Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Scarcity of posts

Things have been a bit quiet here because of the time of year. For my day job I am an academic in the humanities and now is the time of year when we do the finals marking. I calculated today that I have to examine approximately 1,000,000 words of student essays this year. The work involved in this task is increased by the daft numerical marking scale we have to use: it is easy to spot whether an essay is a first or a two-two, but to decide whether it is a 63 or a 64 is really difficult, for it requires not only reading the essay for every detail, but also comparing it to the other 63s and 64s you have given.

The really irritating thing is that we go through this complex and time-consuming procedure but there are rarely any surprises, everyone gets the degree we expected them to get.