Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Attack of the Essay

I was back at the continuation high school today. I was helping (sort of) with the CAHSEE administration. (I was doing more back up work than actual proctoring.)

It was afternoon. Most of the students had finished and had left for the day. I was left with the six students who needed extra time.

I was told that one of the boys had spent most of the morning staring off into space. That's why he was still working on the essay. After about an hour, I took a closer look at what he was doing. His essay was longer than the space allotted for it in the answer document. And his was the second essay I saw that had that problem.

This is not something that I thought I'd see. They leave ample room in the answer document. Pages. Usually the question I get is, "Do I have to fill up the whole space?"

I guess these students were overcompensating. This was the session for those who had failed the CAHSEE before, probably more than once. And they thought more would be better. I kind of wanted to shake them and tell them that there is such a thing as writing too much.

I wonder what they wrote about. Those essays had to ramble. I'm glad I don't have to grade them.

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