Marking the Other View

Post written by Dr Roy Mclarty:

(Find him on Twitter, or buy his book on Amazon)

I’ve been marking papers for over 30 years and still find it a challenge.
Frankly I’d almost prefer to write the answer, than to mark it!

In 1997 I was asked to teach a postgraduate class of marketing students.  Not having sat the particular exam myself I determined to take the exam in London.
It was a considerable shock.
Silence in the exam room, the scratching of pens, the desultory footfall of the examiners all helped to create a climate of terror. But once I had settled down the words seemed to flow endlessly and in later years when I marked such papers I tended to take more of the side of the student, bearing in mind my own experience.
I was to learn later in life that it’s much more difficult to write a novel.

I’m reminded of the famous quote of Voltaire:
“Madam, here is the novel you commissioned, it’s in two volumes, if I had more time i could have written it in one!”

Well, that how I felt this week.
The papers from the students were substantial, but that observation is based upon the size of the carrier bag, the handle broke and when put in the boot of my car papers swept around in free fall. I felt they had a mind of their own, so my positive attitude began to break down.
But mark I did.
My goal was to mark over two days; however, I hadn’t bargained on the student’s filibusters.  Some of the papers I may have been better weighing as repetition after repetition transpired.
But no – the average mark was sound – one went beyond my imagination.

I completed the marking in four days.

My novel Snake in the City is still selling well, much to my surprise, so for Christmas gifts the second printing is underway.
Thankfully, it doesn’t get marked.

I hope your comments are not those of Disraeli:
“Many thanks for your book; I shall lose no time in reading it!”


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