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.