Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The reason for my silence

Report writing has been getting me down. It freaking sucks. I was in here all day Sunday - trying to get my comments done. I probably could have finished the whole process much faster than I did - but I just couldn't stay "on task" ( a phrase I myself typed a great many times over the long stretch of Sunday ... ). In the end I threw in the towel and went home at around 6pm, because I was feeling pretty sick. I was here till about half six last evening too finishing the bastards off.

Usually I can get into a sort of report writing 'zone' - this special headspace you can occupy to dance the patterns of linguistic subterfuge needed these days so young people's delicate self-esteem isn't irreparably dinged. You WANT to say "Quentin is a piece of human shaped filth and a prime example of all that is wrong with mankind. I recommend he be used for live organ harvesting so that a worithier soul may enjoy the gift of life. The sooner he is moldering in his grave the better for all inhabitants of the universe" ? Well you have to say something like "Quentin is a lively individual, but would be better served focusing his attention into activities within the scope of lesson activities. There are promising developments ahead in the subject area of science, with definate interest in surgery". Or something like that.

And I still have my JUNIOR reports hanging above me, sword of Damocles like ! They'll be even worse. Sigh.


debbie said...

I have so much empathy for the report writing blues. Ours were due this week.

I have given up on trying to write diplomatic but mostly-honest reports of any great insight or quality.

I cut and paste generic type comments and change some key words like 'disruptive' or 'conscientious' as fits. Sometimes all that is reuired is a change in the adverb of frequency. The difference between an 'always', 'often' and a 'seldom' can often imply quite a bit.

I count on parents showing up in person if they really want to know how their kid is doing. A lot of parents at my last round of parent-teacher interviews stated quite blankly that they hadn't even read the comment! They just look at the numbers. The whole process of writing comments seems like a huge waste of time. It is an archaic practice anyway. We could easily do the whole report thing with check boxes and it would take about 5 minutes.

Seraph said...

Yeah - I do my fair share of cutting and pasting too. Did you ever have to write reports by hand ? Man - THAT sucked ! That was one of the suckiest sucks that ever sucked ! If you made a mistake you had to write EVERYONE'S comments out again, then schlep around the school getting the original comment writers to sign them off ... oh boy, a couple of those dealies and you just want to pick up a chainsaw and start dismembering people at random ( including yourself ! ). Praise the digital age !