Thursday, May 03, 2007


Thank you for all your comments and helpful suggestions re access to Garrison Keillor. All much appreciated.

I'm currently going down for the third time under a tide of marking so don’t have time to follow up any of these suggestions (but I will). Nor do I have time to read any of your fine blogs or to blog myself. I’m not really blogging even now, despite appearances. I’m just off to mark essays any second now.

I’ve been looking out for some little infelicities in these essays, with which to amuse you before I return to my toil. Unfortunately, after a year of my brilliant teaching (ahem) my students are currently not producing anything very terrible. However, I did find a couple of rather sweet things that I jotted down from my last year’s marking of national exams (which are about to impinge again, alas). I didn’t blog them at the time since the students hadn’t had their marks back and I imagine that the exam board would disapprove extremely. However, after a year I feel the extreme secrecy of the marking process must be a bit diluted.

One of the expressions I noted was just for the spelling: one candidate wrote that a character was suffering from “worrie and panick”, which I felt was splendidly Shakespearian.

The other was from a close reading passage – sort of practical criticism – when candidates were asked to pick out a metaphor from the text and comment on its effectiveness. There were various obvious possibilities, but one candidate ignored all these. For some perverse reason of her own, she picked out “human offspring” and said that she imagined lots of little frogs bouncing about.

Yes, yes, I’m going. See me springing off.


  1. I burst out laughing.

  2. Your own offspring is springing into bed - but I have a marking present for you! Will give it to you when I see you.

  3. Oh I empathise! Happy marking. I still have masses to do, but just books not exams - they are finished.Am I ever glad we have a long weekend from 3.10!

  4. Do what I do:
    Pull essay out of the pile.
    Close eyes, pass hand slowly over the top. Concentrate.

    You will FEEL the grade communicated to you.
    Write down first mark that comes into your head.

    It saves HOURS, honestly. Works a treat.

    (only kidding)

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog! :) I'm always so pleased to have company. :D I have gotten the most pleasure from our birds this Spring...I'm really having the most difficult time staying inside, taking care of chores when someone is coming by for a visit, yet I've let everything slide to be outside. Ah well, there will always be house chores to do...will the beautiful birds stay with me all Summer...that's the question! LOL I'm in Tennessee, USA, by the way. :D

  6. Ah, Isabele. Your blog absence has barely begun and I already miss your writings!

  7. In fact, I miss your writings so much that I can't even spell your name correctly.

    Please return soon.

  8. kind of puts a new meaning to "bouncing baby...".

    Higher time already? Boy do I not miss doing them. Enjoy your marking!

  9. Love the panick and worrie. And I know how he/she feels.

  10. LOL, I join with Meggie in laughing! You really should publish a book someday with all these funnies!

  11. Blog quote of the year has to be: "I’m not really blogging even now, despite appearances".