Saturday, 16 January 2010

e-homework, do you?

First of all, try this:

Sun column real reason tip of our own... Our Committee lost our wisdom teeth
and an unfinished of free capacity.
Glass Note... a gentle rain, early sense of a shaft of light.
old piece of flooding. sky and add Yes we still free.

My last blog entry received a message in Japanese (I assume?) characters. No idea what it says, but Google Language Tools gives the above as 5th of 212 translations. Daren't publish the characters as sent, for who can know (in my lack of language) what it says. One title says Hiroshi customers, the next says Mushrooms Mushrooms.

So, sorry to that commenter, but thanks for the venture into Google poetry. Another translation starts: Pine, wearing morning bath, standing. Another, Sung-dyed piece of yellow gold. Mmm, nice. I do write haiku, so maybe that's the source.

Meanwhile, MoiraG commented back a few entries on the joys of being a student as an aid to teaching creative writing (O Yes). And that set me wondering about 'homework' in our area. My daughter is completing her doctorate in clinical psychology and has to hand in everything in hardcopy AND online -- so they can do accurate wordcount (and maybe plagiarism checks). But that's university for ya. A colleague of mine in adult ed does allow students to send work by email attachment. Myself, I refuse e submissions -- what do you do?

Here are my reasons, as written to a student at the end of last term (having announced and repeated my policy earlier in the course):

(a) why should I have to go to the work, ink and paper-invest of printing it out in my place and my time when I have so much other work and time at the pc and printer

(b) it allows student to send in any old time and feel he/she will get feedback, whereas the time of a tutor at home is spent on preparing for class, and doing feedback on student's work in a planned time to fit the tutor's schedule (the tutor's own writing, other work and life activities)

(c) writers need to learn to meet deadlines and present to parameters set by editors/competitions etc professionally. ie, 'play the game'

(d) it is good writing practice for a writer to print out in hardcopy to critique and revise his/her own work -- to be able to see it whole.

I always only do hand-written feedback on the page, by the way -- when I have once or twice done on screen I end up explaining and nearly editing by way of explaining... can't help it, I'm a writer, I get sucked in. No sir, on the page, puleeeeze.

So am I an old meanie, or what?

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