Weekend 4-28-12

I read an undergraduate senior thesis this week that had moments of great lucidity. Clearly a lot of effort went into it, and the student was trying very hard – it was one of those cases where the project is ambitious and the advisor did not want to tell the student not to do it simply because it might not work, because it might have worked – it could have worked – so the advisor did as much as could be done in terms of, well, advice and numerous readings of numerous drafts and yet still feels somewhat responsible for the lackluster outcome. (I am the advisor.) The student is a nice kid – she left me a little box of chocolates in my mailbox on Friday morning to say thank you.

And then there is the fun part of grading – or rather the fun part aside from the genuine real I-am-not-being-sarcastic fun of reading some very good papers that I can give A’s to. The other fun part is sentences like one I read yesterday in which it was asserted that ‘the South Carolina Lowcountry found itself to be essentially swampland.’

South Carolina Low Country: “Shit! I’m essentially swampland!”

Piedmont: “ha ha!”

We do not need to get into the paper that was talking about national honor and the war of 1812 and which despite being actually a very good and perceptive paper persistently referred to the US’s honor being ‘stained’ – like over and over again. It brought up a type of imagery that I do not normally associate with James Madison.

I intend to put all this behind me by listening to this and possibly reading more Schiller plays.

2 thoughts on “Weekend 4-28-12

  1. LOL and LOL again. I’m glad you have students who submit good and perceptive papers, though, in spite of the occasional unintentional comedy.

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    1. Yeah, on the whole the students here are pretty good. They prepare for class (most of the time) and do the reading, and the best among them are very smart. And since it’s the south, they are often excruciatingly polite: I had to get used to ‘yes ma’am!’ and ‘no ma’am!’ all the time.

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