And then I get the papers, and a third of them give me a vague account of their reaction to the reading, rather than what I asked for -- an empirical observation. So I write, "This paper did not fulfill the assignment. Redo it." And they turn in the redone version, in which they have corrected a few spelling errors and changed the title, but otherwise it remains the same. So I write "This paper did not fulfill the assignment. Redo it." And they turn in the SECOND redone version, and it is the same as the last.
Meanwhile, in another place, students are revising their drafts for their term papers. I have commented extensively on papers, especially those needing work. I have written things like "This paper needs clearer topics for its paragraphs. It's not always clear to the reader what you're talking about. Consider adding explicit topic sentences to each paragraph, to guide the reader's understanding through the paper." And I've written, "This paper has no argument. That's a serious problem, and you'll need to rewrite it. One possible thesis is the idea you have you in paragraph such and such, where you say this, and could develop like this." And I get back -- the SAME TEAPARTYING PAPERS WITH A FEW TYPOS FIXED.
What the hell do I have to do to get the little snowflakes to follow instructions? Seriously, what? I will do it. Whatever it takes, I will do it, because I seriously cannot continue like this any longer. I'm so frustrated and pissed off that I'm trolling academic hamster weaving forums on the internet to pick fights, just so someone who is intelligent will make a goddamned argument and defend it with real goddamned evidence. Seriously, that's how mentally ill this is making me.
I've got ten more papers to grade, but I am going to order a pizza and get drunk instead. I don't know if this qualifies as a thirsty, big or otherwise, but any suggestions other than alcoholism and comfort food would be welcome. Should I yell at them? Am I just a failure (even though these assignments have mostly worked every other year)? Do I suck as a teacher? Is this some kind of rebellion against my authority? Are they stupid? Am I?