Friday, 20 May 2011

From Misery to Absurdity

I am, as you may know, knee deep in essay and dissertation marking. As always, work goes from the absurd to the wonderful (though nobody has approached the Olympian heights of Ed's dissertation).

One of the worst aspects is marking poor work by people you either personally like, or whom you respect for their abilities. I have infinite patience for people who work hard but still struggle, and none for the lazy or dishonest. But it's emotionally draining to mark down or fail people when you know they've worked seriously hard. Responsibility is an issue, especially with dissertation supervision. If the piece has failed, isn't this an indictment of my supervision?

They say at PhD level that a supervisor shouldn't allow a potential failure to be examined: if they tell you to send it off, it's probably OK. Does this apply at undergraduate level? Of course, some people haven't bothered attending much supervision. Others have turned up to chat about ideas but not provided written material for discussion. Yet others present work you know is weak and all you can do is cajole them into the right frame of mind.

Anyway, light relief tonight: I've got a free ticket to see Karl Spain, a comedian who is supporting Ed Byrne in town tonight. He'd better be funny: I'll be sitting next to his cousin…


ed said...

Thanks Vole! And spooky, as I'm planning on taking a trip to the Hegemon to read your PhD thesis soon (my MA diss will be looking at masculinity, and I'm curious as to whether I can lift - ahem - I mean take inspiration from your methodology and stuff).

Also, if you're heading to the Civic to see that other Ed, keep an eye out for any coins on the floor. Saw the Manics there last night, and I lost about three quid in change.

The Plashing Vole said...

Jesus, are you sure? It's dubious at best. If you're certain, I can mail you an electronic copy. I warn you, it's not up to your standard.

You lost more than £3 at the Manics. You lost the respect of your peer group. Have they done anything good since (the sublime) Motorcycle Emptiness?

ed said...

Your assumption being that I've ever held any respect whatsover within a peer group? Granted, Manics flip-flop between greatness and rubbish-ness. I'd direct you to Journal for Plague Lovers (a sequel to The Holy Bible I guess) for an example of the former, and, erm, everything else (barring The Holy Bible)for the latter. Also, they were supported by The Joy Formiddable, who I really like.

Anyway, my philistinism aside, that would be great if you could email me a copy! I'm still on the Hegemon database I think; or I could email you from my current address if that's easier?

ed said...