Tuesday, October 25, 2005


"By creating beauty out of nature, art calms and quietens it. All the arts, even those based on sounds, create silence." Levinas

"Love is watching someone die." DCfC

I've been sitting in the graduate student instructor offices (gsio) trying to research. . . well, what I was trying to research isn't as important. But I've been distracted by one of my fellow instructors talking to a student who is wondering why he got docked ten points in the "Ideas" section of the personal essay rubric. His argument: it's a personal essay and I should be able to write about whatever I want to write. Don't dock my ideas. Dock my organization, my voice, my word choice, my sentence fluency (which, by the way, no one really knows what that means). But not my ideas.

Fair enough. You gave me original ideas. But what did you do with those ideas? You can't write the paper once and hand it over--especially the personal essay. You have to push yourself beyond a narrative.

I'm too tired to continue, but here are my final thoughts:

"Five kids read it and couldn't come up with anything on the paper." That's because you didn't give them anything to work with.

Just because someone is an English major doesn't qualify them--to the level of your instructor--to tell you how good your paper is. Just because your roommate who is majoring in English read it, doesn't make it an A. It makes it a paper that an English major read. So there.


erin said...

He was probably talking about the sentence structure and how it was put together. Fluency of the sentence. Probably the equivalent of editing wordiness problems.

But it still doesn't make sense.

I like reading your blog because back in the day I thought it would be fun to be a grad school instructor...but now I don't know if I could do it. So thanks. :)


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