10/2015 We’re Waitin’ on you.
Steadily working on the second manuscript in my trilogy and as much as I really do love teaching freshman English, it sometimes gets in the way of my writing. Like all others who write fiction, the hope is to someday write full time and, to be completely honest, after teaching for so many years, it sure would be nice to never have to grade another essay. I often have as many as several hundred essays of wildly varying quality on my desk to grade at any given time, and by necessity its a slow process to do properly. I sometimes sit at my desk and focus on the papers with my characters from book two standing all around me, each whispering my name softly, and that, my friends, makes the grading hard to do. There’s always so many essays I can’t not grade or I get behind, and that’s something I would never want to do for a number of reasons. It’s important to get them back to my students ,not only for me and the avoidance of the hassle of trying to get caught back up if I don’t stay on top of it, but for my students who desperately need the feedback so that their next paper is better than the one I’m currently grading. Without feedback – and I provide a LOT of feedback on essays, even the good ones – they can’t get better and that’s what the composition classes are all about – getting better and becoming a competent college-level writer so they can make good grades in all classes requiring writing. Even as I write this, the big man to my right is rolling his eyebrowless eyes and whispering my name and the scary little woman behind me is mumbling something that sounds like it might be a threat. The fat woman with the errant headscarf just in front of my monitor smiles, rearranges the headscarf yet again, and nods. “Hurry up, Mister Mike,” she says. “We’re waitin’ on you.”