Sunday, November 23, 2008


As a Teaching Assistant at the University one of my responsibilities is the marking of assignments, essays, tutorial participation, midterms and final exams. I have to say that this is one of the least favourite parts of the job for me. I hate judging someone else's work or performance. There is something very distasteful to me in making that call and sticking with my grade. I think sometimes that I agonize over these students grades for more time than they take to study for the exam or to write their term papers. I just want to be fair and impartial to all my students and ensure that they have earned the grade I give them, regardless of whether it's an A or an F.

As an undergraduate I was never the greatest at taking tests and my exams were always somewhat mediocre. I understand that even the brightest student might have difficulties with writing a decent history exam. It's not an easy thing to remember specific dates, names, and places and how they all fit together to make something meaningful. It has only been in the last couple of years of my Doctoral degree that I'm getting even remotely comfortable with the names and dates of history in relation to an event, and that's only when you're talking to me about Canadian history. Give me any other country and I'm as helpless as a frosh. This is largely because I'm TAing the same survey course on Canadian history for the second year in a row, and I've spent the better part of the past 4 years deeply immersed in Canadian history for my thesis work.

So while I'm bogged down with midterms and papers right now I'm dreaming of the day when I'll have a bevy of graduate students to do the marking for me. I think that's one of the best perks of getting a full Doctorate- not having to mark obscene piles of undergraduate work.

1 comment:

LH said...

Hi! I found your blog through the NaBloPoMo prize list and I have to say that while I've only read a few entries, your candor has me impressed and engaged. I'm very glad you decided to keep this blog public--how else could I, a totally random stranger, have stumbled upon it...upon you?

Oh, and I LOVE your title! I was a bit Ph.Depressed myself for quite a number of years: ABD for a loooooong time and haunted by a past of bad circumstances and bad choices, which were probably as a result of said circumstances.

Well, the joke's on me, I guess, because I've received my doctorate and am feeling far more stable these days, but now I'm a SAHM (and enjoying every minute of it!).

So thanks for your frankness and your willingness to share not just the events of your life, but your cognitive and emotional reactions to them as well. I find the latter much more precious an offering.