… but I’m not breathing a word of this to my students.
I spent the better part of yesterday morning cleaning up my desk. A term’s worth of composition class materials had been building up there, and was threatening to spill out into the kitchen (as it was, things were already creeping past the confines of the desk and onto the counter that we’d designated as belonging to the kitchen). I needed to get a handle on the paper before it threatened to get out of control.
In the process of cleaning up and organizing, I reprinted the comma and grammar quiz I gave to my students last week. When I originally printed the thing out, I had failed to change a couple of questions on it that I hated, and there was a typo on it (the finding of which earned the student an extra five points, by the way; further proof that I am kind and generous – see the title to the post immediately below this one…), so I fixed the problems and reprinted the quiz. Punkin’ Pie heard the printer running and went upstairs to retrieve it for me.
As she was coming down the stairs, she was reading the first page of the exam, which is entirely devoted to the correct placement of commas. She did the first sentence out loud (“he took Amy – comma – the girl with the freckles -comma – to the dance last night.”), correctly and to my loud and enthusiastic praise, so she asked if she could take the test with a pen. I printed off another copy of the first page and let her have at it.
The end result is that my almost-ten-year-old daughter scored an 80% on the quiz. Only 11 of my college students did as well or better than she did. Eleven. Not only that, but she found the two trickiest comma placements – one of which I know for SURE that only three of my students found.
I am so proud of her.