Archive for the ‘[AP] General Commentary’ Category

This post contains feedback and grades for the following assignments:

  1. Your adversarial discussion before the AP exam (4/27—5/6)
  2. Your blog-based discussion of Brother Ali’s music (4/5—4/19)
  3. Your blog-based discussion of NHS (4/20—5/17)
  4. Your wiki-based multiple-choice explications (2/1—4/15)
  5. Your required pre-exam/midterm conference (2/1—5/11)

Note that the smallest amount of time given for any of these five assignments was ten days, and except for that adversarial, these were remarkably long-term, cumulative assessments.  Each one required planning, focus, and hard work.


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The purpose of a reflection is relatively straightforward: It should help you to analyze the process, product, and feedback associated with your response.  Each of those pieces deserves equal time, and, if you shouldn’t be exhaustive, you should aim for thorough.

The process: This particular paper involved a more complicated proccess than most of what we’ve done.  You had a choice between four prompts, and each choice involved a different set of skills and subjects.  You were given three days to prepare your response in any way except by drafting it.  Then you spent a period writing.

The product: The timed response was read, scored, and annotated; you received feedback both on your paper and through that score.  This response was a bit different from your previous writing, however, in that it was the result of several days’ ostensible preparation.  Keep that in mind.


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I would like to say, before anything else, how encouraging it was to see so many of you take on this enrichment assignment.  Your presence on the discussion boards of the CNMA site was invaluable.

As to your scores:

I tallied up points, basing them on the same criteria used in every adversarial and in the other three blog discussions assessed here.  You earned more points for responding to other classes’ students, and more for a response that explicitly answered part of the prompt.  I looked especially for evidence that you had spent time with the photos at the heart of this exhibit — not just the ideas.

You earned an enrichment score for crossing a series of thresholds.  At a certain level, you went from 25/25 points to 50/50; by contributing a little more, you jumped to 75/75; and a small group of students — who ought to be proud of themselves — earned 100/100.

Here is the document again.  Your CNMA enrichment grades are in the last column.

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Making this one even quicker:

Some of the best and most direct responses to my comments came here.  As you got into your own ideas, you handled distaste (and sometimes disgust) with some skill; it’s hard to articulate why we hate the things we hate, because hatred, like love, tends to overwhelm our intellect.  That’s why most love poetry is so incredibly bad.

(It occurs to me, however, that I might be wrong about hate — at least, that hate may not be as detrimental to articulate expression as love is.  After all, some of the best rap songs ever recorded are designed out of hate.  But that may be for another post.)

Scores are here, next to the others.

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Shorter general commentary on your linguistic loves:

This conversation looks much more like what I anticipated — succinct replies to specific ideas — but it still has your inimitable character and intelligence.  I especially enjoyed the discussion of “hippopotamus” and the hiphopopotamus, not because I love the show (I do) or the animal (I do — mostly out of fear, since it can bite a boat in half¹), but because a few of you were listening to the musicality of language.

At any rate, you earned points here for answering the prompt with specific words or phrases, which you then defended or explained insightfully.  Responding to others’ ideas with detail or insight also earned you points; an effective reply to someone else, because it keeps the conversation going, was usually worth more points.  As before, I took the total number of points you earned, tabulated a score, and then adjusted based on the quality of individual responses.

As with your reading portfolio grades, you can use your student number to see how you did by clicking here.


1. While trying to find corroboration for this random fact, I came across an insane (but resolved) question on Yahoo! Answers.  This kind of thing is why the Internet was created.  And to spread this.  Oh, and this.

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This post will give you your grades on the blog-based discussion held here.  There are no individual point totals, because the grading of these comment streams was particularly complicated — about two hundred comments per post, with all three posts checked in over spring break — but you can deduce your performance from the numbers.

I’ve uploaded your  scores here, in a document that also contains your scores for the linguaphilia and logomisia assignments.  It also shows any enrichment credit you earned by commenting on the CNMA discussion.  You will need your student ID# to determine your grades.

Remember that each of these blogs requires you to complete one entry into your compendium.  Below, I’ve offered general feedback on your performances with the reading portfolio discussion.


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