Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Room for improvement

You know those giant slingshots they use to propel T-shirts into the stands at baseball games? We need one here in grading-land, and here's why:

There's nothing I like better than finishing a difficult task, but every time I close the folder on a stack of AP essays, a cheerful helper shows up at my elbow with another stack and I'm back at work before I have a chance to take a breath. But what if the helpers instead delivered the essays via giant slingshot? It would add a touch of drama to the process, especially if each blast were accompanied by a burst of confetti or a trumpet fanfare.

And that's not the only improvement I'd recommend. The snack breaks are nice, but today I saw some English teachers nearly come to fisticuffs over the last of the popcorn. Making the snacks more scarce and encouraging food fights would get the sluggish blood flowing again. 

Alternately, we could replace the afternoon stretch break with the Chicken Dance or the Hokey-Pokey or, heaven help us, the Macarena. Or how about massages? I would gladly accept a lower stipend in exchange for a daily neck rub from a trained masseuse.

Finally, what about Arts & Crafts Time? Everyone's wearing these T-shirts that call the AP reading "Summer Camp for English Teachers," but what's summer camp without Arts & Crafts? We could cut out the pictures students draw in the books and decoupage them to make wall plaques, or instead of merely filling in bubble sheets, we could fold the essays into origami shapes indicating their rankings.

I know, I know: all those things take time and money and might distract from the serious business of grading essays, but a girl can dream. In fact, sometimes dreaming is the only thing that gets me through that next big pile of papers.  

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