Words of Wisdom
I have not had a proper anecdotal post for months, I believe. So, here is one. This has been a very harassing week. First I had to present a seminar on a Marxist poet for a Canadian modernism course, and I've been toiling away marking essays from a first year English course. I was finishing the last twelve papers today in one of the more secluded study areas on campus: a small Edwardian library. There were two other students there- one young man who would stare at a pile of papers covered with crypic biological symbols, and repeatedly cry 'Oh, ____! ____! ____! ___!' every few minutes. The other was more talkative. He inquired about my work, if I was a TA, and the mysteries of the grad student. When he asked what I intended to write my thesis on, I replied the Brontes. He shook his head. He had never heard of them. And so, one thousand miles from home, I find that here too the Brontes are forgotten.
I am extremely proud of my students. I know that I have no right to be proud of them but they're the best English class ever and I often brag about them behind their backs- as I am doing now. The professor apparently got most of the papers which were in the D-C range but I had mostly B papers. Today I finally reached the lower grade papers, and they provided me with some amusement. For instance, one paper on the importance of heritage and the sea to fishermen on Cape Breton island, Nova Scotia, Canada begins with a brief discussion of Chinese culture (there are no Chinese characters in the story, and no furter commentary on the Chinese in the essay...). I learned that I was born within in the Victorian period which, apparently extended until at least 1984. I am also indebted for this piece of knowledge: 'do not take money for granite.'
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Words of Wisdom