Monday, June 04, 2007

Slugger

ATTENTION ALL ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH STUDENTS AND PARENTS PAYING GREAT HEAPS OF AMERICAN MONEY FOR YOUR CHILD TO TAKE ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH:

After three years of novels, novellas, short stories, timed essays, sweating, crying, eating, poetry, and all things worse, here's what it comes down to.

Me.

I am in Louisville. I am in a very large room. I will be here for a week. Grading. Papers. The same paper. For eight hours a day. There are no horses. But there is a lot of what horses leave behind.

Over 300,000 students took the AP English Literature exam last month. The College Board brought in a thousand English teachers to grade it-- one thousand English teachers all reaching for the same doughnut. It took a mere 45 minutes for someone to bust out a "quadraphonic" in a sentence.

We're also here with the teachers grading the statistics AP exam, as well as the French one. So not only am I surrounded by 999 Other People who want my doughnut, there are Other People... speaking French. They parlez-vous the living crap out of each other all day long. Or they're doing math, on purpose, and want to talk about it.

The essay I am grading asks the students to assess a passage from that uplifting American classic, Johnny Got His Gun. Man, remember when Johnny got his gun? That was awesome.

It is Day Two. I am very tired of both Johnny and his gun.

Yesterday they fed us powdered eggs for half an hour and then crammed us in a room and a person holding a microphone said, "I am now required to read you the following statement about sexual harassment." Oh look! It's time for Mary Beth to get her gun.

techniques are very important when it comes to writing literature at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

17 comments:

HelloBettyLou said...

So you're one of them. One of those that gave me a 2 on the AP Language Exam. Evil...

T m r :P`` said...

Thnk you so much! I needed th t. The first letter of the lph bet is not orking on my keybo rd. Neither is the t enty-third letter. I love computers. RRRGGGHHH!!!!

Mo said...

Yech! Powdered eggs, what horrors there are in those two words. While you are in Louisville, you should avoid their fake eggs and go to Lynn's Paradise Cafe. They have really fantastic Mimosas, which should certainly make the AP grading easier! They also have wierd crap that can amuse you all day for sale too. They have a spinner called "What would Bacon Do" and lots of other random things that can distract from the crappy weather we are having here.

Toni said...

Hey, at least it's not the AP Calculus exam, right? Though, if I remember correctly, that one and the Physics one didn't have any sort of essay section that would need to be graded. They did have non multiple choice, fill in the blank answers, but since they were numerical, could still be bubbled.

Just think about what a profound understand you'll have of Johnny Got His Gun when you're finished!

grammar_queen said...

I took several AP exams my senior year of high school, including the AP English exam. Having to read Heart of Darkness was, in retrospect, a small price to pay for my 4 on the exam and getting to skip freshman English in college. I'm sure there are many potential English majors out there who appreciate your efforts.

Being a Kentuckian, but not actually from Louisville, it's not my favorite place. However, Fourth Street Live is worth a visit. There is a nice Borders there.

Just out of curiosity, is the grading taking place at the Galt House? It seems that whenever I go to an event in Louisville, it takes place at the Galt House.

jcat said...

I've done essay scoring for ACT, so I feel your pain (I'm not a teacher, you just need to have a BA degree and pass the rater qualifying). Learning how to correctly rate essays was one of the most difficult things I've ever done because of how subjective it is. There's nothing like reading essays on the same subject for 3-4 weeks, 7 hours a day to really make you feel like you've earned your paycheck (and get you addicted to coffee).

Kristen said...

I really hope they pay you well. Especially since I'll probably be a grader one day too.

red pill junkie said...

Man, between your post and t m r comment, you have both certainly made my day! ;-)

h ve nice d y y' ll!!

cousin alicia said...

One of our church friends is a history prof and he used to grade the AP History tests every year. But then they moved it out of Texas and he decided that Louisville was not the same and passed on it this year.

The only AP course I took was History and I got a decent enough score to give me credit in college so that by my second semester I was technically a sophomore. That put me to the head of the line when it came to picking out my courses for the next semester. It was the only thing an AP course did for me.

mike would rather go to louisville said...

Camelot is only a five-hour drive away . . . :D

Tamar said...

I'm at work now, so I can actually type the letters A & W. Whoo hoo!
Gotta appreciate the small stuff! :)

Jules said...

Well, *someone* has to do it, right?

college gal said...

So you are one of those mystery people! I always wondered who held all the power in the world when it came to grading my AP exams...

PS: You really are a traveler - FL, OH, KY, your writing residency...where to next??

2xgtld said...

And there's always the Churchill Downs Happy Hour on Friday nights!

And welcome back to Lou-ee-ville/ Lou-ah-ville! Be sure to have a Hot Brown.

Mo, Lynn's is my favorite! I've been here less than a year, and Lynn's is a highlight. My other favorite is Mark's Feed Store- good barbeque...

MB- I lived in FL for five years, am from VA and now in KY. You'll like VA... but the traffic is the same as FL, only with more accents yelling road rage curses.

Jess said...

I would be very tired of johnny and his gun as well. But then, I have the attention span of a gnat.

Carrie said...

Ah, the AP English exam. Only AP exam I got a five on, which meant I didn't have to take English in college at all, as I was majoring in engineering. (And trust me, all my engineering friends thought I was weird for enjoying English.)

Best of luck to you, Johnny, and his gun!

katemh said...

I did the world history grading last year. The "surfeit of candy" technique must be an AP-wide phenomenon. The grading gets kind of zen after day three or so. Drinking helps (after hours, of course).

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