Grading Papers

Carol A. Hand

Grading student papers is not an easy job. It’s the reason I haven’t been on WordPress often these past weeks.  Yet I have learned how important it is to grade mindfully, because the words we use can change lives – for better or worse.

I’m posting a poem my colleague shared with me tonight that speaks to this truth with power and eloquence.

My Name Is Not Those People, a poem by Julie K. Dinsmore, read Danny Grover on YouTube:

26 thoughts on “Grading Papers”

    1. A great example, Graham. For me, it really is the use of phrases like “those people” to refer to survivors of abuse, or “the homeless” as if that’s a noun, not an adjective, used to categorize people without shelter.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Carol, just a quick visit to let you know I’m taking a break for osteopathy and to rest my body before all the Christmas planning takes over and also so that you’ll understand if I miss some of your posts. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments. Here’s a copy of the poem. I didn’t have time to type out the words because I was in the middle of grading papers, but I did discover a copy online many hours later.

      My Name Is Not “Those People
      By Julia Dinsmore

      My name is not “Those People.”
      I am a loving woman, a mother in pain, giving birth to the future, where my babies have the same chance to thrive as anyone.

      My name is not “Inadequate.”
      I did not make my husband leave – he chose to,
      and chooses not to pay child support.
      Truth is though, there isn’t a job base for all
      fathers to support their families.
      While society turns its head, my children pay the price.

      My name is not “Problem and Case to Be Managed.”
      I am a capable human being and citizen, not a client.
      The social service system can never replace the compassion
      and concern of loving Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Fathers,
      Cousins, Community – all the bonded people who need to be
      but are not present to bring children forward to their potential.

      My name is not “Lazy, Dependent Welfare Mother.”
      If the unwaged work of parenting, homemaking and community building was factored into the Gross National Product, my work would have untold value. And I wonder why my middle-class sisters whose husbands support them to raise their children are glorified – and they don’t get called lazy and dependent.

      My name is not “Ignorant, Dumb or Uneducated.”
      I live with an income of $621 with $169 in food stamps.
      Rent is $585. that leaves $36 a month to live on. I am such a genius at surviving that I could balance the state budget in an hour.
      Never mind that there is a lack of living-wage jobs.
      Never mind that it is impossible to be the sole emotional, social and economic support to a family.
      Never mind that parents are losing their children to the gangs, drugs, stealing, prostitution, social workers, kidnapping, the streets, the predator.
      Forget about putting money into schools – just build more prisons.

      My name is not “Lay Down and Die Quietly.”
      My love is powerful and my urge to keep my children alive will never stop. All children need homes and people who love them. They need safety and the chance to be the people they were born to be.

      The wind will stop before I let my children become a statistic.
      Before you give in to the urge to blame me,
      the blames that lets us go blind and unknowing into
      the isolation that disconnects us, take another look.
      Don’t go away.
      For I am not the problem, but the solution.

      And…My name is not “Those People.”

      Julia Dinsmore’s poem, My Name Is Not “Those People,” is included in her book, My Name Is Child of God … Not “Those People”: A First-Person Look at Poverty (Augsburg Fortress Publishers).

      Like

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