Novak (novak) wrote,

Personal/Theological Notebook: Grading Augustine and Augustine/Benedict Papers

Just in from the coffeehouse. Four hours of uninterrupted grading with concentration fully engaged: five papers graded.


Some good stuff, one with a sheer elegance that I much admired. And a bit of happy talk with Jessica as she was helping close the place down. But I had one epic one where a student tried to argue that The Confessions revealed that Augustine did nothing but what other people indicated throughout the course of his journey to Catholicism, revealing a pattern of continually co-dependent relationships. And almost every passage cited as evidence seemed to prove the opposite. I admired the ambition, but the attempt to demonstrate a thesis radical enough to overturn 1600 years' reading of a text might have been a bit ill-advised in a three-page paper. Or a 300-page one, for that matter. It made me recall how Erik used to complain about how many students in the Program of Liberal Studies at Notre Dame would waste class time trying to show that, after their one night's reading of Plato/Dante/Kant/Whoever, they were so much smarter than the obviously-stupid author....
Tags: augustine, class-theology through the centuries, marquette, personal, teaching, theological notebook, writing

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