Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fun with Grading/Saving the Writing Soul

The title is a misnomer since the last thing I want to do is talk about grading. There is just far too much of it this time of year. I was hurriedly finishing one set of exams just so I can be prepared for the research papers tomorrow. I just know that some of them will break my heart. It makes me feel like that with one more week or one more session or one five minute discussion, I could save their writing soul. But I'm preaching to the choir, right? I do have some literature that I could pass out.

Speaking of writing, I helped my niece write her paper on Macbeth last week. Of course "help" is relative since all I did was ask her helpful, guiding questions. I related this story to my students, and they were outraged. "couldn't you just tell her the answer!" they cried. Alas, no. Still, I was heartened that my niece did seem to understand the play. We take solace from where we can find it.

Yet another point about writing -- I had my interview with the DH editor, who has been in the business for a long time and was quite a talker. The discussion did descend, at times, into fan talk, and I definitely got the picture that he was used to speaking to fan culture (for instance, I had read some of these quotes before -- gasp! not like we don't repeat ourselves, yes?). I think I got some good stuff and some good directions for the essay. Although I started with a disclaimer ("I'm just simple manga farmer from the sticks"), my prep for the interview helped. He seemed a bit abashed that I knew of some of the manga magazines that he had worked on and that had not lasted very long. He was also extremely helpful in explaining some misconceptions I had about the business. Now, I really need to research.

1 comment:

K. A. Laity said...

Ooh -- Wendy is Lois Lane on the trail of the story. Did you wear your press hat? Amazing how preparation eases the way. Why don't our students get that? Why on earth would you just tell your niece "the answer"? Which one any way?