Reflections on Rubrics

My second journal entry for the Assessment as Learning course is comprised of questions upon which we were asked to reflect and my responses. The questions are about feedback and rubrics.
For the unintiated, a rubric is essentially a grid that indicates what the specific criteria are for a given assignment, cross-referenced with a description of what constitutes meeting the criteria. For instance:

Criteria Excellent 8-10 Satisfactory 5-7 Unacceptable 0-4 Value
Sentence structure Uses a variety of simple, compound and complex sentences correctly and
Uses an adequate mix of structures, generally correctly, but does not
stray from ‘safe’ structures.
Uses only one structure, or uses more complicated structures incorrectly.
Meaning is lost or obscured.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading “Reflections on Rubrics”

The peasants appliances are revolting!

In my last post I mentioned in passing that the dishwasher is on the blink (literally, since it’s blinking “ER” at us non-stop).
Well, yesterday the washing machine quit in solidarity.
This washer has been with us since before we were us. It’s a basic 3-temperature wash-rinse-spin Maytag that has handled our laundry from the time we were two relatively clean adults through two spat-up-upon parents with poopy babies to our current two-small-but-active-boys + parents household without complaint. But yesterday, our loyal friend stopped pumping water out, and then tried to spin a full load with a tub full of water, thus burning something that smells horrible.
While I have a handle on the dish washing situation – I even bought one of those fancy wooden racks for drying – I am not prepared to flip the laundry onto my head, stroll down to the river and find a suitable rock. There are limits.
So now we wait for another repairperson – and since the blinking dishwasher is a different brand, we can’t do a two-for-one…
It’s only a matter of time before the fridge melts or the dryer decides to burst into flames. It’s no doubt a Luddite conspiracy.

Me ‘n’ Nigella, we’re like peas in a pod

I’m kind of enjoying my imposed vacation. I’m being very domestic – cooking, baking, cleaning, fixing things around the house, knitting – and since the dishwasher is currently awaiting repairs, I’m even handwashing the dishes.
I got a call from Lennoxville yesterday. One of my former colleagues is considering an extended sick leave, and my former coordinator wanted to know if I would be interested in taking over her two courses.
My initial reaction was to agree tentatively, because although it would mean living away from home again, at least I would be working. But after a brief discussion with Dr. T, I realized that although it would mean working, I’d be living away from home again.
I should point out that Dr. T has never been anything but entirely supportive, and he did not ask me to refuse. He did, however, make it clear that he likes having me at home.
I don’t think I could really be a fulltime stay-at-home Mom. For one thing, I don’t think Dr. T’s insurance would cover the cost of all the psychological counselling we would all inevitably need. But I really am enjoying this interim, perhaps because I know that it’s temporary. Last semester was a little too crazy, with the extra course; and the two years prior were definitely worth doing in terms of my career, but I still feel residual guilt about abandoning my children for that period.
Suffice it to say that I called back and said that upon reflection, I had to decline. My family needs me more than they need the money (it helps that two courses wouldn’t pay all that much, especially once we deduct gas and room & board).
I hated having to make the call – I was sitting staring at the phone, and Robert asked why I was just sitting there. I told him I had to make a phone call to give some one bad news, and that I was not looking forward to the call. He said “Ok, Mummy, you’re off the hook – tell me the news and I’ll call them for you.”
Which made the uncomfortable phone call absolutely worthwhile.