final projects on Thursday for my grading joy. I plan to start the grading while watching the KU Jayhawks play basketball — please, CBS, hear my plea and televise this game on the West Coast somehow. I’m homesick and even basketball will help.
Also: will someone come and mow my lawn? I’ll give you peanut butter cookies.