Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painful grading - a slice of a teacher's life

My wrist hurts, but I’m happy.

My wrist hurts because I have carpal tunnel syndrome or some sort of repetitive stress injury; basically, I write too much.
But I’m happy because I have been writing on student papers. My college freshmen turned in the drafts of their first formal essay. I’m about a third of the way through them and I have been writing all over the papers. I scribbled in the margin when a paragraph lost focus. I circled details and questioned their necessity in moving the narrative forward. I made my confusion known when important details were missing.
I am also gathering my thoughts for class on Friday, when I hand these drafts back. Most students will look at their papers, covered in my pencil scribbles, and panic, thinking they have to start all over. But, the thing is, I’m happy despite my wrist pain because this is a great group of drafts. Sure, they all have revisions to consider, but most everyone is working from a solid beginning. I am very impressed.
Friday’s class will focus on organization and paragraph focus. And, hopefully, they’ll see exactly what I mean with all that writing. This should be a much less painful project for them, than it has been for me.
Short slice this week. Did I mention my wrist hurts?

Check out all the Slice of Life posts at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. Hope my college freshman daughter has such a thoughtful teacher, willing to give the time it takes to encourage and guide her, and help her develop her writing voice (she's a girl who has a lot to say) ...

  2. I like how you show determination and enthusiasm even though you have a painful reason to complain and write less. Take care of your wrist.

  3. Teachers don't talk much about the body pains that accompany their jobs. Mine is back pain from sitting in preschool sized chairs.