September, and classes have now been going on for several weeks. This is my bitch entry, and I’ll try hard not to do many of them. Wow, it is so amazing how poorly high school students are taught English. Every single semester I have many of my first semester college freshman students who can’t write simple sentences, write nothing but run-on sentences or comma splice sentences, understand the fundamentals of grammar, or are able to follow simple directions. A three page paper is three pages. Pretty simple, huh? Apparently not. I get emails asking how long the next paper should be. Really? Happens with the one-pages I have them do too. There is one – 1 – correct way to format an academic paper, yet most can’t or won’t manage to do it correctly until the points taken off multiply sufficiently to make them understand how serious I am about doing it correctly. I do get some good students, but they are in the serious minority. Two, three a class of twenty-five or so is the norm and it takes the full sixteen weeks of the semester to get most up to where they can do well in future classes that require writing (like pretty much everything, sometimes even including math classes). The first part of the semester lacks good-feeling feedback. The end is usually much better. Okay. Enough time away from the stack waiting on me to grade them. Back to the trenches looking for that occasional outstanding paper that lets me know I am doing something right here. There’s simply too few of them coming into freshman classes anymore.