In the past two days I've read more than 300 student essays analyzing (or purporting to analyze) the same poem, and now my brain hurts, my eyes hurt, and my butt is numb from two much sitting. I've seen the word "repetition" spelled so many different ways that I'm no longer certain which one is correct. I have read essays asserting that literature often contains literary elements, that poets use diction, and that anyone using the word "thou" must be writing in Old English. Help!
People who do this job year after year keep telling me how much they look forward to the experience. They get to share ideas with 2000 English teachers! They gain perspective on the range of students' writing skills! They learn so much about what students are thinking! Maybe after I drink the Kool-Aid for a few more days I'll feel the same way, but for now I'm just slogging through the morass and trying not to sink. Or think.
Because it hurts. By the end of the day, my head feels as if it has been pummeled by rubber mallets and I struggle to carry on an intelligent conversation. And yet I keep going back for more. If you'd like to see what 2000 masochistic English teachers look like, come to Louisville!
Just don't ask me to spell anything.