Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Competent Jerks and Lovable Fools, Part 2

After an all-day grading marathon yesterday, today I am ready to file grades for the semester. No fun. But there were plenty of fun moments this term to make the pain of grading worthwhile. One of my favorites was this response to an exam question:
The student who wrote this never did any reading and forgot to submit almost half of his homeworks. But he was one of the most active participants in class--never missing an opportunity to turn my chalkboard networks into jokes that made the learning fun for all. How can a teacher reward the contributions of such a student? Certainly not with the grade I am giving him.

The title of this post refers back to an HBR story I reviewed: Competent Jerks and Lovable Fools. Now I also want to rehabilitate the notion of "fools": those jokers who are not foolish at all, but instead speak the wisest truths. It's a Shakespearean tradition and a quite a treat to encounter in real life.

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