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The Joys of Grading

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Perhaps this post should be blank. That would pretty well exhaust the topic.

But actually, I’m not here to write about the joys of grading. Rather, I bring you the explanation of why Ron’s View has gone dark in recent days: I have exams to grade. The peculiar logic of the situation dictates that if I’m not grading, I better be doing something important. Like eating. Or sleeping. Or maybe watching CBS’s closing coverage of golf at Pebble Beach, as Phil charged to victory. But not blogging. At least not until I’m too tired to grade fairly. And that time has arrived for the day, so even as I think of sleep, I’ve turned on the lights at Ron’s View for a moment.

I have several topics I’m hoping to write about once grading is done:

1. Reading. I finished Mat Johnson’s novel Pym yesterday. (I know, I should have been grading.) I thought that what initially seemed like cleverness began to veer towards silliness. Not that that is necessarily bad, but the book didn’t fulfill its early promise, for me anyway. Next up, Donovan Hohn’s Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author,Who Went in Search of Them, which I downloaded and began last night (but haven’t touched today because, you know, I’m grading).

2. Copyediting: the lost art. As evidenced by the opening paragraph of the feature article in today’s NYT travel section. (See for yourself.)

3. Foldit. I went to a lecture Friday afternoon by UW biochemist David Baker in which he talked about protein folding. One of the most intriguing aspect of his research is the game he and UW computer scientist Zoran Popović have created — Foldit — that allows amateur gamers world-wide with no knowledge of biochemistry to participate in determining the low-energy positions of proteins. Their efforts can contribute to the discovery of medical treatments for diseases. It’s really quite a story. And a day later, yesterday, the work was featured in a short piece by Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal.

4. Madison Square Garden: Going to the dogs. This topic has several strands, and I’ve been wanting to write the appropriate post for days. I hope to get to it.

That’s all for now.

Categories: Life
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