Thursday, February 17, 2005

Grading Scales

I'm trying to do my part to make the lives of law professors easier. Therefore, I am suggesting a few alternative ways to speed up the grading process on legal writing papers

Darts: Get 2 "A" Darts, 5 "B" Darts, 15 "C" darts and one "you stupid namby pamby F dart" and just throw them at the office wall which is littered with our pictures, papers, or ID numbers. Positives: Less carpal tunnel from all of that grading; Negatives: repaires to the puncture holes in the office wall might be deducted out of your salary (although you could buy a can of spackle and make your TAs fix up the place)

Staircase: Once the building quiets down, go with your TAs to a nearby staircase and throw the papers down the stairs. Two papers nearest to you get the A's everyone else's just get left there. Positives: quick and painless; Negatives: students will come bitching when they don't get their papers back and/or the janitorial staff might start asking the wrong people questions when they find a lot of important looking papers discarded in the stairwells

Weight: Measure the pregrading weight against the postgrading weight of the papers. Positives: no difficult math to hit the mandatory curve results; Negatives: actually having to write comments on the papers themselves and eventually explaining yourself to the students when they come ask questions (could be alleviated by just soaking the really bad papers in a vat of ceiling paint).

TA: Force the TA to do it. Positives: Quick, Easy, Efficient and you get to force the TAs to take your office hours to explain 'your' grading methodology Negatives: Your TAs might rat you out in attempt to secure a recommendation from the Dean for their post graduation employment plans

Reading: Assign grades by seeing who uses the most 4 syllable words in their opening paragraph.

Don't Grade: Blame the department chair by saying that it was their responsbility to do the grading and the students just have to be patient. Don't worry, the 1L's are too scared to see if you are telling the truth by going to see the department chair and it will just cause more of them to develop ulcers worrying about the grades that they won't ever see. To make matters worse for them, select a few juicy passages from their homework and read it to the class and say that these are what the department chair is saying is really bad work.