Thursday, April 28, 2011

Different People

Row boats full of my abroad group in Japan. 2008.

A student whose writing portfolio I graded came up to me in the library today to talk about some of his work in person. Most students don't even see my name on their feedback. It's like they get a form in their e-mail from a divine source.

He thanked me for my criticisms, and we chatted about the pieces a bit. He smiled and went on his way. Then, I had to think for a while. I know it was mostly good feedback...but was I ever harsh? Was I ever vague? I remember filling out this student's paperwork, but I know he was in my final stack, a stack I was slopping through well-past quitting time last night. Did I cut a corner?

I hate that mindset--the mindset that groups of people--students, family, republicans, Indians, trannies, Twilight fans--are just one. It was so lazy to let myself fall into that. One more form to fill out, one more student, same comma errors, one more positive remark after one more constructive.

From now on, when I give student feedback, I will imagine the student stopping me in the middle of the library to talk.
When I perform I will consider every single seat filled with a different butt.
When I drive I will peek at every car and know the person at the wheel has a unique family.
Every Sour Patch Kid I eat has its own soul.

Just kidding about that last one. That's stupid.

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