Sunday, September 16, 2007

My brain hurts

Gosh. A weekend of marking Y10 'writing' has just about pushed me over the crumbling cliffs of sanity to the cruel cruel rocks of do-lally-land.

How the hell is it possible to write SO badly ? It really staggers the mind.

I present for you a small case study of the kind of thing I've been subjected to. It is one of the more acute cases, but not unrepresentative.

The task, I thought, was simple enough. Describe a location taken from the text we're studying and describe it as vividly as possible ( in other words - taking care to develop descriptive detail and use figurative imagery ).

I thought it was simple enough anyway.

So - one of the locations was a ball. What did our case study make of it ? Let's see:

Paragraph 1 - " The ball had a nice calm feeling, with darkness covering the strong, heroic building with shades of light casting from place to place from what looked like a mini red torch."

...Say what ? Seriously - what the hell was that ? Mini red torch ? What does that even START to mean !? Owww - my head.

Paragraph 2 - 'The ball was like any other ball in 'Dreamland'.

Huh ? Dreamland ? What the hell is that ?

'Gold surrounding the walls like the gold rush. Carpet formally place like it they were in Buckingham Palace.'

Feck - what IS this ? Pain in head increases in intensity to sharp stabbing pains in the central cortex. Hands start to twitch involuntarily.

'A massive room the size of Wembley Stadium with a light, peaceful shadow casted the whole room like it was saying 'I love lying on the beach!' Small shades of light swissed across the room like the speed of light, to create that party atmosphere."

Sweet jebus - this is worse than torture. I can't confess to anything to make it stop ! Why is shade talking about loving to be on the beach ? THAT party atmosphere ? Kid - I think you've had WAY too much of THAT party atmosphere by the sound of it. Dammit - I think my nose has started bleeding...

Paragraph 3 - ' They see hundreds of people. man and women surrounding the room like small moving bears sidestepping from one to another.'

Argghhh ! Make it stop make it STOP ! I'll do anything ! Sidestepping bears ?
WTF ?!!?! Vision fading...

'Dancing was the only action going on at the ball like you couldn't do anything else, it was like the carpet telling everyone 'to step on me, you must dance formally with your partner, no excuses !' '

*With a scream of tormented anguish Seraph falls into a coma, convulsing violently*

And that wasn't even the end !

And I marked stuff like that ALL weekend !

Sigh. It's like reading subtitles of Hong Kong action films, where the translators don't know English, this sort of crushingly bad gibberish that VAGUELY hints at an intention below the verbal up-chuck.

And YES. I KNOW that there are ethical issues in sharing this with you - but hell, when you consider the cruel and unusual suffering this kid put me through - he freaking owes me this !


Matt said...

The warm cascade of words is like a clam, saying 'I have a pearl, to be looking you must first part my shell'. Then, words read out to be enjoyed.

Jenni said...

I want carpet that screams "you must step on me! Dance formally with your partner!"

Freaking awesome.

Seraph said...

You'd enjoy a carpet like that for five minutes.

Then you'd set fire to it.

And laugh while it burned.