I was standing in the meat department of the grocery store the other day staring blankly at the chicken cuts when the guy behind the counter looked at me and asked,
“what do you want?”
I looked directly at him, and I said.
“I’m sorry sir but I don’t know what I want. I don’t even know what day it is, and if you were to ask me my name at this very moment, I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’d be able to tell you what it is.”
I think he thought I was joking at first, but then after I stood there for about 5 minutes with a continued fixed-chicken thigh-gaze, he finally got it.
Skipping forward a few days, today I found myself at a gathering wherein I was told to internalize writing rubrics. After five years of undergraduate work, an almost complete masters degree, and countless graded papers (both my own and those of my students), I couldn’t help but return to my meat department moment (and gently kick my colleague under the table). I was under the impression a paper was either an A, B, C, D, E, or Failing. Maybe my internal grading rubric is slightly off kilter–or maybe I’m just starting to lose my sanity after several years in grad school (I did just notice my accidental E in there). I’m just lucky I am getting an identifiable name, albeit correct, on my own papers. I’m sorry professors. It was kind of like a moment in class last week wherein my student looked at me, and then he asked who was going to be the professor the following week…?
OK, so whose going to be the professor all semester?
Sorry kiddo, I’m not going anywhere whether you like my rubric or not. The good thing is though, I can’t remember my name half the time so guess what? You don’t have to either. I promise, I won’t take points off for that.