22 February 2010

Cold Turkey Version 2.0

So when I decided to write this entry, I thought of the entry title Cold Turkey, but then thought that I might have used this phrase already in the past, and sure enough, I did. Surprisingly, it was about the same topic.

The other week, we got the first written assignment for the class that I am TA-ing for. This is the second time I am a TA for this specific class, so I kinda know the drill by now. Anyway, I do not like to grade this assignment, as this is the most subjective part of the course.

I have about 70 papers from students, all talking about their experience with multilingualism in the United States, and whether they support or contradict assimilationist views on the English language with respect to immigrants. It is hard to grade, because one cannot expect much from the students, and how do you really grade the narrative of students' personal experiences?

Anyway, I just did it cold turkey, by sitting down my office and reading every one of them. I made several piles, based on whether I thought the student made a good job of arguing or not, and so on. My objective mind is screaming at the fact that I cannot have an answer sheet where things just add up and are very objective, but hey, I am just a TA, so I cannot do much.

When I got bored, I went online and daydreamed about backpacking again, this time to Armenia. I didn't realize that one can get an e-visa to Armenia, without even applying in person in the embassy, but instead by going to the website of their foreign ministry. I gawked at the sites of the monasteries and the mountains, and found a cheap flight from New York City to Yerevan via Moscow on Aeroflot for just 690 USD.

Oh well, some other time. I went back to my papers.

After a few hours, I was done with it, and I can now focus on something else.

(Grand Ceiling, from my Library of Congress Series)

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