Yesterday… (an ode to essay marking)


Yesterday, all the students seemed so far away.
Now a bunch of essays block my way,
My desk is now in disarray.

The pain of marking

Don't get me wrong, marking can be fun... but it is usually rushed and the marker feels a stab in the heart every time s/he reads something that is wrong... or worse: something that is not even wrong.

Suddenly, I avoid the university,
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
The end of term came suddenly.

Why they write so bad? Not a clue, I wouldn’t know.
I taught something wrong, now the errors overflow!

Yesterday, I was free to work on my research;
Now I need a place to hide away.
Instead, I am marking night and day.

All the same mistakes written time and time again!
Seventeen-point scale, fail or pass, but all in vain!

Yesterday, I avoided research like the plague,
All I did was file my notes away…
I want to do the same today.

What will happen now, all the scripts have coffee stains?
Even if they paid, that would not alleviate the pain!


*A Sunday evening tribute to the genius of Sir Paul McCartney, written by one Idle Busy Ethnographer lost among empty cups coffee and red pens.

Categories: Higher Education, The Idle Ethnographer

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