Grading on a Saturday Night. Ugh


With how many unnecessary words have over-clever writers of modern times sinned in the cause of the ideals in plastic arts.
Wilhelm H. Wackenroder

Today’s craft show left me exhausted, so I had to take a power nap before settling into a long Saturday night of grading.

Deciding against sitting in my house on a Saturday night, I journeyed to my favorite downtown Fort Worth spot on Sundance Square.

I’m very pleased tonight to read essays from my A.P. Art History students, analyzing works from Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gaughin, Munch, Matisse and Picasso. Thanks to a set of chrome books provided for my classroom, students are given opportunity to research and write during class while I intermittently insert lectures and initiate dialogue. I am working hard to steer them away from “bookish”, critical essays that employ the same worn-out terminology, by supplying them instead with philosophical paradigms from the likes of Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche and Husserl. I’m also encouraging them to look at this art with a fresh set of eyes, daring to mesh their observations with what they’ve gleaned from other disciplines-math, science, language arts, social studies, etc. For years I’ve heard the catch phrase “writing across the curriculum”, but that is not going to happen until they begin thinking across the curriculum. Paul Tillich urged that the border line was the truly propitious place for acquiring knowledge.

I think my idea is paying off-though these essays cover the same subjects, they are not reading the same from one paper to the next. And in that I am taking utmost delight.

Thanks for reading.


2 Responses to “Grading on a Saturday Night. Ugh”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    Oh dear. I have, just today, struggled through a 70 – 80 page thesis on measuring compacted and non-compacted cardiac muscle ratios. The subject is quite interesting if you are into that kind of thing, but the presentation was repetitive, long-winded, full of typos, grammatical and punctuation errors. What has happened to literary skill? I do not envy you having to do this as a major part of your job. I admire your patience.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Whoa, don’t get me started there! I’m sweating out preparations for A.P classes, seeing that the College Board saw fit to toss the old curriculum and require us to reinvent the wheel for a year-long course of study. I’m putting in many late nights studying and prepping for NEW art history classes, following a NEW set of guidelines–and HOW POORLY many of them are written!!!! I’m saying, “Really?! Is this the best the College Board can do, finding writers who write this stuff so crudely? I know there has to be a plethora of qualified writers out there in our educated world, capable of expressing ideas clearly and forthrightly.

      Liked by 1 person

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