Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tired of it

Sometimes I feel like such a fraud. *sigh*

I really don't enjoy reading the stuff my students write. Or, well, at least not most of it. It's just... gosh, I'm not even sure how to explain all of this. There are so many things that bother me about their writing that I'm often not sure where to begin when responding, let alone where I should begin with this blog post.

First of all, the topics. I get SOOO tired of reading about teen pregnancy or drugs or tattoos/piercings/dress code/fashion or favorite XYZ or Bigfoot ...

Seriously, why are teen pregnancy and teen alcoholism and teen drug use even ON the List of Acceptable Topics for a persuasive essay? They glom onto the idea that "teen drug use is bad" and want to use that for a thesis. UGH. Really? Really? You honest-to-goodness think you have to persuade ANYONE of that? GAWD.

So I get tired of the same old topics but those are the ones we're stuck with because that's what we have books on in the library. Hate, hate, hatey-hatesmith. Pouring on the Haterade.

And then they're soooo wishy-washy. Like the student who wrote about tattoos CLEARLY believed that people should be able to do whatever they want to their own bodies without being judged (negatively) for their appearance, BUT she also felt she had to say "but some people think tattoos are bad and that's okay too!" FFS, kids, it is not immoral to have a spine! GAWD.

Also apparently? the entire universe is about what is most pleasant for THEM. Like we should totes allow indiscriminate cell phone use. Except cheating would be bad. And also? Dress code, shmess code. Students should be able to hoochify if they like because that is SELF EXPRESSION and we are CRUSHING THEIR INDIVIDUALITY.

I find that I am enjoying this more the snarkier I get about it...

And then there is the grammar. We're not just talking fragments and run-ons here -- oh no. No, these sentences are so warped that I can't even begin to describe what's wrong with them. Some recent gems, grabbed from a cursory scan of what is supposed to be a re-revision of a typed final:

  • Is it because they are jealous, I think so?
  • these are the things we think about at first had but when we are stranded in the middle of the ocean we tend to think of things we never think to think of at first hand.
  • To these age groups, school, for lack of a better word to say it, SUCKS.
  • They can ruin their potential to have a great life, though some teenage mothers go back to school and have a great life while having a child others do not and that's because having a baby is a lot of work, feedings every two hours, changing constantly, keeping you up all night...etc, having a baby isn't easy, it's a very stressful job.
  • The big fight is Facebook vs. Myspace.Ok, that one's not as bad... but the image makes me giggle.
  • At a young age 15-19 some teens are not even mature enough to have sex, because they're not laying down thinking about what could happen for example becoming pregnant, at that moment all the teenager has on his/her mind is the sex and only sex!
  • Being abstinent is hard for many people, but being careful means more than just having sex, and not being cautious.
  • At least you know you tried to stop the prevention of being pregnant.(WTF?!)
  • Everyone has opinions, Walker least appetizing meal choice was the roast beef and cheese sub, he said it looked "Greasy".

I'm not even halfway through the stack. :P

Keep in mind, this is after a rough draft, conferencing with me for direction, revision, printing a new draft, peer revisions, proofreading, and printing a final draft. THEN. Another conference with me to look over the three articles for which they did that, choosing the best of those three, and RE-re-tooling it.


This is yet another reason I will NOT be teaching Journalism next year.

Image thanks to


Rachel said...

I'm sorry, I was laughing too hard at the "stranded in the middle of the ocean" one to really appreciate the others. I'm going to have to come back. The image of a kid floating in the middle of the ocean, finally forced to confront tough topics like teen pregnancy....or the fact that somehow he thinks the only way he could make a decision is if he were stranded in the middle of the ocean and (presumably) a decision would signal the rescue plane to save him?

I'm sorry, I dissolved into giggles again. Bless you.

Mrs. Chili said...

My misery loves your company. The thing that gets me is that I ask the kids to read those kinds of sentences out loud to me, thinking that if they HEAR them, they'll understand why I'm so worked up. FAR too often, though, I get a look of " What's wrong with that?"

*headdesk* indeed!

HappyChyck said...

It's been a few months since I lost patience with reading student writing. I wanted to cry, throw a tantrum, quit my job--anything but read another piece of writing.

Not that I'm over it now. I'm just numb to it. It's been a rough year...

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