Perhaps I need a sabbatical.

Sorry, folks.  I’ve been away.  Doing what, you ask?

Doing this right here:

Actual marginal comments I’ve written on student essays/exams over the past month:


“The ‘Segway’ is the two-wheeled device.  A ‘segue’ is what moves an argument from one point to the next.  We went over this in class a few times.”

“You argue that the U.S. justice system is based on letting the punishment fit the crime, and that death penalty is the ‘only equal fitting punishment’ for murder.  By this logic, what punishment should rapists receive?”

“This isn’t a word.”

“You’ve already said this a few times.”

“I have no idea what this phrase is intended to mean.”

“Oh, lord.”



” ‘it’s’ = ‘it is’ or ‘it has’; ‘its’ = the possessive pronoun or adjective”  (seven times or so)

“Actually, this doesn’t happen in this novel.  I’m not sure what book you’re thinking of.”

“You’ve got to fight the urge to write this way.  You’re going to hurt your readers’ brains.”

“How can you be sure what topics ‘children used to fight about’ one hundred years ago?”


“where’s your source?”

“what’s your source for this?”

“where’d you get this?”

“Doesn’t the article argue exactly the opposite of this?”

“I cannot parse this sentence.”

“[frowning emoticon]”

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5 Responses to Perhaps I need a sabbatical.

  1. Susan says:

    “source?” “where’s your source?” “what’s your source for this?” “where’d you get this?”

    It’s a never-ending battle against plagiarism!

    What about class discussions in literature classes? How are those going?

  2. Michelle says:

    Ha, ha! Know those comments well (or my own versions of them). Not sure if it is reassuring or frightening to know that not much changes from frosh year of high school to frosh year of college??!!

  3. Shauna J. says:

    My spirit vacillates between fear and excitement regarding the MFA kickoff in July, precisely because of imagining vivid red marginal comments on my writing pieces.
    It’s like anticipating a wanted kiss or a not-neccesarily-wanted pap smear, depending upon my state of mind. 🙂

  4. Amie says:

    Ha! Did you literally explode?

  5. zenkatwrites says:

    omigod i literally laughed until i cried.

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