Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter cyclamen

Oh, I have had no time in the last week! Our Higher English students have all had to do assessments – reflective, argumentative or persuasive essays – and it’s fallen to my lot to mark most of them, not just my own students’. 120 essays or something. And since they’re not always that good, I have to mark every mistake as well as giving detailed commentary so that the students can improve them for reassessment if necessary.

Of course, some of the essays are good. It’s just that those ones aren’t so funny. I tend to record the bad ones. I know one shouldn’t laugh – and believe me, I’m nice to the students themselves. But really, marking is so deeply boring that one has to take pleasure where one can.

By the way, our students aren’t college students by American standards, or at least, many of them aren’t. The ones whose howlers I’ve blogged are 16 or 17-year-olds who have come to college as an alternative to finishing (high) school. Often this is because they’re not very academic.

I should perhaps state – to dilute the smug effect that my recent posts have undoubtedly created – that there are lots of things that I’m not clever at doing. I was never remarkably good at maths, for example. I sort of understood it, in a surface sort of way. And I’m not technically- minded at all. I can do only easy things on computers. And I’m hopeless at all sports.

I’ve been out every evening this week apart from tonight. And I’m still sleeping at my mother’s house to keep her company. This means that, when not out, I'm spending some of the evening at home with my beloved family before going round to Mum’s about 9.30 or 10 pm. She then chats to me at length – she’s a sociable person and is rather starved of social life at the moment. She’s still not very well but visits my father in hospital nearly every day, which isn’t necessarily fun. I don’t grudge time spent with her – I’m very fond of her. But all the same I miss being at home. And there’s nothing like a nice cosy man to warm up one’s feet. A hot water bottle isn’t the same.

My normal emailing and blogging time was often late at night, but at the moment I’m parted from my computer by then. My Dad does have an ancient computer, but I don’t know how to work it.

The result is that I’m having only the most occasional reads of my usual blogs. However, I hope to catch up soon. Don’t write too much, people!


  1. Ahh---was waiting for more howlers! true about a nice warm man---I'm reduced to the hot water bottle myself, and it's been cold [for us] these past few days. Thank you for your efforts to clue me in on photo uploadage [that's at least as valid a word as "bewar"!] First I have to figure out how to get them into the computer. Hope everyone gets healthy soon so you can slow down a little. Lovely plant.

  2. You are such a kind and caring daughter, Isabelle. There's not too many that would forsake their own family (even temporarily) to stay overnight with aged parents. Your Mum must love you to bits.
    Ken is a typically warm-bodied man, but he hates me putting my cold feet on him to warm myself up. I too resort to a heatpack.
    Ever thought of keeping a record of your 'howlers' and some day having them published in book form? There are already many books in this vein, but people love 'em!

  3. You are leading a very hectic life at present.
    Love your cyclamen.

  4. Your mother must be a speical person to have raised a lovely daughter like you! Good on you for staying up for the late night chats. I'm sure I would just selfishly excuse myself and rush off to my cosy bed!

  5. Love the picture of the cyclamen :o)

    Your mother and late night chats... that's when me and my Moomin have some of our best moments, be it giggles, a little cry or just putting the world to rights. She is a very lucky lady to have you as a daughter Isabelle. As Gina and Stomper Girl said, there's not many that would forsake their own family like that. I hope that the marking calms down soon, it sounds like you might meet yourself coming back at this rate! :o/


  6. Student howlers are wonderful things, and should be celebrated. After all, we're not young enough to know everything.... but they think they are!