Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do you hear what I hear?

If you strain hard enough, you might still hear the weeping and gnashing of my students' teeth. I'll admit it: I'm the Grinch teacher who assigns homework over Christmas break. My seniors have to read about sixteen pages of Fear and Trembling and my sophomores have to write a five-paragraph reflection...that has to be turned in online by Friday, December 24th.

You heard it right: I made something due on Christmas Eve. Next to decapitating Santa Claus or turning Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer into road kill, there seems to be no graver offense possible for a teacher. In my defense, I justify my actions accordingly:

  1. Their assignment is to write on one of the Gospel readings that they will hear at Christmas Mass. It sort of defeats the purpose to have them write a reflection that they would give on Christmas AFTER the fact. I want them to read and think about the readings BEFORE they hear them. 
  2. If I make it due on January 4th, most will wait until January 3rd to write it. In this case, I'll get receive 69 papers all at once and I'll have to read and correct them that week ahead of finals. Further, the essays will be hastily written because the students will have waited to do all of their homework until the last day. If nothing else, making it due the 24th gets one assignment out of the way.
  3. Because the evil within me is foul...and I love it. (Attributed to Saint Augustine)
Anyway, there we stand. One essay has been submitted - 1/69 - and I await with baited breath the rest of them. I hope they trickle in so that I can grade them piecewise and do a few each day. 

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