This is year five of me spending two weeks or so out of my summer grading exams for one of the major testing companies...this one specializing in college credit exams. I'm not going to tell any specific tales, as non-disclosure is a requirement of my contract (Hey! Now I know how a famous person's personal assistant feels!), but, at the beginning of day three, there are a lot of things I have learned:
- I still hate Keureg coffee. We have acquired a second-hand machine that we're keeping in the basement for emergency purposes. Now, I'm normally an Aeropress guy, but, if I can stay on the clock and work a bit longer, I thought I'd give it a shot. My wife bought some pods, and yesterday, I gave it a try. The coffee was decidedly mediocre. I went online and did searches for "best k-cup coffee" in hopes of something good, but no, the brand of k-cups my wife bought was in the top 3 of every list I found. So unless someone suggests an actually good brand of k-cup, I'm sticking to my old methods.
- When we did this grading in person, one of the available snacks for breaks were individual packs of trail mix. This is year two of grading from home, and now I have to have access to trail mix in order to grade. At no other time of the year do I even think of trail mix. Give me a few thousand essays to grade, and I'm an addict.
- Each year I do this, I like to keep a running tally of people who the students reference. So far, this year's number one, surpassing even Edison, Hitler, and Jesus, is Miley Cyrus (sometimes in her Hannah Montana guise). I don't really understand this.
- Read enough of these, and you can easily tell what books college credit high school students are reading. This year, the most often-cited novel is The Great Gatsby. Unlike me when I was that age, these students seem to realize the reader is supposed to hate most every character in the novel.
- Additionally, tons of them seem to have watched Black Swan, the most referenced film so far. Whiplash, incidentally, is next in line.