Posted by: LovelyAnomaly | May 2, 2008

Little Red Pens

I am a teacher’s daughter.  I grew up in a household with an abundance of red pens, while the blue and black ones always seemed to disappear.  There were always enough red pens.  A few special pens had gel ink, but most were those Papermate pens that came in bags of 20.  

I know and understand the process of grading.  I know where to put enthusiastic comments, how to mutter “Tsk tsk” when a student misses something that should have been obvious if they had been paying attention.  I know where the soda/water (or towards the end of the year–wine) should go in order to not spill onto the assignments.  

I am a teacher’s daughter.  Grading is in my genes. 

That’s how I knew two people had cheated on their lab exams.  Their corresponding wrong answers were obvious.  I noticed it by the 2nd page of the exam.  So I graded the rest of their exams side by side, and caught myself making the same check marks on each exam.  You can’t fool me.  That red pen fits naturally between my fingers.

Both of the students are receiving zeros on the exam.  Which will lower their overall score by a letter grade. 

The awful thing is–it’s just a 100-level course on vegetable gardening.  Is it really so hard that you have to cheat?  One student was a senior, the other a sophomore.  They both could have been expelled from the university.  And for what?  Cheating on a vegetable gardening exam.

I hope their parents are proud.

My mother is proud of me.  

(Maybe that red pen really does belong in my right hand?)

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Responses

  1. “I know where to put enthusiastic comments, how to mutter “Tsk tsk” when a student misses something that should have been obvious if they had been paying attention. I know where the soda/water (or towards the end of the year–wine) should go in order to not spill onto the assignments.”

    SOOOO TRRRUUEEE


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