Kenyon College

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Papers, Procrastination, and Pudding

Ok, not really pudding, but I'll get to that. And I think procrastination really speaks for itself. But I wanted an alliterative title, so there you go.

One of the oddest things about studying at Exeter is the method of turning in and picking up papers. It isn't necessarily good or bad. Just odd, at least compared to Kenyon. Each class has three assignments, each an essay unless you're in a creative writing or some film classes.

The first paper has a due date as determined by the professor, but they're usually due around the same time. This semester most first papers were due between February 12th and 19th. The second paper has the same due date across all the courses (at least third year courses). *Exception: your professor didn't get your first papers back by the week before, then the paper has to be pushed back.*
For just about everyone the second essay was due yesterday, March 5th. The third papers aren't due until May 15th. Of course those tend to be worth a lot more of the overall grade and creative writing courses tend to have all three assignments due at the end.
When turning in your paper you have until 4:00pm on the due date to turn it in to the office. With barcoded cover sheet. Yeah. Odd. You also need two copies: one with your student number and one with your name. Why? The papers aren't just graded by the professor, they're also assessed by a third party. Once the professor is done (as far as I can tell, this is the grade you receive and the other assessment is more for the class) they turn the papers back in to the office for sorting. The office has all the papers ready for pickup by a certain date before the next paper is due. We got our first papers back February 26th (or whenever we got to the office).
The good: 1) You definitely get your papers back before turning in the next one. Unless you're in a creative writing class. In which case, hope that you get feedback in class. 2) The office doesn't care if you skip class in order to write the essay. 3) Blind grading--your professor gets the copy with your student number and doesn't know who's essay it is.The tolerable: 1) No begging your professor for an extension--if you want an extension you have to ask the office and you better have a good excuse. 2) Lines. If even just some classes all have a paper due the same day, you can find yourself standing in line. And since they use the barcode on the cover sheet to check your paper into the system, then if you are still in line at 4 your grade will suffer for being late. 3) Blind grading--since your professors don't know whose paper is whose, they don't have a clue what you wrote about when you go to their office hours.
It's not a bad system. Just...odd. At least after getting used to Kenyon for two years.

SO! In order to celebrate the successful passing of our second due date, several friends and I did a Day of Food. It started with lunch. Don't judge us for sleeping in! I made hoagies. They looked a little like this:
Why, yes. That is homemade bread. And meat. No, not homemade meat. Nevertheless. They were more than delicious. /bragging

For dinner we had scrumptious creamy garlic chicken. And heavenly mashed potatoes. With a side of fresh fruit salad. My tummy was a happy camper.

We topped off our Day of Food with brownies. And possibly a viewing of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Because we are girls. And stories like TSP are the perfect brownie topping.

The lesson: Turn in your papers early enough to plan a fattening day with your homies. Also, knitting burns calories. A few, anyway.

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