ESL instructor grading non-ESL papers

Complementing the previous entry, Hui Cao, an ESL graduate teaching assistant finds grading native-speakers' papers difficult, frustrating, and rewarding.

"Grading was the toughest job. You had to read 40 papers with the average length of seven--- for twice. You had to write pages of comments on each one and be ready for their arguments. The close reading of their shitty first drafts for days made me sick. It usually took me an entire weekend to finish that. I hided myself under my desk and cried after it was done. When I was able to cry--- believe it or not, that would be my best time. ...

If I was asked whether I was qualified to teach native speakers English composition with my sometimes awkward written English, my answer would be I don't know but certainly I could contribute much to their writing. Writing, especially academic writing which I teach is more a kind of training of people's mind, making them think more logically, rationally, clearly and concisely with the least fallacies. Since mind and language are two separate things, articulating thoughts through language is a kind of art. For academic writing, the art has to be shaped to satisfy public's taste. The strength of rhetorical strategies in the States is so powerful everywhere that they can massage people's life easily. Plus most of the guys do not really know how to think and write. Their over-fluent oral English and simplified reasoning are everywhere in their papers."