To grade or not to grade…….

P.H.D Comics is the only comic strip I subscribe to and accept that I am not cool enough to read popular ones like Dilbert, Calvin & Hobbes etc simply because I can’t relate to them. I was never a fan of comic strips though I still remember the joy in snatching the Economic Times from my dad, just for the toons page. The Sunday Times was special for it had the Wizard of Id, Hagar the Horrible, Garfield, Dennis the Menace and a couple of others. I’ve loved my comics though be it Tintin, Asterix, and the girly Archie to the desi Tinkle. Even now I can recollect the episodes of He-Man, Force-Five and G.I.Joe on the tube. Cartoon Network was the best thing to happen and brought Johnny Quest, Scooby Doo, Swat Kats, The Mask, My all-time-favorite Dexter, and a host of toons to our lives. Now this warrants another post before I drift away.

This strip reminded me of my Cryptology class for which I was the TA with an enrollment of 70+ students. Weekly assignments were horrible as I spent more time grading them than the students may have spent on searching for the solutions. Exams were the worst with me having to evaluate their solutions to award partial points. It feel so good to see the right answers but these partial points we a killer. One had to go through all the steps and spot the error and then award some points for the number of correct steps.

I tried being as impartial as could be, even though i disliked a few students in the class. But every time I spent in excess of two hours grading, I would think of the plight of my school teachers who had to grade reams of answer sheets, coupled with the Mesopotamian script of kids like me! Would love to hear of the experiences any of you may have had writing or grading exams…..

PS: I still love watching G.I.Joe on youtube!