English Papers Still Not Graded


-Eugene, OR

For three weeks Alan Holcomb has been traveling back and forth between Sheldon High School in Eugene, OR and his apartment, also in Eugene, OR, with a stack of 72 papers on Rhetorical Device Analysis of Winston Churchill’s Pancake Breakfast Address from his 11th grade English classes. “I supposes this makes me a bad teacher”, says Holcomb, 29. “It’s just that I know how bad these are going to suck and I just can’t bring myself to start. I’d rather scrub my face with a wire brush and then bob for apples in a big old-timey barrel of Tabasco sauce…Fuck.” Holcomb is reported to have transported the English papers to a number of neighborhood bars and coffee shops in an effort to get himself “in the zone” and “really just plow through the fuckers”. Inez Barker, Holcomb’s roommate, tells sources that every effort at a bar or coffee shop has been a failure. “Especially at the bars”, added Barker, “a few drinks would make the papers funnier, but not necessarily get them graded.” Scott Westerberg, a bar tender at the Steelhead Brewing Co. in Eugene estimates that he has “read more of these awful papers that Alan [Holcomb] has. They’re really bad.”

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3 Responses to English Papers Still Not Graded

  1. MissTeachWorse says:

    This article really hits home. Thanks Teachbad! I realize I’m not the only one that would rather burn in the fire created by a cigarette butt accidentally falling onto one of my students’ papers than lose time out of my life I will never get back (and a cheap bottle of wine just to get me through it all) to read my students’ essays. My students say “then don’t assign them.” I say they are wise beyond their years. Unfortunately they haven’t met my arch-nemesis, the administration, who claims I have to assign papers to assess written communication skills. It’s a vicious cycle.

  2. Tracy says:

    Roll a pair of dice. Multiply whatever turns up by 10 and then you have a grade.

  3. an admirer of the blog says:

    Well, sorry to say I’ve found myself in this transportation/non grade warp many times. I’m ashamed to say that my record so far for ungraded essays is 29 days! I do get them graded, eventually. Kids learn to stop asking, “Have you graded our essays yet?” It doesn’t seem to matter how carefully I rubric, explain, or scaffold the assignment. There they are in my backseat or behind my recliner, waiting.

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