Monday, June 11, 2012

AP grading fun

so...there are 575 people at the AP reading who are scoring the "operational exam," which is for the 200,000 kids who took the AP government exam in the US on the scheduled date.  each person grades one of the four essay questions...from 8am to 5pm for seven days straight.  two years ago i read over 2,000 essays, all on the same topic.

you see why i needed a year off from this madness.

this year i am grading the international exam, which is a different set of four essay questions given to students abroad...the questions are different because the time difference is so much that they fear kids will cheat.  there are 8 people reading this international exam.  8!  i am one of them.  apparently it is random, but i feel special anyway.  we are in our own room WITH A WINDOW, the only readers who are so lucky.  i look at the mountains and watch the tram drive back and forth on the street next to our building.  this is the only fun i have.

only 2,000 kids took the international exam, so instead of spending all week reading one question's answers, we will score two (or more) questions.

over the course of yesterday and today i read 490 essays* and that was apparently my share of that question, as we finished all the exams this afternoon!  tomorrow we will be re-trained on another question from this international exam and begin scoring it.  i had to sign a confidentiality agreement this year, stating that i wouldn't disclose the international questions, as presumably they will be reused in the future.  to this i say: no one i know gives a shit about these questions anyway, so it shouldn't be hard to keep this information confidential.  at the end of the day today all of our notes were shredded.  serious business.

so...this is what i'll be doing through saturday.  be very very jealous.  oh, this sounds horrible?  well, it kind of is, but the posse i have attached myself to is awesome and we've been to a different bar every night.  more on that later.  salt lake city might not SEEM like the party capital of the world, but you haven't been to salt lake city.

*"miss claire, how do you know that you read 490 essays?"  well, dear reader, in order to stay sane you make a tally mark on a scrap piece of paper every time you finish a packet of essays - in the operational exam a packet is 25 kids, in the international exam a packet is inexplicably 10 kids.  DON'T ASK QUESTIONS.  (that's really the first rule of grading this exam.)  then every day you try to beat the previous day's total, thus feeling good about yourself for no good reason.

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