Well, that was easy

Posted on May 11, 2011

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For the first months of school, their hands curl in fear when they realize that writing brings twisting agony to un-worked fingers.

Then, I squint at each compound and complex sentence to ensure there are no misplaced commas that would serialize an otherwise non-sequential idea.

I scribble single-line jabs to them.  I watch winces and hear hearts drop.

But, after this nine-month gestation they finally give birth to three essays worthy of a solid B-minus.

And then it comes.  They are tested on nine months of growth in a single short three hour span.  They pour it out on the paper.  They are relieved.

They rush back to find me back at my desk.  They laugh about the ease of the exam and the ease of the essays.  They laugh that the samples I gave them and the tests that I wrote were oceans.  The test they took was a backyard puddle.

As they thank me for pushing them hard, making them bleed, forcing them further, they don’t know that I’ve just finished grading another project they have turned in and that I’m sitting quietly smiling knowing that beneath my hand, marked firmly in pen, is a very worthy B-plus.

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Posted in: Teaching