Friday, June 27, 2008

Which is Worse....

So I have two papers to write this weekend. One is a 5-7 page compare/contrast paper that will closely analyze two narrative passages. My thesis for this particular paper is something like: The ideal Victorian woman was not only subservient to her husband, but was also a dutiful daughter as evidenced in the novels, Villette (550 pages) and Bleak House (950 pages). The other paper is to closely analyze - in terms of style and form, rather than content - 15 lines of Middle English from the "Pardoner's Tale" in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. My thesis for this 3-4 pages paper is something like: The old man in the Pardoner's Tale functions as a cautionary character for the three rioters who seem intent on finding Death.

My dilemma is this: is it worse to have to write the papers OR to have to grade papers? I always enjoy reading student essays, but I have never enjoyed the grading process -- trying to quantify, and give constructive feedback, to 20+ papers. I also don't mind the research and analysis of these papers I need to write this weekend, but I do not enjoy the pressure of presenting my findings in a "masterly" worded essay (do you like the play on words???) I don't think I have an answer to this rhetorical question.

I will however share a photo of a place here that makes me very happy --- there is a small pond, complete with waterfall, goldfish and lily pads -- just outside the student center. I find the waterfall so relaxing and the fish can sense when humans are on its edge. They are programmed to think they will be fed if feet are in this location - and so they all come swimming towards anyone who is standing nearby. It reminds me of my dogs --- the devotion to humans when food is involved. Anyway, it is a great place to go and clear my head when the stress is getting to be too much.

Well, I must go write those rough drafts ---- to procrastinate will get me nowhere.

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