where the writers are
Dear Student

I am drowning in grading. The only way to make it go away is to get it done, yet I seem unable to make much progress these days. I have a lot on my mind, and it’s easy to get distracted by a hundred different things, the way I’m doing now by writing this blog post instead of reading through another paper. I think I will scream if I have to correct one more instance of mismatched verb tense, or write “frag” next to one more dangling phrase. Which brings me to this form rejection I received the other day from an agent I queried back in August:

Dear Author (No name? Ouch!):

I regret that I am unable to answer your query with a personal note—please know that I read each and every letter in my inbox. At this time, I am only responding personally to projects which I intend to pursue. I’m afraid that in this instance, I did not have the enthusiasm necessary to request pages. I apologize for the frustratingly subjective nature of this business and I do wish you all the best of luck finding the right agent for your work.

I keep wondering what would happen if I replied to my students’ papers that way. Say like this:

Dear Student: I regret that I am unable to give you a higher grade on this paper. Please know that I read each and every paper you turn in. At this time, I am only responding personally to papers from students who have made an effort to proof their work carefully before handing it in. I’m afraid that I just did not have the enthusiasm necessary to finish reading through your paper. I apologize for the frustratingly subjective nature of this business and I do wish you the best of luck finding another teacher to read this.

 

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