The Poky Little Pundit

Guns, Grades and School (I heart Jared Diamond!)



Today will be a quickie, as I have a set of essays to grade by tomorrow which no amount of wishful thinking can magic away. And here we have the reason that most English teachers quit within five years of beginning this career: grading. It is, without a doubt, the worst part of the job, especially since there exists such enormous inequities within a school regarding work load. Those in the field of ‘right answers’ (math and science and history) can simply tick a box. Right. English teachers, on the other hand, have to sift through the murky mass of a teenage mind to figure out just where they are going wrong in their logic, correct it via comments, and then assess.

But what really gets under my skin about this is that essays are virtually meaningless as a means of testing one’s skill in “English,” whatever that means. Truly, since college, have any of us EVER written an essay, other than PhD students or other teachers? Why the fixation on essays? Why not short stories or poems? Why not a well-constructed email? A Facebook post? A cover letter for a job? There are myriad counter arguments here, but really what I want to say is I HATE ESSAYS and I wish I could get out of grading them tonight.

Other stuff I want to say is that as hard as I am trying, I still can’t help but judge and ridicule anyone who still thinks the 2nd Amendment applies to automatic weapons – or even handguns. We’ve all heard about South Dakota passing a law allowing teachers to carry guns, which makes me sullen and angry in a way that is hard to describe. We also see people in our country flouting basic gun control to the extent that reforms just seem futile. The BBC recently went undercover at a Texas gun show and demonstrated in just a minute how incredibly easy our country makes it to obtain a lethal weapon.

Lest you forget, dear reader, I lived for some time outside of this country’s borders, and yes, they all think we are BAT SHIT CRAZY. Can’t we just give them a wee concession, and stop buying automatic weapons? Can’t we just stop allowing guns in schools? Can’t we admit that our constitution was created ages ago by a very different population of people, and amend this absurd amendment? Go on, conservative readers. Spout your crazy defense in my comment box. I dare you.

I gotta go educate young minds. Peace.


2 thoughts on “Guns, Grades and School (I heart Jared Diamond!)

  1. I love this post, I feel exactly the same about marking essays-loath it and the inequity across subject areas in regards to correction- why did you return to teaching again….? I also cannot believe the suggestion that teachers carry guns-that is bat shit crazy but you my dear friend are not.

  2. I can’t really articulate why I am returning to teaching to be honest…it just seems to be part of my fabric. Wish I could shed it like a Silence of the Lambs victim…

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