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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Good Old Days of Grading (Not!)

With nearly all my students doing exams on computer now it's easy to forget how awful the very act of reading exams used to be.  Horrible handwriting -- not skipping lines (despite my clear instructions) -- in pencil -- or marker that bleeds through the page -- which the students wrote on both sides on -- with infinite cross-outs and arrows pointing me God-knows-where.  And then it's on to the next blue book ('BOOK 1 OF 5" -- ugh).

But still I have to say I smiled when I ran across a handwritten exam recently and encountered something I remembered with a fond smile -- the ever-scrawlier handwriting toward the last few pages of the bluebook.  Ah yes, my child, I can see you were running out of time.  Did you manage to spit out that last major point before time was called?  Did you panic?  Did your hand cramp up at that crucial moment?  Your neat cursive gives way to block letters, ever cruder, ever larger, so that by the end you're barely getting three words on a line.  I must say I got a little emotionally invested -- I hope you get it ...I see it coming ... you're setting it up ... there it is ... yes, my child!: the law is not narrowly tailored!  And so the plaintiff wins!  He does, he does, he does, my child!  And so do you!  Three additional points for my intrepid writer!  Well done, well done.

Then it was on to the next bluebook print-out ("PAGE 1 OF 17").


Posted by Bill Araiza on December 30, 2010 at 04:54 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink


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