this morning i graded my first papers as a TA. one of them was very good. the girl who wrote it is very annoying.
she’s obviously a very smart girl, and i hate it that i find her classroom presence the equivalent of a shrieking baby on a packed airplane flying to somewhere totally not worth it, like omaha.* she’s snide and rude and packs up her books five minutes before class has officially ended. she uses words like “existentialism” somewhat correctly but cavalierly, as if such words have been part of her vocabulary since she was a fetus. she asks questions that i suspect she formulates in her mind for a good twenty minutes before asking them — questions meant to express her academic prowess but really just make the student behind her roll his eyes until he resembles one possessed, make me tap my pencil on the edge of my desk with a frequency meant to call up hell-demons to carry her away, and make the professor deftly evade answering.
she’s probably a senior english major. i’m sure that when i was a senior english major i behaved with similar (although hopefully not equivalent) blatant arrogance. what she really needs to do is go to graduate school, where her first semester will be spent frozen in her chair in some seminar room while a professor and a third-year student take turns pummeling her self-confidence until it is able to be smeared on toast and eaten for breakfast.
but i tried to be impartial, remembering that many great artists and writers were, in general, very unsavory characters. i made quite a few comments about different directions she could take her argument in a longer paper. i made a few challenges to her logic — all minor. and i smugly made a few grammar corrections.
the girl may think she’s all that and a bag-o-chips, but i know a comma splice when i see one.
* i apologize to anyone from omaha reading this entry. but c’mon… omaha?