Grading and Sidearms

I’ve previously posted on why my uniform does not include a sidearm, but it’s good to have reminders now and then of why this is so.

It’s final grading time hereabouts right now, and I’m getting close to the end. All that remains is for me to grade the essay component of an in-class final for my “knobs” (i.e., freshmen). The subject was meant to be reflective; I asked them to look back on their first year at The Citadel, to argue about the advantages and disadvantages of the “knob experience.”

Settling into my office this morning, I prepped the stack of essays, clicking and reclicking my red pen in anxious anticipation of bloodletting — er, grading. I eyed my nearby warhammer with a sort of longing. Then I pulled the first paper off the stack, cricked my neck, and read the following (here typed up verbatim — I’m a trained paleographer, you know!):

The knob experience, ment to seperate “the men from the boys,” but is it adventagious to go through, I say yes they do.

I stared at this for a solid minute before deciding not to grade that one just yet. Best to wait. For the sake of the carpets.

So I set it aside and pulled the next one off the stack. The first sentence:

No one said life was easy.

This, too, I stared at for a bit. Then, sighing, I returned this second paper to the stack and retrieved the first.

Yeah, I know, smartypants. No one said it was easy, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind if it was.

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