I am an academic. I will now prove I am an academic by self-indulgently writing about what it’s like to be stuck grading — an activity that ate up a large chunk of my weekend. In any event, the first thing to note about grading is that is not compelling. There are things like a good football game that are hard to take your eyes off of. On the other hand, there are things like final exams that are very easy to take your eyes off of. That is why I find the post on “The Five Stages of Grading” so amusing (Not That Kind of Doctor, Oct 9, 2010). Here is a sample:
Bargaining. This stage usually begins as an earnest attempt to buckle down and grade. The instructor might say, “If I grade five papers, I can watch one episode of House,” or, “For every page I grade, I get to eat a piece of candy.” This process starts well, but as the instructor progresses the amount of work required to achieve the reward generally becomes smaller and smaller, until the instructor is checking Facebook after every sentence he or she grades.
Of course, if there is anything more painful than grading, it is talking to students about the output of the process. Truth be told, Kellogg students are neither this persistent nor blockheaded. Still, this (originally posted here) is pretty funny: