The former involved a rather intricate dance of wanting to read but not wanting to finish reading. So I would come up with myriad things to prolong the inevitable conclusion of this journey of my belovéd hero. Creating diversions for oneself is an easier task than I previously thought. However, much to my chagrin I ended the tale of 'the boy who lived' yesterday with tears and a bit of dramatic fortitude.
Interspersed with my
avoidance of reading I buckled down to grade the final papers of the Cosby scholars. Although the summer institute ended on July 12, students in my class had until last week to turn in their 10 page reflections/musings. They had been given a detailed rubric with guidelines from which to steer their discussion. I looked forward to sitting with each paper for a while and consequently providing encouraging feedback.
Grading takes me a while.
I blame this on my own constant state of studentship. Over the years I have written quite a number of masterpieces and they have not always been given the proper fanfare and applause I felt they warranted (although I must say that many have). When I write a scholarly paper I agonize over every word until I achieve perfection, or at least until I am so sick of looking at it I don't care anymore. It pains me when I get these little gems back with a cursory "well done" or some such gibberish.
Why can't my papers be shown the respect they deserve!
In order to right these injustices I settle in with each and every paper I receive. Of course the easiest thing to critique is the structure of the thing, which should be in APA format. After providing copious bullet points pertaining to this I dig in. For each paper I provide at least one page of type written feedback, sometimes more. There have been times in the past when I have actually written more commentary than was in the paper in the first place. This is my nature. I believe student and teacher form a team wherein we learn from each other and create a sort of dialogue. Even if I am ultimately grading their efforts.
Feedback such as this is a form of schmoozing. As La Bellina Mammina surely noticed when she awarded me the schmoozer award, I like to schmooze.
I have lifted this definition from her blog...
"As it goes, schmoozing is the natural ability to converse casually. Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship".
In the spirit of paying it forward I would like to pass this along to Reya at The Gold Poppy for simply being herself and for sharing her thoughts so consistently.