Over the last couple years, I have begun teaching. At first just a reading group or seminar with a handful of attendees. Last term I helped teach two large lecture classes.
I know that, compared to some of my colleagues, I spend an enormous amount of time assessing and evaluating students’ assignments. I try very hard to give detailed, substantive, feedback on each piece of student work. At the end of the day, however — at my school at least — there’s always a grade.
For someone who went well out of his way to go to a college with no grades, there’s a tragic irony to the whole situation: I think grades mean little and are often worth much less. Today I am forced to to inflict them on people who, almost universally, do not.