Marking emotions

For everyone who, like me, is now hip-deep in unfinished grading — I’ve never read such a perceptive post on why grading is such a horrible experience. I don’t complain about my students’ work on social media (technically doing so is a violation of FERPA). I also don’t grade while drinking, although I often knock off early to drink. But the oral snark and the self-medication with coffee, tea, sugar, and in my case, watermelon, sushi, Doritos … they’re all true and the feelings described all apply to me.

[ETA: In rereading, in particular the point that I know pretty quickly the score I will give — but then have to spend depressing time enumerating why — is the biggest of the stressors for me.]

Research Degree Insiders

This is the other half of the post on marking. It discusses the role of emotions in marking (see Inger Mewburn (@thesiswhisperer) and her conversations on #markingemotions), and the role of self-medication (through sugar, caffeine and alcohol) to deal with those emotions.

Marking seems to ‘cost’ more than the hours we are paid to put in. It is basically a psychic toll that reduces the ‘psychic wage’ of working in Higher Ed.

It was hard to write, so I guess it was important to say.


Marking is extremely emotional for the people doing it. This post thinks about some reasons why that might be, and some ways of dealing with it… drawing on my own reflections over the last 6 years and from the conversations I had on Twitter a few Fridays ago when I live tweeted my marking, as well as more recent conversations.

1. Marking is…

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~ by Servetus on November 22, 2013.

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